John Jack Cooney

Obituary of John Jack Cooney

Jack Cooney, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, passed away October 7th, 2012 at his home in Boise, Idaho. Jack was born May 31, 1930 in Alameda, California. He was the youngest of three children born to John Edward Cooney and Claire Ansel Cooney. Jack’s father was project superintendent for Pacific Gas and Electric and the family moved several times to different project sites throughout Northern California. Jack graduated High School from Red Bluff Union High School and was Valedictorian of his class. At age 16, Jack enrolled at University California Berkeley where he earned his Bachelor of Civil Engineering and then his Masters of Civil Engineering at the age of 22. While at UC Berkeley, Jack met and married his loving wife, Jacqueline Tornell. Jack worked towards his PHD at the University of Purdue, but his education was interrupted when he was drafted into the U.S. Army and was stationed in Heidelberg Germany with his wife and newborn daughter, Deborah. While in Germany, he developed procedures for Engineering and Intelligence for use by NATO countries, and attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant, and celebrated the birth of his second daughter, Carolyne. Jack considered a career in the military but ultimately returned to the U.S. working for the construction firm Morrison-Knudsen out of the Los Angeles district office. While in LA, Jack and Jackie welcomed their son, John. Jack’s work with Morrison- Knudsen moved the family all over the world including locations throughout the US, Canada, and South America. During his time working with Morrison Knudsen, Jack fulfilled many roles including Senior Project Director of the company’s environmental group and the Deputy Project Director at the Weldon Springs Site Remedial Action Project. In 1999, after having worked 47 years for Morrison-Knudsen, Jack retired and he and Jackie returned to Boise. Jack was a generous patron of the arts in Boise including the Boise Philharmonic, Opera Idaho, Ballet Idaho, Boise Little Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and the Community Concert Series, to name a few. Jack was an avid fly fisherman, who could “turn a fish in any hole” and who practiced catch and release starting in the early 1960’s. Jack was a true outdoorsman who never turned down an offer to go fishing. He was a passionate gardener who would often spend up to 3 hours a day working on his lawn and garden. Jack volunteered for the 1st grade at Whittier Elementary School for several years and was named volunteer of the year for the Boise School District in 2009. Jack and Jackie were active members of Hillview United Methodist Church in Boise, starting in 1963 when the family first moved to Boise, and were members of the St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge Louisiana and First United Methodist Church in Saint Charles, Missouri. Jack is survived by his loving wife of 61 years Jackie; sister, Jeanne Strohm of Grass Valley, CA; daughter, Deborah Campbell of Boise; son John D. Cooney of San Diego, CA; six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Carolyne Cooney Martin. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday October 20th at Hillview United Methodist Church, 8525 W. Ustick Rd. Boise, Idaho 83704. Officiating will be Rev. Barbara Nixon and Rev. Ralph Lawrence. A reception hosted by The United Methodist Congregational Care Group will be held at the church immediately following the service. Remembrances may be left for the family at Services are under the direction of Accent Funeral Home, Meridian. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made in Jack's name to the Bowles Hall Foundation c/o Harold Berry, Bowels Hall Treasurer, 22184 Via Camino Ct. Cupertino, Ca. 95014; Whittier Elementary School, 301 N. 29th St. Boise, Idaho 83702; the Downtown Treasure Valley Family YMCA, 1050 W. State St. Boise, Idaho 83702 or the American Cancer Society 2676 Vista Avenue Boise, ID 83705.
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