James T. Cooney
Date of Birth
December 6, 1942
Darby, Pennsylvania
Entered into Rest
June 19, 2018
Omaha, Nebraska
Mass of Christian Burial Directions

Monday, June 25, 2018 ~ 10:00 a.m.
St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church ~ Wahoo, Nebraska
Interment at St. Wenceslaus Cemetery ~ Wahoo, Nebraska

Visitation & Rosary Directions

Sunday, June 24, 2018
Visitation ~ 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Knights of Columbus Rosary ~ 7:00 p.m.
Svoboda Funeral Home ~ Wahoo, Nebraska

Memorials – in lieu of flowers

St. Wenceslaus Catholic School, Wahoo or The Bishop’s Appeal for Vocations (Diocese of Lincoln)

James T. Cooney, 75, of Weston, Nebraska, passed away on June 19, 2018, at Bergan Mercy Hospital in Omaha.  Born in Darby, Pennsylvania, December 6, 1942, he was the son the late John J. Cooney, Jr. and Mary (Byrne) Cooney.  Jim was a proud graduate of Devon Preparatory School (Devon, Pennsylvania) and St. Joseph University in Philadelphia majoring in Latin American Studies.  After graduating from St. Joseph University 1966, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia from 1966-1968 and was a Peace Corps Fellow from 1968-1969.  In October 1969, Jim and his new wife Mary relocated to Chile where he was a Peace Corps Director until 1972.

After Chile, Jim and Mary traveled the United States and lived temporarily in Wahoo, Nebraska while Jim attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  In 1974, they moved to Arlington, Virginia where they lived for over 30 years.

The major part of Jim’s career was spent in Washington, DC where he was Director of Community Education for Partners of the Americas, an international development organization that linked states in the U.S. with corresponding states, regions, or small countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. After working on education issues for some years, Jim earned a Master’s Degree (M.Ed.) in Community Education at Brigham Young University while simultaneously developing a winning grant proposal to the Charles Stuart Mott Foundation of Flint Michigan to greatly expand Partners work in the education field.  In the course of his 16 years at Partners, Jim traveled to virtually all countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and was fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. Thousands of professionals and young people in the education field throughout the Americas benefited from Jim’s stewardship. He loved working with Partners volunteers and they loved and admired him for his enthusiasm and exceptional skills.

Jim loved to travel, especially to Ireland the land of his ancestors.  He loved Chilean wine, trips to the Outer Banks with his family and being a member of DACOR (Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired).  All his life he had a passion for golf and trains.  He could always be counted on to tell a good story (or two) and entertain any number of people at the “drop of a hat”.

He was always there for family and friends no matter how far away, fiercely loyal and generous with a full heart ready to help anyone who needed it.  He loved his Church and being a member of the Knights of Columbus.

Jim is survived by Mary (Machovec), his wife of 49 years, daughter Jessica, son in law Christopher Taylor, grandson James, brother Edward (Dawn Turner), sister-in-law Cathy Cooney, and nieces and nephews.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother John, and maternal and paternal grandparents.

Jim touched so many lives.  He was a wonderful and caring husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle and friend.  He will be terribly missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.

Condolences for James T. Cooney
    • June 20, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Be at peace Uncle Jim you will be missed.
    Nephew Rob Goode
    and Sister in Law Fran Goode

  2. Sheryl Jonas
    • June 21, 2018 - 8 months ago

    I always looked up to you and Mary, you were my idols I thought you lived such an exciting life. even though you tortured us constantly by teasing us. I was so thrilled to come and visit you and Mary on our trip to the East coast. And then you were there for me when my Mom passed away. These are things that I will never forget! You were a kind and gentle man. And will be missed deeply. Love you with all my heart. Hope to see you some day soon Sheryl Jona.💕.

  3. Kathy Hass
    • June 21, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Deepest sympathy to the family.

  4. Leonor Giraldo
    • June 21, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Rest in Peace amigo. Mary, Jessi and the entire Cooney Family Im very sorry for your lost. Que descanse en paz

  5. Kate Raftery
    • June 21, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Amazing sadness is what I felt when I heard that Jim had passed away. So many memories came streaming across my mind. Perhaps the most vivid was the memory of Jim being the first to arrive at my hospital room when my daughter Elizabeth was born 30 years ago. Laughter and joy filled the room…as it always did when Jim was around. If Jim died because of a weak heart…you could certainly understand that. His heart was huge and it worked so hard for so many years giving to and supporting all of us. Mary and Jessica my thoughts are with you. And you too James.

