Sean Sweeney Gone West

By Cleta Sweeney, IAC 438225 

Sean loved the IAC. The first context I can think of was in 1974 when he qualified for nationals. He showed up in Sherman/Denison, Texas, without pre-registering. All the guys took him under their wing, and he had such a blast. 

Sean was born in July 1958 and lived an adventurous childhood, learning about the farm from his mother and learning aviation and engineering from his father. Relocating to the west, Sean met his high school crush, Cleta, whom he later married and enjoyed life with for over 40 years.

As teenagers, they were blessed to accept Jesus Christ in youth group, and enjoy the soul love of two who knew that bond. Sean felt his life was always blessed. Faith first, which he was able to share and secure his precious children with. Second, his enjoyment of his family: his cherished wife and amazing daughters who went on to bring sons-in-law to the family that Sean was proud to call his own. Most importantly, both girls introduced him to the indescribable joy of grandparenting, something he treasured beyond words.

The girls went on to have successful careers: They so enjoyed sharing their accomplishments with him and were grateful for his constant support.

He loved growing a small concrete business from a goat barn to a national entity today. He made friends with most all his customers, and even though he had turned most of the business over to his family, he kept his fingers on quality and service.

He spent these last few years with amazing aviation opportunities. He loved the missions he flew and the people he helped. He enjoyed the families he contracted with, and felt they were a part of his own. He mentored several pilots and got great satisfaction encouraging them to reach their goals. 


Two opportunities are available to remember Sean with support to the aviation and aerobatic communities that he enjoyed so much.

Donations may be made to the Sweeney Aviation Scholarship fund through Town & Country Bank, Ava Branch, 1106 Springfield Rd, Ava, MO 65608 | Phone: 417-683-4147
As a tribute to Sean Sweeney Chapter 61 will sponsor the entry fees ($190) for the first 4 first-time competitors to arrive at the 2023 Giles Henderson Memorial Challenge.  The competitors can compete in any category as long as it’s their first contest. See contest details here:

Sean takes off for the box in his Staudacher S300 at the 2019 Giles Henderson Memorial Challenge in Salem, Illinois.

Photo by Carmelo Turdo