Kathleen M. Sweet

Sweet, Kathy Photo.jpg

Kathleen M. Sweet "Kathy"
December 21, 1951
January 30, 2022

NAPLES – Kathleen M. Sweet “Kathy,” loving wife, mother, sister, cousin, aunt and Mimi, passed away on Jan. 30, 2022, having turned 70 just a few weeks earlier. She was born in Philadelphia, Penn. on Dec. 21, 1951, the first of five children of James T. and Dorothy J. Emmertz. She spent her early childhood in Pownal and summers on Crooked River near Naples, where her dad flew seaplanes. As the family grew, they moved to Gorham. Kathy graduated from Gorham High in 1970 and x-ray tech school at Maine Medical Center before earning an associate degree in marine biology at SMVTI in 1972 and doing graduate work at Harvard University. Kathy had her oldest son, Aaron, with former husband Dana Rose, and her second son, Jeremy, with former husband Howard Levitan. She spent her professional career in insurance, with positions at UNUM and New England Life (now Met Life) in Boston, where she met the love of her life Russ Sweet. They lived in Massachusetts for many years. When Russ retired, they bought a camper and drove cross_country, taking in all the beautiful scenery before settling in Naples. Kathy and Russ quickly became involved in the Naples community. While Russ developed a thriving real estate practice, Kathy served on the planning board, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, helped found Naples Main Street and vigorously promoted the town in “Inside Naples,” a weekly column she wrote for the Lake Region Weekly. Indomitably social (and invariably the last to arrive!), Kathy could brighten a room with her infectious smile and cheeky wit. She had a true passion for Maine Coon cats, and enjoyed camping, boating, the outdoors, golf and coordinating lively gatherings of friends and family, especially her children and grandchildren. But whether you were related by blood or friendship, she made sure you were welcomed with open arms. She loved touring Alaska with her mother in 2005, hosting the family each Christmas Eve and organizing “Ladies’ Weekend” each fall at the family camp in Island Falls—quality time with family and friends, in a one-room log cabin on Mattawamkeag with no electricity and an outhouse! In more recent years she enjoyed summer visits at the lake with her kids and grandkids, watching her granddaughters’ self_produced, long_winded plays, and being out on the water in the family pontoon boat, provided it was calm, slow and Russ wasn’t hitting EVERY bump (when he did – he’d get a firm “RUSSELL”). She had a kind and generous heart and an incredible knack for finding the perfect gift. Her indulgences included fine food and finely aged wine, Lifetime movies, pickles, Skor bars, Tareyton 100s, binge_watching “Sharknado,” playing solitaire and slots, and intense late-night life talks. Kathy had a unique way of telling her own version of past events that her kids dubbed the “#kathyfactor” and calibrated on a Russ-to-Kathy exaggeration slide rule. Kathy was predeceased by her parents Dorothy and James Emmertz, her in-laws Madeleine “Maddy” and Russell P. Sweet, and her dear friend Eileen Brady. She is survived by her husband of 32 years, Russell L. Sweet; sons Aaron C. Rose (Ginny) of South Portland and Jeremy A. Levitan of Auburn, Mass.; stepdaughter Erika Levitan Browne (Joe) of Greensboro, N.C.; siblings Elizabeth A. Uminski (John) of Falmouth, Thomas J. Emmertz (Cindy) of Gray, Barbara E. Hunt (Bruce) of Naples and Andrew S. Emmertz (Bonnie) of Casco; grandchildren Owen Rose, Sage and Jonas Mather and Zoe and Jake Browne; nieces Amanda Noone, Mallory Webb, Chelsea Hunt Gordon and Sarah Uminski; nephews Brett and Colby Emmertz; and her beloved aunt Edith McCormick, cousins Jan McCormick, Jim McCormick, Marge Davis and Lawrence “Lon” Emmertz, and dear friends Michael Brady and Nancy Hanson.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In honor of Kathy’s passion for animals, donations may be made to Harvest Hills Animal Shelter, 1389 Bridgton Road, Fryeburg, Maine 04037; the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, 217 Landing Road, Westbrook, Maine 04092; or a charity of your choosing.

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