BY THE SWEENEY KIDS
Our family grew up in the newspaper business in Craig, where our parents were co-publishers of The Craig Daily Press for nearly 20 years and the weekly newspaper, The Empire Courier for seven years before moving to Cherry Hills Village in 1980.
The Sweeney’s have owned The Villager Newspaper for 36 years with our Mom, Gerri Sweeney always being at the helm performing all the duties necessary to keep the paper going and continues to be the force that drives the business.
Many memories of our mother include “hanging out” with her in her world at our newspapers or events.
As children, we were always running up and down the stairs entertaining the staff members or probably being a pest to the photographer, writers, printers and anyone else that would give us the time of day.
Our mother was always working whether it was at the paper or doing the endless piles of laundry from all of us participating in sports or running out last minute to get that sewing basket or uniform we needed for school the next day.
On top of being a full-time career woman, Mom has been an awesome wife and business partner to our dad, Bob Sweeney and an incredible role model for all of us kids Saundra, Sharon, Susan and Patrick.
She somehow managed to have dinner for us every night, attended all of our school activities and sporting events, making all seem so effortless.
During our mother’s over 50-year publishing career she has received hundreds of awards, earned the respect of her friends, family, colleagues and four children.
All of us kids have done duties from managing paper carriers, selling newspapers on the streets of Craig, janitorial duties, receptionist and putting together rodeo books and miscellaneous programs which required working all night.
We recruited many of our family friends to get these duties done and were always rewarded with getting treated at the family ice cream store and a few bucks.
Saundra, the oldest daughter managed the paper carriers that delivered The Craig Daily Press, and, she was a part of the team that compiled the yearly rodeo books and was instrumental when our family moved to Denver in helping our parents launch The Villager being a top salesperson for 25 years until she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
We are happy to report she is a seven-year survivor due to her great spirit and positive attitude and is surely missed at The Villager.
Sharon, the middle daughter started working at the Craig Daily Press selling the daily paper on every street corner, restaurants and bars in Craig and filling her pockets with money to spend on either ice cream or candy at the drugstore.
She worked as a receptionist during the summer months, cleaned toilets and mopped floors for extra money.
Sharon has been with The Villager for over 30 years selling ads, co-owner of the Colorado Gambler for 25 years and still enjoying the business.
Daughter Susan helped recruit all her cronies to also help put together the rodeo programs.
Susan worked at The Villager for several years out of college, moved to Texas came back to Colorado and took a 10-year maternity break. She is now back at the paper and brings her cheerleading attitude, treats and creativity on a daily basis.
It’s great to have her enthusiasm and fresh ideas!
We all remember having paper routes, getting calls to rush to the paper because my parents needed help with daily tasks.
Our favorite thing was to help collect money for our paid subscriptions which we did by riding on the hood of Mom’s car while she drove. We jumped on-and-off the car to make it easier to go door to door and pick up those checks.
Patrick is our IT department which entails keeping our computers up and running and the websites cutting-edge. We are always impressed with his ingenious computer knowledge especially since we are non-tech savvy. He inspires to try and teach us every day.
We have all been empowered by our mom’s love of her family and total devotion and commitment to our family newspaper.
Our Mom has always presented herself with such elegance and style.
Mom, we are so proud of what you have accomplished in life and you continue to be the energizer bunny.
Your love has always guided us to what is important in life which is our family. You are a class act, and a true professional. Thank you for all that you do for our family and your community.
We look forward to the day that you can wake up in the morning, have a cup of tea and read your newspaper in the comfort of your own home and know that all your efforts will never be forgotten, nor will you.
We Love You Mom!!!
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