James B. Cooney Obituary

James B.   Cooney
Jim Cooney
James B. Cooney

August 18, 1921 - November 19, 2020
Born in Chicago Heights, IL
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
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Jim Cooney started his own obituary this way:

“Mr. Cooney, a frustrated golfer, collapsed on the 18th green of Waveland Golf Course after another unsuccessful attempt to shoot his age.”

Of course it didn’t happen that way. James B. Cooney left us Nov 19th after 99 years of fatherhood, friendship, and love.

Born in Chicago Heights, IL. to parents James and Alice (Cull) Cooney, Jim was the oldest of seven. He came to Des Moines as a 17 year-old on a football scholarship to Drake University, where he also met and fell in love with Patricia Harvey. After graduating in 1942, Jim served in the Pacific Theater with the US Navy.

Jim and Pat married in 1944 and he embarked on a lifelong career in journalism. After brief jobs with United Press International and KRNT radio, Jim spent the next 38 years with the Des Moines Register, Des Moines Tribune and the Des Moines Register Syndicate. He worked as a reporter and city editor for the Tribune and Executive Editor of the DM Register Syndicate.

He and Pat settled in Beaverdale, where they raised six children and acquired a community of friends. They instilled a love of life in all of their children and Jim served as their embodiment of faith, trust, perseverance and caring.

After Pat passed away in 1988, Jim fell in love again and married Mary Krieg Sullivan, joining two Irish families who had grown up together at Holy Trinity church and school. The new union added children, grandchildren, love and music.

Besides spending countless retirement hours on the golf course with Mary and friends, Jim served on the boards of the DM Area Religious Council Emergency Food Pantry and Catholic Charities. He also was a member of the Serra Club, St. Vincent DePaul Society and The Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Jim served in countless ways at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, where he was a member for 70 years.

Pat and Mary preceded him in death, as did a daughter, Mary Kate. Also preceding him were step-sons Michael Sullivan (Eileen) and Stephen Sullivan (Nancy). He is survived by daughter Kitty Cooney of South Bend, IN, sons Timothy (Sandy) of Polk City, Kevin (Mollie), Brian (Janice) and Mike (Tomi), all of Des Moines.

Also surviving are step-children Patrick Sullivan (Peggy) of Winterset, Sean Sullivan (Becki) of Cumming, Jane Howard of Anthem, AZ, Carol Sullivan of Knoxville, and Elizabeth Delehanty (Bruce) of Platteville, WI, 33 grandchildren and 59 great-grandchildren... with one on the way.

He also is survived by brothers Thomas (Mary) Cooney of Denver, CO and Daniel (Gene) Cooney, of Canon City, CO.

Due to Covid-19, a private Mass of Christian Burial will be held for the family. It can be viewed online at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 23rd. Go to www.IlesCares.com and scroll to the bottom of Jim’s obituary to join in the service.

Jim will be buried at his beloved Irish Settlement, St. Patrick’s Church in Cumming, Iowa.

Memorials may be made to Holy Trinity Catholic Church Foundation, Catholic Charities or the DMARC Emergency Food Pantry. Online condolences will be welcomed at www.IlesCares.com.






Holy Trinity Catholic Church
2926 Beaver Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Monday, November 23, 2020
10:30 AM
- Show more -
St. Patrick's Irish Settlement Cemetery
East of church
Cumming, IA US 50061
Monday, November 23, 2020


Des Moines Area Religious Council
3816 - 36th Street
Des Moines, IA 50310
Catholic Charities
601 Grand
Des Moines, IA US 50309
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
2926 Beaver Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310