  6. Diana Bauer
    • June 21, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Thinking of you at this time of sadness and sending heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.

  7. Claudia Calderon
    • June 21, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Cooney family, I am very sorry to hear of your loss.

    I remember with fondness the time worked with Jim at Partners of the Americas. Jim was a great colleague who worked with much dedication and love on behalf of the people of the Americas.

    RIP, compañero y amigo de los americanos.

  8. Maggie Mahar
    • June 22, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Mary, Jessica, and Family, We are so saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time. May you be comforted by the wonderful memories of your well lived life and adventures together. Our heartfelt condolences. Maggie and Rod

  9. Christopher Dewees
    • June 22, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Condolences from your first Peace Corps family of Volunteers in Chile, 1970-1972.
    Thank you for guiding the Peace Corps through challenging times in Chile (earthquake and difficult US/Chile relationships).

    Chris and Christ Dewees (and son Morgan who was 3 years old at the time!

    • June 23, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Rice Family Circle, Killeavy County Armagh, EIRE.
    Our deepest sadness felt for our Cousin Jim’s passing. Never forgetting your visits full of laughter and knowledge. The hospitality shared with you, Mary and Jessica in Arlington, VA and your reassuring friendship.

  11. Bill Cotter
    • June 23, 2018 - 8 months ago

    I have been blessed to know Jim for 61 years. There has never been a time that I needed an friend and not seen Jim standing by my side. A good man, a good Catholic, and a great friend. He is watching us from Heaven. God bless Mary and Jessica ~ Jim is always with you.

  12. Carmen Sepassi
    • June 23, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Dear Mary, Jessica and Family our deepest condolences and may God give you the strength to go through this difficult time. I will always remember Jim, he was my friend and colleague for many years. Worked with him at Partners of the Americas since 1979 and continue to be friends since then. He was a great person, very kind, and with a special sense of humor. He will never be forgotten.

  13. Maria Angelica Morales
    • June 24, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Mrs Mary Cooney and Jessica: please accept my sincere and heartfelt condolences at this most difficult of times and please pass these feelings onto your family.
    Mr James Cooney was a kind, loving and generous person. He will be on our hearts for ever.
    María Angélica Morales, Edgardo Rodríguez, Edgardo Andrés, José Antonio y Soledad Beatríz.
    06.24.2018 Algarrobo, Chile

  14. Paul Teeple
    • June 24, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Dear Mary and Family, The 3 years I worked with Jim were filled with fun but also learning rich. Even 25 years later, from time to time I hear his laugh and unmistakable Philly voice offering me good advice. And what a joy traveling with him to Chile in 93 and.seeing the country through his eyes. May God comfort you all and keep you in sweet memories. — Paul

  15. Barbara Bloch
    • June 24, 2018 - 8 months ago

    I like many of my colleagues at Partners are flooded with memories of our time together – the camaraderie, the laughs, the projects that changed the lives of so many. When Jim retired and moved we followed his and Mary and Hessica’s whereabouts and luckily last year we had a former staff reunion in DC so we reconnected and shared laughs. Jim was generous, caring and committed to serving and changing lives- the Partners mission. He is sorely missed. We are privileged to have known him.
    Barbara Bloch

  16. Brenna Quigley
    • June 24, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Dear Mary and Jessica,

    Our deepest condolences.

    We hold very dear shared time with you and Jim.

    Jim’s kindness, warmth, and joy were so special – as was his love for his family (immediate and extended family of which we felt part) and his life’s work.

    Un abrazo,
    Quigley Aravena Family

  17. Pilar Martinez
    • June 24, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Dear Cooney Family,
    I was deeply saddened by the news of Jim’s passing. I am honored to have known Jim; I worked with him at Partners of the Americas. May loving memories ease your loss and bring you comfort. My most sincere condolences.

