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Obituary: Carol [Sweeney) (Lappin] Burkett, 70

Aug 16, 2019 06:39AM ● By Theresa Gilman

Carol [Sweeney) (Lappin] Burkett

Carol [Sweeney) (Lappin] Burkett ,70, died on August 14, surrounded by the love of her life, husband Ted Burkett, her #1 fans- children Alex and Jennifer Lappin, and touchingly kind nurses from Tufts Medical. Ambushed by cancer, she battled back the way she lived her life, with wit, grit, love, light-heartedness and style.  Carol is survived by her mother Audrey Dawson, sisters and brothers Kathy (Delany) Routhier, Michael, Kevin, John and Bob Sweeney, Jim and Bill Delany, and their families, more family, friends, neighbors, children, and her adoring husband.

Carol lived the “modern family” life before the expression entered today’s lexicon.  Carol’s beginnings come from large, great families; they are the: Sweeneys [led by her predeceased father, John], Smiddys/Grublins, Delanys, and then she expanded the love with the Lappins and Burketts.  Her geographical touchstones are Dorchester, the White Mountains, Dracut Centre and East Dracut, Horseshoe Road, Seabrook Beach, and someplace beautiful and warm each winter with Ted Burkett.  Known as a funny teacher with high standards for her students, Carol enriched the lives of countless  elementary school children for 35 years in Dracut, primarily at the Campbell School.   Under the big Carol tent, there are many deep friendships. Most of them are connected to her teenage years in the Merrimack Valley and her time at the Campbell.  She loved you all so much.

Despite her legendary one-liners, Carol never aspired to be the life of the party; she preferred to be the connector and giver- bringing us all together, and inspiring us with her radiance, good-nature and her true appreciation of simple pleasures.  Her disposition to do and be good can be honored by doing the same.  One idea is to donate blood and find out if you are a good candidate for donating platelets.  Many of us didn’t even know about giving platelets until we saw how the two-hour platelet donations from anonymous donors across Massachusetts and America gave Carol a fighting chance and more time on earth.  Another idea is to donate to the Cam Neely Cancer Fund:  

A celebration of her life will be announced in the near future.  To leave an online condolence, story or message, please visit

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