Celebrating the life of Shirley Ann Sweetwine
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Evangelist Shirley Ann Sweetwine was a dedicated educator and religious leader who touched the lives of countless individuals throughout her lifetime. She was born on January 22nd, 1944, in Daytona Beach, Florida, to John and Essie Mae Sweetwine. Shirley was the third of six daughters, and her family moved to Leesburg when she was just seven years old.
Shirley's father was a teacher and coach at Lake County Training School, later renamed Carver Heights High School, where she attended and graduated. During her time in high school, Shirley was a talented musician and played the saxophone in the school band.
After graduating from Carver Heights High School in 1961, Shirley became a mother to twins Darryl Levonne and Sherryl Yvonne and later welcomed another daughter, Roshunya Yvette. Despite the demands of motherhood, Shirley was determined to further her education and went on to earn an Associates of Arts Degree from Johnson Junior College in Leesburg, Florida in 1964, a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the City College of New York in 1974, and a Master's of Education from Cambridge College in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2000.
Shirley started her professional career with the Postal Service in New York City before returning to Florida and following in her father's footsteps to become a teacher. She spent eight years teaching emotionally handicapped and educable mentally disabled students in Lake County Schools. During that time, she also offered tutoring and taught hospitalized and homebound students. Shirley even coached her Elementary and Middle School students in Special Olympics competitions, where her students won gold and silver medals in local, county, and state competitions.
After teaching in Lake County Schools, Shirley moved overseas to Japan with the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS), where she taught the children of military members for 11 years. Upon returning to Florida, she continued teaching for several more years before retiring from the state of Florida. Her lifelong passion for teaching was evident through her impact on her students, who continued to reach out to her as adults and thank her for their success.
Shirley also had a strong passion for ministry and evangelism, leading the Women's Ministry, Children's Ministry, and Special Events Ministry at Land O' Lakes Church of God. She continued to serve numerous churches and led the Women's and Special Events ministries throughout her life. Most recently, she was a member of Citadel of Hope Ministries in Leesburg, Florida.
As a prayer warrior, Shirley initiated a prayer group that spread across Lake, Pasco, Sumter, and Hillsborough counties. She invited guest ministers who enhanced the prayer group with God-inspired teachings and prayers.
Shirley was a proud grandmother to five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter. She was a beautiful spirit, a people person, and shared Christ with anyone who would listen.
Additionally, Shirley loved to travel and visited over 20+ countries, experiencing various cultures and sharing her faith with people from all walks of life. Her adventurous spirit and dedication to spreading God's love made a significant impact on those she met during her travels.
Her life's work was teaching and evangelizing across the country and the world, as evidenced by her trips to Japan as a guest speaker for numerous congregations.
Shirley was preceded in death by her father, John Wesley Sweetwine, mother, Essie Mae Turner, and sisters: Joan Powers and Carol Monroe.
Sisters: Barbara Green, Diane Wanza, Patricia Sweetwine
Step-Sisters: Alicia Franks (Herbert), Charlene Hester (Freddie)
Adoring children: Darryl Sweetwine of Land O' Lakes, Florida, Sherryl Sweetwine-King (Jonathan) of Tampa, Florida, and Roshunya Sweetwine-Hood (Marcellus) of Lilburn, Georgia.
Grandchildren: Darryl Jr., Jayla (Victor), Jovonee, Jarrett, and Jovon
Great-grandchildren: Daeonna, Darryl III, and Da'Riyah
God-Children: Twana Ware, Britney Brown, and Deborah Price
As well as a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends, and spiritual children.
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Lying in Repose
2795 South Street
Leesburg, FL 34748
2795 South Street
Leesburg, FL 34748