obituary header
Welcome to the memorial page for

Rosaleen McGrail Sweeney

May 12, 1918 ~ November 24, 2017 (age 99)
Obituary Image

"If you're lucky enough to be Irish, you're lucky enough!"

Rosaleen McGrail was born May 12, 1918 in the family home in Ballinamore, County Leitrim, Ireland. Daughter of Michael McGrail and Bridget McCaffrey McGrail, she joined two sisters (Mary Bridget, Margaret) in a loving rural home. The family expanded to include another sister (Kathleen) and two brothers (John, Michael). The McGrails emigrated to the United States in 1935 on the RMS Samaria to join Michael McGrail who had moved to New York in 1924, spending 11 years establishing US citizenship while supporting the family in Ireland and saving enough to bring them to the US. Launching into life in the US she acquired a job at Macy's in Manhattan and began to assimilate into American culture. Rosaleen met Francis Sweeney at a wedding reception of common friends. They married in 1941, a love affair that resulted in 62 years of marriage and, while interrupted by Dad's passing in 2003, will continue forever. She underwent nursing training, standing ready to support the WWII effort if necessary. Rosaleen and Francis started a family in New York and moved to Seattle for a temporary job in 1954, then permanently in 1956. Capitol Hill was home to Rosaleen for the next 57 years, raising four children and welcoming two grandchildren.

A long-time parishioner at St. Joes, Rosaleen was a volunteer for tasks ranging from inoculations to bake sales to Eucharistic Minister. She worked for 20 years at Frederick and Nelson selling women's' coats, suits and furs. Rosaleen moved to Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle in 2013 where she spent the remainder of her years under the wonderful care of the staff.

Rosaleen was preceded in death by her loving husband Francis, her daughter Monica Ann, and by all her siblings. She is survived by Rita Sweeney (husband Terry Gates) Snohomish, Kevin Sweeney (Arlene) Everett, Brian Sweeney (Mary) West Seattle, Maureen Sweeney Solberg (Thor) Bothell, grandchildren Ryan Sweeney (Jackie) Bothell, and Keilan Sweeney, Silverdale. Rosaleen is also survived by loving members of the Sweeney and McGrail families including Gerard Sweeney (Betty) Redmond, John Barkley (Robyn) Lake Tapps, Aline McGrail (Micheal RIP) Yonkers, New York, and countless relatives across the US and Ireland. Up Leitrim!

Private services will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Saint Vincent DePaul Conference at either St. Joseph Church, Seattle, or Holy Rosary Church, West Seattle. 

Please sign Rosaleen's online Guestbook at

© 2018 Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home of West Seattle a Weeks' Family Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS