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Dr. John P. Cooney

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Cooneys in RI
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Dr. John P. Cooney
Some Family Photos
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Judge Leo M. Cooney
Noel Cooney Family
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The Drumlish Cooneys
Cooneys in Ireland
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John & Bridget Cooney
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John & Mary (Lennon) Cooney
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The Cooneys in Rhode Island

This page contains data about Dr.John Philip Cooney and his family.

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1.2.1.3 JOHN PHILIP COONEY (1870-1943) Son of John Patrick and Anne (1.2.1). John P. Cooney was born in Providence RI in 1870 and was only 8 years old when his father died. He was raised by his mother and was influenced by her brothers who were priests, in particular by Rev. Mathias L. McCabe, who encouraged and supported his application to Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts. (The McCabes, by the way, were also from Drumlish!) John P. left Holy Cross after his Junior year to pursue Medical studies at Columbia University, as such a curriculum was not available at Holy Cross. After completion of his studies and admission to the practice of Medicine, he completed a specialty in EENT at Harvard University. He married Mary (Minnie) Aloysius Buckley, daughter of Michael Buckley of Pawtucket, RI in 1900, and the union produced 10 children. "Pa", as he was known to his family and many grandchildren, was a lifelong scholar and relaxed with Greek and Latin literature and poetry. In the 1930's he agreed to run for elective office - the School Board of Providence. He won handily, and subsequently was a catalyst in the denouement of one of the great scandals in the City Schools of the day. It seems that the Principal of Hope High School, the premier secondary school of the city, in an ill-considered attempt at humor in a speech at a private club had made an off-color and scurrilous suggestion concerning the behaviour of priests and nuns at local Catholic elementary schools. The report of the speech got into the newspapers and a furor ensued. "Pa" asked his son John, who was a practicing attorney in Providence, how the School Board might address the problem. A Resolution was promptly drafted which condemned the Principal's behaviour and called for his resignation. With Dr. Cooney's advocacy the Resolution was passed unanimously by the School Board and the hapless Principal resigned the next day. Pa's medical practice was extensive and successful and he also supported a substantial pro bono practice. He died in 1943 at the age of 72 years.

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1.2.1.3.1 JOHN PHILIP COONEY JR. (1902-1981) Son of John P. and Minnie A. Cooney (1.2.1.3) He was a celebrated athlete at Hope High School in Providence and Holy Cross College. His High School baseball batting average record set in 1919 stood for over 50 years. He excelled academically as well, and was the Marshall (the highest honor) of his graduating class at Holy Cross in 1923. John was very active in Holy Cross Alumni affairs, and served the college in many ways, including President of the Board of Trustees and founder of the Holy Cross Varsity Club, an organization to foster alumni interest and encouragement in the College's athletic program. He graduated from the Law School of Georgetown University in Washington, DC. John returned to Providence and became a prominent attorney and Judge and a leader of the community and the Bar Association. He married Margaret Fitzgerald in 1930 (also an attorney and a partner in the nationally known firm of her father, Fitzgerald and Higgins). The union produced 12 children, John P. III, Michael, Robert, Terence, James, Patrick, Margaret, Clara, Kathleen, Agnes, Anne and Edward J. The above right photo shows John and Margaret and their 12 children in June, 1948. This photo was featured on the front page of the Providence Evening Bulletin on Father's Day, 1948. Click here or on the Judge John P. Cooney page in the left column for more on John's family.

1.2.1.3.2 EDWARD J. COONEY Son of John P. and Minnie A. Cooney (1.2.1.3). Ted had an abiding interest in the technological revolution that was taking place in Rhode Island and the country in the 1920's, and attended Rhode Island State College (now University of Rhode Island) where he could engage an engineering curriculum. He was dedicated to his studies but also found time to excel as a lineman on the State football team. With his Engineering Degree in hand, he soon took a position with the US Rubber Company in Providence, and ultimately retired as Vice President of Engineering. He married Agnes and they had one daughter, Carol (Cooney) Barry, now of Atlanta, and several grandchildren. (This is a "first draft" of a bio sketch and will be revised after contact is made with Carol (Cooney) Barry and her family. We hope to have a separate "page" for this branch of the family with photo's, etc., if desired.)

1.2.1.3.3 MABEL COONEY Daughter of John P. and Minnie A. Cooney (1.2.1.3). Mabel and Kate (1.2.1.3.6) remained single and looked after the care of their mother, fondly known to the family and grandchildren as "Ma". Mabel's profession was that of legal administrator. She enjoyed a long career and a reputation for insight and efficiency as administrative assistant to several Judges in the Rhode Island Superior Court. After Ma died, Mabel and Kate continued to maintain the family home in Providence and the summer residence in Matunuck as the social centers of the family until their death. Mabel died in the early 1990's. Kate, although younger, died suddenly of a heart attack in the late 1980's.

1.2.1.3.4 FRANCIS J. COONEY Son of John P. and Minnie A. Cooney (1.2.1.3). Francis was universally known as "Bud" Cooney.  He graduated from Holy Cross in 1925 and followed an interest in the building and construction field. In the Second World War he served in the Navy in the Pacific supervising construction projects of the fabled "SeaBees", the Construction Battalions of the US Navy. As the war in the Pacific proceeded from island to island in the tropical Pacific, so did Bud, and he saw projects completed in Fiji and other exotic places. He left the Navy a Commander after the war, and founded his own building enterprise, the Plantations Construction Company which prospered for 3 decades. Bud married Alice (Cox) and they had one daughter Alicia, who is married and lives and works with her husband Stephen Quigley in Boston. (This is a "first draft" of a bio sketch and will be revised after contact is made with Alicia. We hope to have a separate "page" for this branch of the family with photo's, etc., if desired.)


1.2.1.3.5 LEO M. COONEY Son of John P. and Minnie A. Cooney (1.2.1.3).   Born September 8, 1909, died July 20, 1973.  He was named after Pa's beloved uncle, Rev. Mathias Leo McCabe. As a child, he had problems pronouncing Mathias and was thereafter always known as Cy. His Holy Cross career was highlighted by his spirited debate with the British novelist G.K. Chesterton on the steps of the Dinand Library. While at Georgetown Law, Cy's FBI career was cut short when he was personally fired by J. Edgar Hoover for his "arrogant walk". Admitted to the Rhode Island Bar in 1937, he was Chief Legal Counsel for the Rhode Island Department of Social Welfare from 1940 to 1958, and was appointed Judge of the Providence Municipal Court in 1962. Cy was especially devoted to his church and was a lay member of the School Board of the Catholic diocese of Providence, a trustee of St. Sebastian's Church, and Keeper of the Keys of St. Romuald's Chapel in Matunuck. As a result of his son Steven's illness, he was, for many years, Rhode Island State Treasurer for the Jimmy Fund. He married Elizabeth (Betty) Shawcross in 1939; known for his Sunday morning breakfasts of doughboys and bacon, he obtained his greatest satisfaction from his and Betty's eleven children: Ms. Elizabeth Sklut (born 1941) Berkeley, California; Mrs. Barbara Dixon (born 1942) Penzance, England; Leo M. Cooney, Jr. (born 1943) New Haven, Connecticut.;William S. Cooney (born 1945) Foster, Rhode Island.; David P. Cooney (born 1946) Lincoln, Rhode Island; Mary Lou Cooney (born 1948) Winthrop, Massachusetts; Steven P. Cooney (born 1950, died 1952); Philip S. Cooney (born 1954) Pawtucket, Rhode Island; Nancy J. Cooney (born 1955) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Joseph M. Cooney (born 1957) East Greenwich, Rhode Island; and C. Buckley Cooney (born 1959) Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Cy missed many of the subsequent achievements of his children, and the joys of his grandchildren, as he died prematurely from bladder cancer at the age of 63, in July of 1973.

1.2.1.3.6 CATHERINE COONEY Daughter of John P. and Minnie A. Cooney (1.2.1.3). Kate and her sister Mabel (1.2.1.3.2 above) remained single and looked after the care of their mother, fondly known to the family and grandchildren as "Ma". Kate was a senior and prominant Social Worker in the Rhode Island Social Welfare Servcies Agency in Providence. Kate rose quickly in the Agency and came to wield great authority. She was influential in conceiving and implementing several innovative programs and reforms in the Welfare Programs of the State. After Ma died, Mabel and Kate continued to maintain the family home in Providence and the summer residence in Matunuck as the social centers of the family until their death. Mabel died in the early 1990's. Kate, although younger, died suddenly of a heart attack in the late 1980's.


1.2.1.3.7 NOEL J. COONEY (1912 - 1984) Son of John P. and Minnie A. Cooney (1.2.1.3). Noel J. Cooney was born in Providence, R.I. and married Gertrude Quinn, also of Providence. Noel and Gertrude had 5 children - Eileen, Rosemary, Susan, Karen, and Patricia - and 13 grandchildren. An avid participant in politics and baseball, Noel graduated from Hope High School and served with the Army in Europe during World War II. He worked at New England Telephone & Telegraph for 37 years.  For further infor on Noel and Gertrude's family, see the Noel Cooney Family page (to be published).

1.2.1.3.8 MARY COONEY Daughter of John P. and Minnie A. Cooney (1.2.1.3). Mary excelled in school and at College but gave up a career to raise her family after her marriage to William McSoley. Judge McSoley and Mary had 5 children - William, Mary, Paul, Matthew, John and Michael - and numerous grandchildren.  For further information, see the McSoley family page (to be published).


1.2.1.3.9 ROSALIND COONEY Daughter of John P. and Minnie A. Cooney (1.2.1.3). After College, Rosalind was wooed and won by George Larkowich, a storied athlete and scholar at Brown University. George has subsequently been inducted to the University's Athletic Hall of Fame. Rosalind and George had 3 children, Ann, Peter and Andrew, and numerous grandchildren. (This is a "first draft" of a bio sketch and will be revised after contact is made with the Larkowich family. We hope to have a separate "page" for this branch of the family with photo's, etc., if desired.)


1.2.1.3.10 ROBERT J. COONEY (1920- ) Son of John P. and Minnie A. Cooney (1.2.1.3). He attended Providence College, and served as a line officer in the US Navy during the Second World War. Returning to civilian life, he attended Law School at Hastings School of Law in San Francisco. He met, wooed, and married Mary K.(Rhodes) and they had eight children. He practiced law in San Francisco and Contra Costa County of California, won election as Mayor of the town of El Cerrito, and was a manager of the successful gubernatorial campaign of Edmond G. (Pat) Brown, the legendary Governor of California in the 1960's. He was appointed a Judge of the California Superior Court in San Francisco, and subsequently was named Chief Judge of that Court. Bob and Mary K. are retired now, and live in Cameron Park, California.   Bob and Mary K.s  eight children are: Linda (Cooney) Brougham, Mary Christine "Cody" (Cooney) Grossman, Patricia Cooney, Robert J. Cooney Jr., Margaret Cooney, Catherine Cooney, John Rhodes Cooney (1960-1982), and Peter Cooney.  They have ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren as of August 2002.  (This is a " draft" of a bio sketch and will be revised and corrected after contact is made with Uncle Bob and family. We hope to have a separate "page" for this branch of the family with photo's, etc., if desired.)