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John F. Cooney, III of Newton, age 77, passed from this life at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, after an illness, on Friday, February 24, 2023, with his good friend and companion, Susan Vahey, at his side. 


John was the loving son of the late John F. Cooney, Jr., of Newton, and the late Louise M. (Moore) Cooney.  He is now back in their embrace.


John is the beloved cousin of Carolyn Casey Olsen, and second cousin of George Olsen, Dr. Erik Olsen, and Kimberly (Olsen) Gibbons.


John leaves behind many friends, and he was always happiest in their company.  Some dear friends he has now rejoined.


John was a proud graduate of Boston University, and maintained close ties with his friends there.


Before his retirement in 2009, John was indispensable through three administrations of the Massachusetts State Auditor’s Office, including most recently the late A. Joseph DeNucci.  With his incomparable writing gift, John magically transformed incomprehensible auditorese into stylish, clear English for the citizens of the Commonwealth to understand and even enjoy reading. 


John was a great observer and partaker of life, a superb storyteller and writer, an attentive listener, and a generous, welcoming friend.  He was passionately devoted to the Boston University men’s ice hockey program, and to the game of ice hockey generally; but he also loved other sports.  He had an insatiable appetite for newspapers, and devoured them daily. 


John traveled extensively over the continent, attending games, matches, and tournaments of many sorts, cherishing the printed program from every event, soaking in the local history, seeing the local sights, and visiting the local pubs. He attended every Frozen Four (but one) from 1970 through 2019, and gathered with friends at all of them.


John will be remembered as great company, his voice a source of joy, his mind an amazing font of information, understanding of sports and the news, and good times past and present.  Now he takes fond place in our memories, and will forever be in our hearts.


A memorial gathering will take place at Andrew J. Magni & Son Funeral Home, 365 Watertown St, Newton, on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, from 4-7 PM, and a Funeral Mass will be held for John at Sacred Heart Church (of Sacred Heart and Our Lady’s Collaborative Parish), 1317 Centre St, Newton Centre, on Wednesday, March 8 at 10:30 AM. Burial to follow at St. Joseph Cemetery, 990 Lagrange St, Boston.


In lieu of flowers, please place a donation in John’s name to the Mark Bavis Foundation,  

To share a memory or condolences for John's family online, please visit John's obituary page on

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