Born in 1931, Julia Sweeney was the eldest child of Wally and Edith Denny and granddaughter of Paul Litchfield. Paul was a Goodyear Tire and Rubber executive. He moved to the area in 1917 to oversee farming of cotton, used in Goodyear’s tire products. Litchfield Park is named after him.
In the 1920s, Paul and his wife Florence built a winter home, Rancho La Loma, on the hill that overlooks La Loma Village. Julia spent many spring breaks there, and she grew to love the Arizona desert. She earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy and married Jim Sweeney. The couple raised three children in Middlebury, Connecticut. She returned to occupational therapy, working in children’s hospitals in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During this time, she earned a master’s in education. Julia moved to Rancho La Loma in 2004 to care for her ailing father. She later became a resident at La Loma Village, where she lived until her death in 2011. A gallery in the Litchfield Park Historical Museum is named in her honor.