Family and friends of the late Justice Francis Sweeney Sr. came to the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center on May 8 for his official portrait dedication ceremony. Sweeney was the 144th Ohio Supreme Court Justice. He served from 1993 to 2004.
Justice Sweeney's son, Skip, said he was blown away by the portrait's likeness to his father.
"It was the life that came out of it that was really, really amazing," Francis "Skip" Sweeney Jr. said. "He was just the kind of father that looking back now I'm grateful to have had."
Supreme Court justices who worked with Justice Sweeney when he sat on the bench offered words of support in remembrance of the man who meant so much to them.
"He was a colleague that was respected, that was well loved," said Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor. "We are poor for his departure from the court. We are rich, though, with memories and affection for him and for you and the family."
Before he was a justice, Sweeney served as a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge and an aassistant prosecuting attorney with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office in Cleveland. He graduated from Cleveland Marshall College of Law.
Besides being a judge and attorney, Justice Sweeney also played professional football for two years for the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League before he joined the bar and the bench.
Skip said he dad led by example and was the solid foundation of the family. He said he wants his dad to be remembered as:
"No-nonsense, fair compassionate, loving person," Sweeney Jr. said. "Everybody loved him. He was ornery, but everybody loved him."
Justice Sweeney's portrait will hang in room 103 of the Moyer Judicial Center.
International artist Leslie Adams painted Justice Sweeney's portrait. She also painted Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer's official portrait, which sits in the grand concourse.