Robert H. Cooney


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Rockport, MA - Robert Haskell Cooney, born March 1, 1929, son of the late Harold J. and Martha "Gertrude" (Waddell) Cooney. Husband of the late Mabel Jane (Wood) Cooney. Father of seven sons and lifelong resident of Rockport, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully in his childhood home surrounded by family on Friday, March 22, 2019. Bob graduated from Gloucester High School in 1947, where he was the winner of two individual drills and the Haskell Medal in the Manual of Arms Competition. He was a graduate of Huntington Preparatory School Class of 1948. He went on to attend Bryant & Stratton School. Some of his happiest, professional memories were while working for Eugene Thibeault at the Rockport Market in Dock Square from 1945-1958. Working with Mr. Thibeault, Bob learned how to operate a grocery store from start to finish. His experiences with Gene provided him the opportunity to open his own store, "Bob Cooney's Market," which he operated at 3-5 Main Street from May, 1958, through the fall of 1972. During this time, he was proud to work with (employ) his father-in-law Stan Wood, his mother Gert, many "local characters" such as Harold Beaton, Donald Rowe, Buddy Woods, Alvin S. Brown III and most of his sons. Robbie, John, Jimmy, Chris, Billy and Steve all had an opportunity to do their best at stocking shelves, ringing the register, bagging groceries or taking care of customers on Rockport's Main Street. One of the services he provided during this time was "inside, home delivery." Many will remember Bob for his rather loud melodic whistle when he walked through town, and although he was a happy man, there were other reasons for his whistle. Too many stories to tell, none appropriate to print in a family paper, let's just say it was a better notice of arrival than a door bell. After closing his store in 1972, Bob, went to work for Cape Ann Market from which he retired in 1992. Bob was active in the community. He was troop committee member of both the Rockport Sea Scouts and Boy Scout Troop #20. Bob and Mabel worked together on the sets for the drama department at St Peter's High School. Bob was a past president of the Rockport Rotary Club. He was a Corporator of the Granite Savings Bank for 43 years including bank trustee for 30 years and audit committee member for 23 years. He also served as Audit Committee chairman for many years. Bob's biggest love was that of his lifelong partner and marriage of over 65 years to his high school sweetheart Mabel. Together they raised seven sons, helped neighbors, took care of family and ran their family businesses including the market and The Charbury House, which they operated as a bed and breakfast for many years. Bob and Mabel loved to travel and enjoyed many trips to Disney World to visit their son David where he worked. Other destinations they enjoyed together included Naples, Clearwater, Marco Island, and Boynton Beach, Fla. There were a few special trips that included Kodiak, Alaska, to visit their son Chris and his family, road trips across country with grandchildren, and a very special musical tour of Germany and Vienna with the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County, Pennsylvania (their grandson Andrew was a member) where they were able to see the sights of "The Sound of Music," the Salt Mines, Nuremburg and wineries. They also enjoyed trips to Puerto Rico, St. Croix, Hilton Head, New Orleans, Baton Rouge and many other locales up and down the East Coast. Robert was predeceased by his wife Mabel; two of his sons, William Charles Cooney, and David Stanley Cooney; and three grandchildren, Brian, Thomas, and Katherine. He is survived by his sons Robert D. and his wife Susan; John P. and his partner Joanne Curreri; James E. and his wife Norma; Christopher B. and his wife Diane; Stephen W. and his wife Annemarie whom he shared the last years of his life with in his childhood home on Atlantic Avenue. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and his cousin Alvin S. Brown III and his wife Patricia. In addition to his melodic whistle, Bob will be fondly remembered for his warm smile, sense of humor, and lighthearted approach to life. Someone who has influenced many, a man who experienced love, a man who was loved, a wonderful husband, an outstanding father of seven sons and a fabulous Grampy. Forever in our hearts.
A "Celebration of Life" will be held at the Rockport Scout Hall and a graveside service at Beach Grove Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to: Friends of Boy Scout Hall, P.O. Box 262, Rockport, MA 01966, or Rockport Boy Scout Troop 20, P.O. Box 262, Rockport, MA 01966. Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St., Gloucester, Massachusetts. Online condolences may be given at
Published on March 25, 2019
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6 posts

Diane & Terry Golden
May 03, 2019
"Death is a heartache that no one can heal; Love is a memory that no one can steal!"
June Ferron urban
Mar 30, 2019
Bob and Mabel were so generous to us for many GHS reunions.he and Mabel were the salt of the earth. Such a loss for cape Ann, his family and numerous friends. So very sorry
Stephanie Cole
Mar 26, 2019
Bob was a wonderful introduction to the Town of Rockport for us. We shopped at his market, enjoyed that his family worked there. Our daughter Irene made a true friend of his son Stephen. We have had lots of connections with the whole Cooney clan. We will miss Bob's sunny persona! He was a fine gentleman.
Rosalie Orlando Foti
Mar 26, 2019
I worked with Bob at Cape Ann Markets he was a great man I have beautiful memories of him.
Buzz Rowe
Mar 25, 2019
Your dad and mom were special people to me. Working for Bob during my school years was never work but just fun. He and your grandparents helped shape my life. Prayers for all of the family.
Judith Harris
Mar 25, 2019
Thoughts and prayers are with you . Bob was a friend to all. With Deepest Sympathy.