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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Shirley Sweeney, 77

WAYLAND

Customers arriving at Yankee Craftsman in Wayland had to choose between two doors at the point where the house ended and the shop began. Behind one door lay the antique lights the Sweeney family restored. The other led to Shirley Sweeney's kitchen.

"More often than not, they would go to the kitchen and see my mother first," said her daughter, Sally Foley. "She always took time to stop what she was doing, to sit down and visit. To her, the value of friendship meant more than any other task she had at hand."

Truth be told, though, most everyone who went to Yankee Craftsman paid a visit to Mrs. Sweeney before they left.

"You have to walk through her kitchen to get to the bathroom," said her son Scott. "We all visited with her every day."

Mrs. Sweeney, a Southerner by predilection whose Mississippi adolescence poured forth in the deep fried dough she served with powdered sugar and maple syrup each Sunday morning, died at home on Dec. 15. She was 77 and had been diagnosed with cancer a year ago, the Globe reports in an obituary today.

-- Brian Marquard

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