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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 20, 2008

Brian T. Sweeney

GUILDERLAND — Brian T. Sweeney was an adventurer who grew up on Warners Lake in the Hilltowns and went on to bigger boats and many parts of the world as a merchant marine.

A Guilderland resident, he died on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008, at The Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany after a short illness. He was 47.

A graduate of Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School, Brian Sweeney enjoyed his boyhood as a “country kid,” said his brother, Timothy Sweeney. The family — Leonard and Eileen Sweeney and their three sons — lived on Warners Lake. “He liked swimming and boating,” recalled Timothy Sweeney, “and he loved to walk through the woods.”

Brian Sweeney went on to work on cargo ships and ocean-going tugs, said his brother. “He was an able-bodied seaman...He went as far as the North Pole,” said Timothy Sweeney, and he loved to tell stories about his adventures.

He worked on rigging the lines, handling, and docking the ship, his brother said.

As a merchant marine, Brian Sweeney worked on a variety of ships and was most recently employed by the New York State Canal System as the chief marine engineer on the state tugboat, Urger.

“In his spare time, he would go rock-climbing and caving...He was an adventurous type,” said his brother.

He ended his life with a grand adventure. “Two months before he died,” said his brother, “he went on his last adventure. He and his girlfriend, Nancy Amuso, went to Alaska...They went salmon fishing; they slept in a cabin in the woods.”

Timothy Sweeney described his brother’s personality as “very outgoing.” He said, “He had an endless repertoire of jobs and stories that kept people interested...People just loved being around him.”


Brian T. Sweeney is survived by his parents, Leonard S. and Eileen F. (Day) Sweeney; his brothers, Timothy L. Sweeney and James D. Sweeney; his loving partner, Nancy Amuso; and several aunts, uncles, devoted cousins and many close friends.

His family wishes to thank the staff at Community Hospice, St. Peter’s Hospice Inn and all those who have offered their sympathy and support.

A graveside service was held on Nov. 17 at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands, followed by a gathering of family and friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Road, Albany, NY  12205.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Wanda L. Canaday

Wanda L. Canaday, a proud mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, died after a long, hard-fought battle with cancer, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008 at Albany Medical Center Hospital.

Born in Albany, she lived in East Greenbush.

She was an office assistant for the East Greenbush School System prior to her retiring. She was active in many medical and educational activities throughout her life, and was a proud member of the Mayflower Society.

Her parents, Paul and Clara (Ellis) LaPierre, died before her as did her two brothers, Robert Paul LaPierre and his wife, Jean, and William Roy LaPierre.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 60 years, Douglas B. Canaday and her son, Douglas P. “Skip” Canaday and his wife, Marcia; her grandchildren, Shawn Canaday and his wife, Marcy, and Kayla Canaday; great-grandchildren Drew Canaday and McKenna George; and many beloved cousins and many special friends, including her BFFs Margaret, Claire, and Pat.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend her funeral at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 21, from the Rockefeller Funeral Home, 165 Columbia Turnpike in Rensselaer. Friends may call in the funeral home on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. Interment will be in East Greenbush Cemetery, East Greenbush.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 260 Osborne Road, Loudonville, NY 12211 or to Gilda’s Club, 1500 Central Ave. Albany, NY 12205.

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