Jean P. Cooney

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Jean P. Cooney

June 13, 1929 - November 27, 2018

Jean P. Cooney Rockport - Jean Phyllis (Sawyer) Cooney, 89, of Rockport, passed quietly with her family at the Kaplan House in Danvers on Tuesday afternoon, November 27, 2018.
Jean was born in Gloucester on June 13, 1929, the daughter of Anna (Doyle) Sawyer and George I. Sawyer. She attended Gloucester High School where she developed a love of acting and the theatre and was voted Best Actress of the Class of 1947. She attended Dean Junior College and then attended the Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene.
Jean married Matthew W. Cooney, Jr. in 1952 and they traveled first to Scotland for a year and then to New Zealand for a year while Matthew continued his education.
Jean and her husband then moved to Rockport where they brought up their family of five children; Martha, Peter, Claire, Carol and Matthew.
Jean liked gardening and was the President of the Rockport Garden Club for a number of years. She was a wonderful cook and enjoyed watching Julia Child with her family and laughing at Julia's mishaps. She also loved spending time at Old Garden Beach chatting with her friends and occasionally taking a swim when the water was warm enough.
Once her children were grown, Jean went back to being a dental hygienist, which she had been before her marriage. She enjoyed working for Dr. David Fang in Salem for over 20 years.
Jean loved to travel and would occasionally fly to New York or London to see some plays often with her friend Nona Porter or one of her children.
Jean also traveled extensively with each of her children including trips to Russia, Egypt, Mexico, Portugal, Greece, the Bahamas, France, Ireland, Spain and Great Britain.
Other than her children and grandchildren, Jeans greatest love was the theatre. In the mid-sixties she acted in Rockport Community Theatre and helped start the Cape Ann Playhouse. Eventually this evolved into the Gloucester Stage Company of which Jean was one of the founders. She was on the Board of Directors and was House Manager for over 30 years. Jean was always extremely proud of her contribution to Theatre in the Cape Ann Community.
Jean was dearly loved and will be sorely missed by her children, Martha Cooney, Peter Cooney, Claire Cooney and her husband, Ron DeRocher, Matthew Cooney and his wife Jen Beloff all of Gloucester and Carol O'Connor and her husband Tim O'Connor of Rockport; her grandchildren, Jessica Sullivan, Meredith Cooney, Ethan Cooney, Matthew Cooney and his wife Grace and their daughter, Lyla, her niece, Sheila Hardwick and her husband Vance, her nephews Michael and Paul Carignan and her other great-grandchildren and nephews and nieces.
Jean was predeceased by her dear younger sister Fay LaCombe and her great friend Nona Porter.
Her funeral service will be held in the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington Street, Gloucester on Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 7 p.m. A visitation will be held prior to the service from 6 to 7 p.m. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to attend. The burial will be held privately.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Rockport High School Drama Scholarship Fund, 24 Jerden’s Lane, Rockport, MA 01966.
For online condolences, please visit
Published on December 1, 2018
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