Celebrating the life of

Kay Marie McSweeney

July 16, 1937 - July 23, 2021

Kay Marie McSweeney

Kay Marie McSweeney passed away following complications of surgery on July 23, 2021, in Savannah, Georgia.

 Kay was born near Little Cedar, Iowa on July 16, 1937, the only child of Robert and Maxine (Penney) McSweeney. She grew up surrounded by her extended family consisting of her grandparents, Clinton (Joe) and Thelma (McPhail) Penney and Stewart and Lottie (McGrane) McSweeney and six great grandparents – Al and Nettie (Emerson) McPhail, John and Catherine (Morrissey) McSweeney and Frank and Margaret (Devereaux) McGrane. Shortly after the beginning of WWII, her father moved the family to Portland, Maine, Portland, Oregon and Portales, New Mexico, all where he worked on airstrips for military bases. When her father went overseas to join our forces in Italy, Kay and her mother returned to Mitchell County, Iowa. Following the war, Kay attended school in Little Cedar, graduating from there in 1954. She was heavily involved in school activities included the LCHS theater and was a member of the women’s basketball team. One of the highlights of her basketball career was having an opponent elbow her during a game and break her nose. It was reset (and retold many times) in the doctor’s chair without any anesthesia. Following graduation, she attended what is currently the University of Northern Iowa, graduating with an associate degree in 1956. She began her career, one that would last for nearly fifty years, as a dedicated teacher. First beginning in Swea City, Iowa, she soon moved to Fort Dodge, Iowa where she taught until 1968. It was here her only son, Michael Higgins, was born. She returned to college in 1968 to earn her Bachelor of Arts in 1971 from the University of Northern Iowa. She then began teaching in the Waterloo, Iowa school system, from which she retired in 1999. Following her retirement, she traveled and took care of her aging parents. In 2012, she moved to Savannah, Georgia to be nearer her son. She enjoyed her time in the south, except for the heat, doing many things including enjoying her dog Vannah. She returned to teaching for several years on a substitute basis in Savannah. She very much loved those around her and was loved in return.

She is survived by her son, Michael Higgins and partner, Tod Denham Whitaker, of Savannah Georgia, and Stepaside Blue Savannah (Vannah), her constant companion. She is also survived by an uncle, Richard McSweeney. She was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents and a daughter who died at birth.

Services will be private, and an inurnment will occur at a later date at the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Osage, Iowa, where she will finally be reunited with her beloved parents.



You have our deepest sympathies. Please let us know when you bring her home to rest.

- Gary & Cheryl Pearson, Osage, Iowa

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel