|John M. Sweet|
John was born Sept. 29, 1924, in Parker, PA, to John K. and Jane (Harkless) Sweet. He married Mirabel "Mo" Digel in Smethport, PA, on June 10, 1948. John served in the United States Marine Corps during WWII in the Pacific from 1943-1946.
In the 1960s in Alaska, he was elected to the Alaska State House of Representatives.
John was a family man. He was a loving and dedicated husband to Mo for 65 years. He was the father of six children, whom he loved, nurtured and looked on with great pride. He embraced the spouses of his children as equal members of the family and gave his heart and soul to his grandchildren. He counted it as one of his greatest blessings that he lived to welcome two beautiful great-grandchildren into his life. He was a loved and admired uncle to many nephews and nieces, as well as a respected son-in-law and brother-in-law.
During his career as a geologist with Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), John was actively involved in the discovery of oil in Alaska. Later in his lifetime, he wrote a book, "Discovery at Prudhoe Bay: OIL," to honor the people and document the events that led to that discovery.
He will be remembered as a craftsman, an outdoorsman, a camper, hunter and fisherman. He was an avid biker and golfer. At age 70, he participated in the Ride The Rockies Colorado Bicycle Tour.
John was known for his honesty and faith. He was dedicated to family and friends and to his church and his community. He gave of himself unselfishly, never seeking the spotlight or requiring accolades. His morals and integrity will live on in the lives of his children and grandchildren, as well as anyone who knew him.
He was an active member of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church of Boulder and active in the Valley Presbyterian Church in Green Valley, AZ.
John is survived by his wife, Mirabel D. Sweet of Boulder, CO; daughters, M. Anne (George Hopkins) Sweet of Des Moines, WA, and Patricia J. (Aiya John) Nakornthap of Bakersfield, CA; sons, John H. (Dorothy) Sweet of Bend, OR; Robert M. (Sharon) Sweet of Silverthorne, CO; Thomas A. (DJ) Sweet of Lander, WY; and Timothy F. Sweet of Vancouver, BC; grandchildren Patra and Jillian Nakornthap and Kelly (Christian) Booth; and great-grandchildren Elliott and Amelia Booth.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at 10 a.m., a Celebration of John's Life will be held at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 3700 Baseline Rd. in Boulder. A reception will follow the service at the church.
Published in Green Valley News & Sun on September 18, 2013
The late John M. Sweet remembers the Magnificent Marv:
Marvin Dale Mangus was larger than life. I don't know what that meant in the mind of the person who first coined the phrase, but “Marv” lived a life that was all encompassing and it centered on his work as a geologist and his wonderful talent as a landscape artist. I first met in the lobby of the Atlantic Refining Co. offices in Dallas, Texas in 1958 or 1959.
Marv and I and only two others I know of had uniqueness’ in Atlantic Refining Company of Philadelphia, PA , namely we were Pennsylvania “boys.” Most other oil company professional positions were filled from western colleges.
Marv did the spring caching for the USGS parties during the NPR4 exploration form about 1947 until 1958 and probably knew the area northnof the Brooks Range as well as anyone. Later in the life of the NPR4 exploration he crossed the western divide of the Brooks Range in the Utukok headwaters in an Army Weasel. He formed life long friendships with perhaps dozens of geologists and others from NPR4 days that lasted for his lifetime, and his passing will sadden them.
Our meeting was unique in that neither of us went to the head office Atlantic Refining Company in Dallas, Texas often. I don’t remember why we would even speak but we did and getting to know Marv the way I did, I am guessing he broke the ice. A couple years later we found ourselves in the same Atlantic District in the NW Territories in Canada in 1961 where we worked side by side for that year until I was sent to Anchorage in February of 1962.
Our boys were the same ages as some of his so we socialized together much and Jane and Marv had a going away party for us in Calgary. During this time I learned that Marv’s mother and my mother came from the same small village in Pennsylvania and may even have gone to school together because of similar ages.
By the time we were transferred to Anchorage, Alaska I had already bought a couple of Marv’s early stilllife impressionist paintings, andwhen we arrived at their house for the going away party they had a new painting of Marv’s for which he had won a significant award which I didn’t know about, but I wanted the painting.. I bought it on the spot and still have it. For many years and maybe until his passing he considered it one of his better efforts.
During the early summer of 1962 Marv was transferred to Atlantic Refining Company’s office in Anchorage. We worked together until 1969 when he decided to become a consulting geologist and formed a partnership with Keith Calderwood and Bill Fackler.
Those who knew Marv through his profession will never forget him. Those who knew him through acquisition of his art will likewise be forever grateful for capturing him and the scenes, which20drew them his talent as an artist.
Marv had much to do with my writing my book “Discovery at Prudhoe Bay”. He contributed in three ways. These contributions were the essence of Marvin Dale Mangus. He had an encyclopedic memory, he was knowledgeable, having worked in Northern Alaska for more than 54 years when I began to write in 2000, and he contributed many stories. His frequent referrals to the early USGS geologists who laid so much
“ground work” for the eventual discovery of oil led me to look more closely to what they had done and include their stories.
Marv and I were born in the same month in 1924, and we maintained a close relationship after we left Anchorage. We surprised Marvin and his wife Jane by appearing at their 50th Wedding anniversary in April 16, 2000. We surprised again, when I was here for the 40th anniversary of the Prudhoe Discovery on April 17, 2008, and my Son Tim and I helped them celebrate their 58th Wedding Anniversary.
Alfred told me that Marv’s 50th anniversary pin from the AAPG (American Association of Petroleum Geologist) arrived the day after his death.
The Alaska Geological Society awarded Marv the 40th-year Honorary Membership during the 2008 Annual Technical Meeting last year. It was also the 40th anniversary of the Prudhoe Discovery. It is with a heavy heart that I recall happier times, and my wife Mo and I send our love and condolences.
John Sweet, Colorado