1947 – 2014
Putnam – Major Bernard “Barney” Cooney, 66, of School St., died Saturday, May 24, 2014, in Matulaitis Nursing Home. He was the loving husband of Diane E. (Courcy) Cooney. Born in Providence, RI. , he was the son of the late Henry and Catherine (Corcoran) Cooney.
Major Cooney served his country for four years as a sergeant in the Air Force, including a tour in the Vietnam War. He later served for over 20 years with the RI Army National Guard, retiring as a major. After retiring, he became a photojournalist for newspapers including the Webster Times, the Observer Patriot and Speedway Scene.
Barney’s interests included nature photography, canoeing, sailing, and model-making. A military historian, he enjoyed collecting and shooting antique rifles. He was a member of the American Legion and the VFW. He was a volunteer fireman and EMT with fire departments in Pascoag, RI, and Putnam, CT. Barney will be remembered for his storytelling and sharp wit. He had the ability to relate to everyone he came across, and to remain calm in difficult situations.
In addition to his wife of 42 years, Barney is survived by two sons, Michael Cooney and his wife Jennifer of Moosup, and David Cooney of Putnam; brother, Richard Cooney and his wife Dorothy of Barrington, RI; sister, Frances Burnell of Littleton, NH; cousin Susan Schwartze, and her husband George of Saunderstown, RI; grandson, Matthew Cooney; and several nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Barney’s family from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 30, 2014 in the Gilman Funeral Home, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT. A gathering will begin in the funeral home at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, May 31, 2014 followed by a funeral service at 10:00 a.m. in St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 63 Grove St, Putnam, CT. Burial will follow in West Thompson Cemetery, Thompson, CT with a reception after at St. Philips Church. Memorial donations may be made to the Boy Scouts of America, 60 Darlin St., East Hartford, CT 06108-320. Checks should be made to Connecticut Rivers Council, in honor of Bernard Cooney. For memorial guestbook visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.