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Robert J. Cooney

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Robert J. Cooney Obituary

Robert J. Cooney

91, of Avon, IN, passed away January 28, 2013. Robert was born on May 29, 1921 in Terre Haute, IN, and was adopted by James and Tracie Cooney. He and Ruby (Fisher) Cooney, a loving and dedicated wife, were married on March 26, 1944 at the 4th Avenue Methodist Church, Terre Haute, IN. They celebrated their 68th anniversary in 2012. Robert graduated from Wiley High School in 1939 and became a Station Agent for the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1942, he joined the military and held several positions, the last being a Staff Sergeant in General MacArthur's headquarters in Manila and Tokyo. After being discharged in February, 1946, he enrolled in Rose Polytechnic Institute (now Rose Hulman) and graduated as a Civil Engineer. One of his assignments was Project Manager of the Indianapolis Water Company's Morse Reservoir. In the late 50's, he was the engineer of record for 20 shopping centers in central Indiana. He received a Masters of Public Administration degree from Indiana University while employed by the Highway Department as supervisor of the Utility and Railroad Section. In 1969, he was appointed Director of Public Works for the State, responsible for the overseeing of all State construction projects except the Universities and Highway Roadway projects. In 1992, he transferred to the position of Chief Engineer for the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. During his last two daytime assignments he attended Indiana University night law school, obtaining his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in May 1973. After his retirement from engineering, he entered the practice of law in both Indiana and Florida. Mr. Cooney held memberships in several fraternal and public organizations. They included the Scottish Rite and Murat Shrine becoming a 50-year member of its Brass Band; President of the Speedway Jaycees; a charter advisor for Junior Achievement in 1957; and chairman of the council of Ministers for the Speedway Methodist Church. During his diversified professional life, he received several honors including the Fellowship award from the ASCE and nominated as an Engineer of Distinction for the Engineers Joint Council. In 2001, Mr. Cooney was granted an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from Rose Hulman. Funeral services will be Friday, February 1, at 11:30 a.m. in Plainfield United Methodist Church, of which he was a member. Visitation will also be at the church from 10:30 a.m. until service time. Entombment will be in Maple Hill Cemetery. Survivors include his wife, Ruby Cooney. Hampton-Gentry Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the Cooney family at

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Jan. 31, 2013
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