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Ann Elizabeth Cannon Sweat dies; Westbury 'trailblazer' and mentor was 85

Ann Elizabeth Cannon Sweat was remembered as a

Ann Elizabeth Cannon Sweat was remembered as a "trailblazer" and a mentor. She died of cancer in April at the age of 85. Credit: Family Photo

Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro remembered Ann Elizabeth Cannon Sweat as a "trailblazer" and one of his mentors.

"Ann Sweat was a wonderful and vibrant woman," Cavallaro said. "A lifelong Westbury resident, she was active in many aspects of village life." He added, "Personally she was a mentor to me and provided me with great guidance and advice on many issues that we have faced in the village."

"As an African-American woman, she was a trailblazer and often acted as an example to the younger members of the community," the mayor said.

Sweat died of cancer at her Westbury home on April 24. She was 85.

A retired medical records administrator for the State of New York who worked in that capacity for more than 20 years, Sweat was born in Manhattan and grew up in Jericho and Westbury.

"Growing up in Jericho, she was affiliated early on with her family's church, Westbury A.M.E. Zion, of which her maternal grandfather was a founding member," said her longtime friend and caregiver, Emma Wright, of Westbury.

"She became a Jehovah's Witness about 30 years ago," Wright said. "They come around and study the Bible with you, but I think she only did that a few times. She was always busy doing something for the community."

Sweat and her late husband, Mannie, sponsored annual college scholarships for Westbury High School students, Cavallaro said. Contributions were also made to Westbury High School college-bound seniors through the Dr. J. Alfred Cannon Award of Excellence, named in honor of her late brother.

Sweat, a former chair of the Westbury Zoning Board of Appeals, chaired offices and committees as a member of the Westbury Civic Association.

"She received recognition from all levels of government in Nassau County," Wright said. Sweat was particularly proud of her induction into the Town of North Hempstead's May Newburger Women's Roll of Honor, Wright said.

Professionally, Sweat was a "late bloomer," Wright said. Sweat received a bachelor of science degree in 1974 from the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center, with a specialty in medical records library science.

Sweat went on to graduate school and obtained a master's in Health Administration from LIU Post in 1979. She founded a consultancy that advised medical institutions on New York State laws as they applied to sound record keeping.

Sweat is survived by stepdaughters Patricia McKune of New York City and Letitia Sweat of New Jersey.

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