Obituary: Senan E. “Pepper” Sweeney, 1938-2021 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Senan E. “Pepper” Sweeney, 1938-2021 

Avid skier instructed at Smugglers' Notch for more than three decades

Published April 28, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated July 20, 2021 at 2:27 p.m.

click to enlarge Senan "Pepper" Sweeney - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Senan "Pepper" Sweeney

Pepper left us this week on a snowy late April day, which was absolutely appropriate for the diehard skier that he was. Born in Yonkers, N.Y., Pepper grew up in White Plains and Hawthorne. He graduated from Briarcliff High School in 1956, then attended the University of New Hampshire before ultimately graduating from the University of Arizona and the Thunderbird School. Between UNH and U of A, Pepper played semipro football before being drafted into the U.S. Army, where he was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany.

After an early career in insurance and real estate, Pepper found his true calling in his forties as a teacher. He returned to school at the Université Laval in Québec City and received his teaching certificate. He taught French, as well as other subjects, at Milton High School. A lifelong athlete, Pepper was on the ski patrol at Cochran’s Ski Area throughout the '70s and early '80s, then moved to Smugglers' Notch, where he was a ski instructor for 35-plus years. Although Pepper was an avid tennis player, from the moment he picked up a golf club, tennis was left in the dust. Once the ski slopes closed in the spring, Pepper’s passion for golf kept him on the links nearly every day until the flurries flew in the fall.

Pepper is survived by his daughter, Meghan, and her husband, Andy; his son, Senan; several nieces and nephews; and many friends and acquaintances. He was predeceased by Alison, the love of his life; his sisters, Joan, Sheila and Mary Louise; and his brother, John.

We will miss the ol’ Irishman’s serious dance moves, his clotheshorse ways (more golf shirts than Tiger Woods), his generous smile and the twinkle in his eye that he shared with everyone.

Here’s to beefsteak when you’re hungry, whiskey when you’re dry, all the women you’ll ever want, and heaven when you die. Sláinte!

A celebration of Pepper’s life will be held on July 30, 2021, from 4-7 p.m. at the Barn at Boyden Farm in Cambridge, Vt.

Goss Life Celebration Homes is the area’s exclusive provider of life celebration events. Please visit our website to share condolences, photos and favorite memories at

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