Obituary: Kenneth S. Sweet, Jr.

Nantucket Current •

Kenneth S. Sweet, Jr. of Gladwyne PA and Nantucket died on October 14, 2023. Ken entered the world in 1932 prematurely and somewhat blue on the 22nd of July when the Dow Jones fell to its lowest point in the Depression. These circumstances did not deter him, they seemed to contribute to his incredible grit and positivity while also providing endless fodder for stories about his childhood with parents Kenneth and Gladys Sweet and beloved older sister Patricia. 

After graduating from Radnor High School, Ken attended Lafayette College, an experience that was formative. College was followed by service in the navy as a Commander where he developed both his leadership and poker skills followed by an MBA from The Wharton School. From his earliest days Ken displayed a willingness to work hard whether as a paper boy, welder, or fraternity waitstaff. This ethic, combined with keen intellect contributed to a career in real estate development that brought him all over the world. 

As Founder and Managing Partner of KS Sweet Associates then Principal of GS Capital Partners, Ken worked with a range of companies and institutions including Princeton University, the Ford Foundation and McDonough School. He served on multiple boards including Bryn Mawr Hospital Foundation, Main Line Health, The Nature Conservancy, the Eisenhower Fellowship and American Revolution Center.

Ken had deep interests beyond his work which included a passion for both travel and boating. With his cherished wife Mary, he rafted down the Biobio river in Chili, biked across Europe, and captained his Grand Banks from Canada to their home in Nantucket. Their shared passion for travel elicited many adventures with wonderful friends who they deeply cherished.

Ken Summered and spent many a Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday on Nantucket with his family, since the 1980’s. He was an avid tennis and golf player, and boater, and was very active in the Nantucket Yacht and Sankaty Golf Clubs. Both his daughters were married on Island, Alison raised her family and Lizzie and her family summers on Nantucket. Ken supported many local non-profits, in particular the Nantucket New School which three of his grandchildren attended

Ken is survived by his daughter Liz Harvey and son in law Scott Harvey of Concord, MA and son in law David Zieff of Nantucket, MA as well as his beloved grandchildren Katelyn, Jojo and Ben Zieff and Lilly, Jake and Cami Harvey. Ken was predeceased by his wife Mary Sweet, daughter Alison Sweet Zieff, sister Patricia Clutz and brother in law John Clutz. A memorial service is planned for Tuesday, November 28th at 11:00 am at the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, gifts can kindly be made to Our House Nantucket, an organization serving youth on the island.

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