Earl A. Sween, Ol’ Boop, 97 years young, left the harbor aboard the Shearl bound for heaven on April 1, 2018 to join his sweetheart Shirley. He passed away peacefully at home in Naples, FL, with daughter Deborah and dear Martha, Kelly and Ellie, his team of angels, at his side.
Earl was preceded in death by father August and Fi Sween; mother Florence Sween; wife of 70 years, Shirley Sween; and brother William “Bill” Sween. Supporting Boop all the way to the finish line were his surviving family members: sister Sue Edholm (Ralph) Mesa, AZ; brother Ron (Ok) Sween, Duluth, MN; daughter Deborah Sween, Naples, FL; son Thomas E. Sween (Jeanne) Naples, FL; plus 5 beautiful grandchildren and 11 beautiful great-grandchildren.
Earl lived the American Dream. Born in North Minneapolis, he grew up raising vegetables for the family restaurant “Hans Lunch” in Minneapolis. Later the family moved to Wayzata, where they launched Sween Brother’s Dairy. In 1955, Earl started Stewart Sandwiches, which later became the E.A. Sween Company/Deli Express(EAS) which makes great “Food for People on the Go!” nationally. To his last day, he called the 1,200 members of the EAS team his family.
The Minnesota Gopher football program has lost its most enthusiastic supporter. Earl loved his Gophers. He played for Bernie Bierman during those long-forgotten Gopher “golden years.” Earl was a devoted member of Rotary, the Masons and the Shriners.
Ol’ Boop will be deeply missed by his family, his Deli Express family, his fishing buddies and hundreds of friends. The “Destiny” toast, which he shared daily, defines him: “There is a destiny that makes us brothers and sisters, none goes his way alone, but let’s always remember, it’s the great things you put into the lives of others that will come back into your own.”
Earl’s Celebration of Life and memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 11 a.m. at Wayzata Community Church, with visitation at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Avow Hospice (avowcares.org) or Shriners Hospitals for Children (shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/Tampa) are preferred.