Ralph Sweet

Ralph G. Sweet Jr.

Friday, May 17th, 1929 - Thursday, June 20th, 2019
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Ralph G. Sweet, Jr., 90, longtime resident of Enfield, husband of Carol (Dunbar) Greenfield, entered into Eternal Rest on Thursday, June 20, 2019, in the comfort of his home. Born May 17, 1929, in Norwich, CT, Ralph was the son of the late Ralph Sr. and Anthea (Valleau) Sweet. He proudly served in the Connecticut Army National Guard during the Korean War. After his time in the army, finishing school at UConn, and working as a test engineer at Hamilton Standard, he purchased the historic Powder Mill Barn in Enfield, CT and converted it into a dance hall where he lived with his family, and continued to call square and contra dances for almost 70 years. In addition to calling, he was a teacher of physics, math & general science, retiring from East Hartford High after 29 years. Ralph played fife in Chester Fife & Drum Corps which was his first corps, he also played and taught fife with Nathan Hale. He later played with the 8th Volunteers from Manchester and then marched with Warehouse Point. Ralph published various music books, and founded the Sweetheart Flute Co. His wooden flutes, fifes and whistles are still being played by fifers and folk musicians around the world. In addition to his wife, Carol, he is also survived by three children, William A. Sweet and his wife, Cynthia of Warwick, NY; Pauline “Polly” Dunbar Sweet of Manchester, CT and her partner Richard Benoit of Uxbridge, MA; a step-son, Robert “Jim” Peret and his wife, Lynette of Holland, MA; and son Walter D. Sweet and his wife, Carole of Enfield. Ralph was predeceased by a daughter Ruth A. Classen of Guilford, CT. Ralph is survived by his brother, John Sweet and his wife, Ruth of Lebanon, CT; a sister, Susan MacLachlan of Jewitt City, CT; 12 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren; a son-in-law, Raymond E. Classen, and several nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends are welcome to join the family on Sunday, June 23, 2019, from 2pm to 6pm at Leete-Stevens Enfield Chapels, 61 South Rd., Enfield, CT. A funeral service for Ralph will be held on Monday, June 24, 2019 at 10am at the funeral home. Burial with military honors will follow in Hazardville Cemetery. Memorial contributions in Ralph’s memory may be made to the Dementia Society of America, PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901. For online expressions of sympathy or directions please visit
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, June 23rd, 2019 | 2:00pm - 6:00pm
    Sunday, June 23rd, 2019 2:00pm - 6:00pm
    Leete Stevens Enfield Chapels
    61 South Rd.
    Enfield, CT 06082
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Leete Stevens Enfield Chapels
    61 South Rd.
    Enfield, CT 06082
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Monday, June 24th, 2019 |
    Monday, June 24th, 2019
    Hazardville Cemetery, Enfield
    404 Elm St
    ENFIELD, CT 06082
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Tom and Shelley, Scantic Spring Splash Race Committee, and other have sent flowers to the family of Ralph G. Sweet Jr.
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Mark Gaines

Posted at 01:29pm
Ralph was the first to introduce me to Contra Dancing in 1982, we were still doing English Country Dancing here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We soon afterwards organized as The Winston-Salem Country Dancers, expanding into Contra and setting up our own weekend known as Feet Retreat. His influence went far beyond New England. I still remember him giving me a ride to Greenfield for a dance, while Polly was learning how to drive. He will be very much missed as he gave so much to so many. Because of him Contra Dance is still alive and well in so many places. Rest in peace, we will see you at the next dance in the next world.

Linda Delfs

Posted at 02:30pm
I was lucky to know Ralph in recent years from fife and drum as well as when he called singing squares at the annual Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs. A very special person. It was a pleasure to meet his daughter at the recent fund raiser for the Powder Mill Barn. Condolences to his family and many friends.
Linda Delfs, Albany NY

Luke Donforth

Posted at 01:15pm
My condolences to his family and the community.

I've been inspired by Ralph's dancing and calling for years. I hope to keep it up as long as he did.
~Luke Donforth

Tom and Shelley

Posted at 06:46am
To Polly and the sweet family - we are thinking of you all during this difficult time and we are so sorry for your loss.
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Tom and Shelley purchased flowers for the family of Ralph Sweet. Send Flowers


Lynn G.

Posted at 06:49pm
I first met Mr. Sweet when Ruthie and I were 2nd grade classmates and friends. Years later as a teenager, I learned to dance Contra at his weekly dances. Mr. Sweet's passion and joy for music and dance and life was contagious. My life's story is a little richer because of him.

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