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Roberta “Bebe” Maxton Sweeley, 92, passed from this life in York Convalescent Hospital, Yorktown, on Thursday, June 2, 2016. Daughter of Minnie Bertha Philabaum and John Cunningham Maxton, she was born October 3, 1923, in Harrisburg, Pa., and raised in a house built by her father and grandfather in Camp Hill, Pa.
In 1936, she married Robert Callahan Sweeley, becoming the wife of a Naval CPO. They moved to Oakland, Calif., and she bore her two oldest children, Paula and Michael, on the West Coast, before moving to Norfolk, where she bore her two youngest children, Lewis and Louise, at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital. Subsequently, in 1958, she settled in Norge on a farm owned by her father. Finally, in her later years, she lived in a condo in Yorktown and then moved to York Convalescent Hospital.
Roberta was very skilled and had a love for gardening. Proficient at sewing, she delighted in making clothing for her family. She enjoyed drawing and home decor. She was an excellent cook and an accomplished pianist. Mrs. Sweeley was a faithful member of the Mormon Church since 1965, and spent a year in Hawaii as a Mormon missionary. She became a single mother in 1962, and began to do secretarial work in civil service at Fort Eustis and then in the ROTC Department at the College of William & Mary until retirement. Always a hard-working woman, she continued in various positions caring for elderly and young people well into her 80s. This was in addition to raising her grandson, Matthew, from age 10 until he was 18 years old.
Roberta was preceded in death by her brother, John C. Maxton Jr.; sister, Valeria Maxton Weidner; and her son, Michael Stephen Sweeley.
She is survived by her three children, Paula Sweeley of Stratford, Conn., Louise Sweeley of Brunswick, Ga., and Lewis Sweeley, and his wife, Patty, of Williamsburg; three grandchildren, Michelle Gross, and her husband, Brian, Abigail Sweeley and Matthew Twitty; and two great-grandchildren, Madison and Nathan Gross.
A funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. Monday, June 6, at Bucktrout Funeral Home, 4124 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg, followed by a reception at the funeral home. Private interment will be held in Williamsburg Memorial Park.
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