William J Cooney

William J Cooney

William J Cooney passed away at his final tailgate party in the Hospice House in Spokane, Washington.

Bill, aka Bulldog, was born on April 26, 1928, in Great Falls, Montana, where he lived most of his life. Bill graduated from Great Falls High School in 1945 and then earned a degree in journalism from the University of Montana in Missoula.

He married Roberta Brockley on August 11, 1956. They built a life together and raised their three daughters in Great Falls. He enjoyed a long and successful career as an investment broker with Piper, Jaffray and Hopwood. Bill remained in Great Falls following Roberta’s death in 2001.

Bulldog was proud of his hometown of Great Falls and believed in contributing to making the community a better place to live. An avid sports fan Bill was one of 13 individuals originally responsible for building the Multi Sports Complex. He served three terms on the Quarterbacks Club Board of Directors, was one of the original founders of the Argo Lancers and knew the score of any state football, basketball or baseball game in Montana from 1935 on. Bill served two terms as board chair of the Great Falls Parks and Recreation Department during a time of significant development. It was at this time he personally negotiated the city’s procurement of the Anaconda Company golf course. He was the first lay person named to the board of the Columbus Hospital prior to the merger of the Columbus and Deaconess, forming Benefits Health System.

In 2004 Bill traded his beloved Pebble Breeze Links golf course for a new life in Spokane Washington with his second wife, Kathryn Byrne. The last 15 years were filled with teaching his seven grandchildren how to stand up for what they believe in, how to throw a good party, how to vote a straight democratic ticket and know that music can make everything better. Celebrate the Bulldog with your own story and an Irish coffee.

Survivors include his wife Kathryn Cooney, daughters Bridget Bulger, Sheila Walker, Maura Cooney, sons-in-law Gerry Bulger, Tim Walker and Tim Vaughan and grandchildren Sean, Maggie and Kellen Bulger, Lucy and Liam Walker and Brin and Roberta Vaughan. The families of John Byrne, Kitty and Kevin Hennessey, Erin and Kevin Ruehl and Barret and Karen Byrne.

Memorials are suggested to The Hospice House South of Spokane, 367 E. 7tth Spokane, WA.
Services will be held at later date. Express condolences at heritagefunerals.com.