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Retired Briarcliff High School Teacher Rita MacDonald Cooney Dies At 90

Retired Briarcliff educator Rita MacDonald Cooney had a passion for teaching.
Retired Briarcliff educator Rita MacDonald Cooney had a passion for teaching. Photo Credit: Contributed

Rita MacDonald Cooney, 90, a retired Briarcliff High School Teacher died peacefully in her sleep on Dec. 12, 2018

Born in Ossining on May 8, 1928. Cooney was raised in Ormond Beach, FL, and Creek Locks, NY. She was the daughter of William and Elizabeth MacDonald.

A 1946 graduate of St. Paul’s High School (Daytona Beach, FL), Cooney graduated from the College of St. Rose (Albany, NY) in 1950. She continued her education, earning a masters in elementary education and secondary education from the University of Florida in 1952, a master's degree in business education from the University of Bridgeport in 1976 and continued her studies with multiple certificate programs throughout her career.

Married  to John P Cooney in Chappaqua in 1954, Cooney resided in Briarcliff Manor where she raised her family and also taught high school. Prior to teaching in Briarcliff, Cooney taught elementary school in Quantico, VA as well as Patchogue,  Ellenville  and Chappaqua. In 1989 Cooney retired and moved to Palm Coast, FL, where she lived for over 20 years. In 2010, she moved to be closer to her son in Hollywood, FL.

Cooney was predeceased by her parents, William and Elizabeth MacDonald, her husband, John P. Cooney, her four siblings; Patricia MacDonald, Elizabeth MacDonald Irons, William MacDonald, and John Francis MacDonald. She is survived by her two children, Thomas J. Cooney of Hollywood, FL and Elizabeth Cooney D’Errico, of Montclair, NJ, her daughter and son in-law, Jill Stoia Cooney, and Daniel L. D’Errico as well as four grandsons, Brian Cooney, Christopher Cooney, John D’Errico and Ryan D’Errico.

With a passion for teaching, Cooney always put others ahead of herself, and always found joy in being around children.

A celebration of  her life will be held in Ormond Beach on May 4, 2019. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Cooney's name to the Ormond Beach Historical Society , MacDonald House, 44 East Grenada Blvd, Ormond Beach Florida 32176

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