A memorial service took place in Levengrove Park for council care worker Catherine Sweeney who died in the line of duty caring for old people.
By Democrat reporter
Catherine Sweeney, a dedicated home carer who worked with West Dunbartonshire Council, was within a month of her well deserved retirement when she contracted Covid-19 and died at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley on April 4 this year.
Cathie dedicated 20 years of her life to looking after some of the most vulnerable people in the community and was believed to be the first frontline worker in Scotland to die with the virus.
The home carer who called at the homes of her clients was planning to retire on her 66th birthday on May 22.
And at the weekend relatives, friends and family led by her daughter Colette, celebrated the 65-year-old’s life at the planting in Levengrove Park in Dumbarton with a memorial service organised by the GMB trade union and conducted by the Rev Ian Miller.
A GMB spokesperson said: “Catherine was well known and well respected within the local community where she was born and raised.
“Her family, friends and fellow GMB members speak of a caring and generous person, especially when it came to her time, having dedicated over 20 years of her life as a home carer and unfailingly serving the needs of the most vulnerable in society.
“Truly, Catherine represented everything that is good about our key workers and the extraordinary dedication they give to our communities which so often can go unrecognised.
“On Saturday we joined Catherine’s family and friends to celebrate her life, mourn her passing and appreciate her life’s work.”
The tree was planted and a plaque which was placed on it in Catherine’s loving memory, read: “In our hearts a memory is kept, of ones we love and will never forget. We will miss and love you always, it’s now time to dance with the angels xxx.”
Born and raised in Dumbarton, Catherine, better known as Cathie, was well-known in the community.
She went to Notre Dame High School at Clerkhill and lived in Bellsmyre before moving to Silverton and becoming mum to beloved daughter Colette.
Her daughter described her as “kind, caring, loving and loyal to her friends and family”, as well as having a “heart of gold”.
She was known as having a love of dogs and enjoyed line-dancing and dance weekends away. She was “a a “wonderful mother, sister and beloved auntie”.
The family thanked the doctors and nurses who heroically looked after her in her final days.
The Rev Ian Miller said: ““She was a caring and generous person. After a lifetime of service to the community, we know she will be sorely missed, not just by her loving family, but by many others for her incredible warmth, care, and dedication. A whole community shares in our grief.”
Community councillor Linda Spier said: “Catherine was my mum’s carer for a fair number of years. Shew used to call in and see here even when she wasn’t working. She was a lovely, caring person and she is badly missed here. My mum died in 2017, but I never forgot Catherine’s kindness to her.”