  18. Lidia V Aravena
    • June 25, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Queridas Mary y Jessica,
    Mi más sentido pésame por la partida de una persona tan alegre, bondadoso y agradable como siempre fue Jim, mi padrino de boda y padrino de bautizo de mi hijo Edward.
    Compartimos lindas experiencias en familia, tanto en Chile, como en Virginia y Puerto Rico lo que siempre guardo muy dentro de mi corazón.
    Que Dios les de paz y fortaleza ,

  19. Jim Criste
    • June 25, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Jim was a colleague at Partners of the Americas for 5 years and a good friend for many more. I was pleased to have a chance to to see him and catch up a bit last year when he attended a luncheon in DC with a group of present and former Partners staff. I am sorry I won’t have that opportunity again. My condolences to Mary & Jessica.

  20. Kitty Davis Stalberg
    • June 25, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Jim was at Partners when I first started working there in 1977. His sense of humor, sense of perspective, warm smile and ability to connect people and programs in a meaningful way positively impacted the experience of so many people in and out of the office. He was gentle and kind and a gift to this world.

  21. Donna Gebicke
    • June 25, 2018 - 8 months ago

    A great man who lived a great and purposeful life. What a gift he was to so many. Even in such sadness, memories bring such a smile to my face. While it’s always difficult no matter the age or time, it was just too soon to say goodbye to Jim. We could all use more advice, laughs, great stories, and a shared beer or Chilean wine with this man. I raise my glass to you, Jim, and pray for God’s blessings on Mary and Jessica and entire family.

  22. Bill Reese
    • June 25, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Dear Mary and Jessica,

    Jim drew on all his Latin and Irish roots, meaning he knew splendidly how to enjoy life and work . . . and how to make all of us enjoy being his dear colleague. He inspired us, he led by example, and he made every day fun to be with him. And above all, he was a family man. Suzanne and I wish you the best, and know how he will be missed. But Jim marked all of your lives, as you two know so well!

  23. • June 25, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Jim was a wonderful wonderful colleague at Partners of the Americas, where I worked from 1970 to 1989. With that impish Irish smile and twinkle, he brought grace and humor to all his interactions with the volunteers and with the rest of us on the Partners staff. I am so sorry that he has passed away and extend my deepest condolences to Mary and Jessica

  24. • June 26, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Fond Memories of a cousin in Jim Cooney walking down the Street with Cousin Fiona Rice who I had never met from Ireland. I am very sorry to hear of the Loss. Loss touch over the years but remember several e-mail exchanges that made me smile.

  25. Lisa Sepassi
    • June 26, 2018 - 8 months ago

    I have many fond memories of Mr. Cooney. I can’t always help but to smile whenever I pass his home in Arlington. Jessica and Mary, my heart goes out to you both. I’m so thankful to have known him, and so blown away by all the great posts from so many of the Partners family.

  26. Lacey Gude
    • June 27, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Dear Mary, Jessica and Family,
    We all have lost a good soul. While sad when I heard
    About Jim, his ever present smile and positive spirit
    Were the first things that came to mind. Jim always had a solution when difficult situations came along and kept his positive outlook always. He was loved by all who had the good fortune to meet him. I especially remember Regina Almeida in Brazil with whom he organized several community education workshops.
    I was so happy to see him and chat at our reunion not long ago. Sending love, prayers and grande abracos to all, Lacey

  27. Richard Quigley
    • June 27, 2018 - 8 months ago

    I am deeply saddened to learn of Jim’s passing. I had the honor of knowing him and Mary during my years in Chile. As so many have noted, he was a man of principle and faith. His wit and humor were renowned. He will be greatly missed. My deepest condolences to Mary and Jessica.

  28. Antônio Vasques
    • June 28, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Minhas sinceras condolências à família de Jim. Kim esteve comigo em Fortaleza, organizando visita dos Fellows VII ao Ceará , há muitos atrás
    Sua personalidade afável logo o distinguiu . Este hospedado em nossa casa e viajamos junto para Quixadá organizando a visita dos Fellows VII

  29. Geralyn Sheehan
    • June 29, 2018 - 8 months ago

    To the Cooney Family… I’m so sorry for your loss. Jim was a wonderful guide, mentor, friend and colleague. I met him as a participant in Fellows 7. He was generous with his time and experience for all of us just starting our careers. I learned much from him, he was wise and kind. He touched all our lives in positive ways.

  30. Mary Lou Chapek
    • July 1, 2018 - 8 months ago

    Dear Mary and Jessica, Jim truly made a positive difference in the world and will be missed by many. You have my deepest sympathy.

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