Helen E. Cooney, 75, of Peoria, passed away at 5:48 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at her home, after a prolonged illness.She was born in Bartonville on August 3, 1943, a daughter of Alvin and Ruth (Hollis) Sharp. 

     She was preceded in death by her mother, father, brother, Floyd, and sister, Patsy. She married Charles J. Cooney in Peoria in 1964.

     Helen is also survived by her sons, Michael of Peoria and Jeffery of Bogart, GA; sisters, Shirley (Carl) of Chubbuck, ID and Barbara of Montrose, IA; one brother and two sisters; grandchildren, Patrick (Louise) of LeRoy, Sean of Carbondale, Megan (Kendell) of Bloomington and Jacob Bryant of Bloomington; former daughter-in-law, Elaine (Ronald) Bryant of Bloomington; and several nieces and nephews.

     She graduated from East Rockford High School in a ceremony so large it had to be televised because only one family member could attend the graduation due to the size of the graduating class.

     She received her nurses training at the Proctor School of nursing and went on to serve as a nurse and caregiver for over 40 years. She worked for Easter Seals as fund raising coordinator and was heavily involved with Easter Seals for many years. Helen was involved in local Cursillo groups, Teens Encounter Christ, and several other charitable organizations.

     Helen traveled all over the United States as a child and lived many places. She and Chuck, eventually, settled in Peoria, residing here for over 30 years.

     Helen was a generous and caring woman. She loved her family and helped whomever she could in any way. She was a loving daughter, caring sister, devoted wife, exceptional mother, wonderful grandmother and friend.

     Services to celebrate Helen’s life will be at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 29, 2019, at Clary Funeral Home, 3004 West Lake Avenue, in Peoria. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the funeral home.

     In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Helen’s memory to Easter Seals.

She has joined the brightest stars in the darkest night to shine down on those of us who are lost without her.She accomplished so much, for so many, so often, that she never even noticed. We noticed.

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