Bernard Joseph Sweeney, 90, owner of the Shore Casino
ATL. HIGHLANDS – Bernard Joseph Sweeney, Bernie to anyone who needed a helping hand or visited the Shore Casino, died Friday morning at Riverview Medical Center, surrounded by the love of his family. He was 90 years old and had owned the famous Casino in the Park in Jersey City for 60 years and the Shore Casino in the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Harbor for 46 years.
Son of the late Joseph and Theresa Ippolito Sweeney, Bernie was born in Jersey City and graduated from Snyder High School. He served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper after graduation and before joining the Union City Dispatch as its new reporter and editor. He also served as director of the Jersey City Police Department. When he took over the Casino in the Park in Jersey City, it became a high-society hangout for the wealthy and famous, as well as less wealthy and famous firefighters, emergency volunteers and police officers. who ran their own event programs dedicated to the much-vaunted facility due to Bernie’s kindness, generosity and desire to help anyone in need. The facility was the gathering place for politicians, movie and Broadway stars as well as sportsmen and other famous personalities, including Frank Sinatra who hosted a gala at the Casino in the Park on the occasion of 50 years of his parents.and wedding anniversary. President Bill Clinton was a guest at the Casino du Parc, as well as boxer Mohammad Ali and many celebrities before the Sweeneys retired from the establishment last year.
Bernie has been honored by many military, political, veteran and charitable and fraternal organizations over the years for his many generous donations to all of their special causes and for always having a facility ready to accommodate whatever was needed to help someone. else.
Bernie opened the Shore Casino at Atlantic Highlands Yacht Harbor in 1976 and continued his finesse as a restaurateur, unifier and dynamic host. Along with his wife Kathleen, the Casino continued to be the gathering place for people known and lesser known, from former First Lady Barbara Busch to young local couples holding their waterfront wedding receptions.
Bernie is survived by his wife, Kathleen Sheehan, his sons, Joseph, in Florida, BJ and his wife Marie, Middletown, and Jay Strebb, who managed the Casino for Bernie, a daughter, Kathleen Connors and her husband Jeff, of Holmdel , and grandchildren Leah Sweeney, Joseph Ryan Connors, MD, New York, and Katie Connors, BSN, of Holmdel.
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A funeral mass will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Church. The exhibit will also be held at St. Agnes Church on Tuesday evenings from 4-7 p.m. Postens-McGinley Funeral Home is responsible for the arrangement. Interment will be in Bayview Cemetery, Middletown.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to Our Lady of Perpetual Help-St. Church of Agnes.