Mr. Cooney passed away at his home in San Jose. Joe was the last child born, of eleven brothers and sisters, to Mary Adelia and Thomas James Cooney in Holton, Kansas. His early years on the farm were spent helping the family raise cattle, crops, and livestock. He attended a one room school room called Wigwam and then had the rare opportunity to go to the neighboring high school where he studied and played on the basketball team. He enjoyed his upbringing on the farm with his favorite horse Buck and his many dogs.
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The Great Depression devastated and bankrupted the farm. Joe followed his brothers into World War II; he served in the US Navy as a medic. After his honorable discharge from the war he enrolled in Kansas University and earned a Bachelor's Degree. He was the first in his family to graduate from college. For this he was most proud and wore his college ring as a testimony to his fierce reverence for education until he died.
Mr. Cooney's career was in sales and real estate. He was a top seller at JC Nichols Real Estate Company in Kansas City. He began his own construction company, Cooney Construction, building superb, quality homes in the 1980's. The impending recession brought his home building dreams to an end. Later in life he was the Project Manager at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. He retired in 1992.
In 1989, Joe married Dorothy Bridges in a small ceremony in Texas. They would share the next 23 years together along with their beloved dogs Oscar, Felix, Snoopy and Buddy. Retired they toured the country in their RV, had incredible vegetable gardens, enjoyed family and friends and made Bartlesville, Oklahoma their home.
Joe was a talented piano player, first playing in high school then in the Navy. One of his greatest passions was Jazz and Count Basie. He had a great knowledge of music and jazz musicians. He was also very proud of his home on Tahoe Lane in Fairway, Kansas.
He leaves behind three children; Stephen Hopkins Cooney (Gloria), Brian Paul Cooney (two grandsons; Branden and Morgan Cooney) and Katherine Elizabeth Cooney (Kamlapati Khalsa).
Published in Examiner-Enterprise from Nov. 30 to Dec. 30, 2012