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Compiled by Robin Jovanovich
Eileen Slater Blake, a longtime resident of Milton Point in Rye, passed away on November 6, 2015, at the age of 92. Mrs. Blake was the wife of the late David P. Blake.
Born in the Bronx on June 28, 1923, to Pearl C. Barnett and William E. Slater, she was a graduate of Good Counsel College in White Plains, and the New York School of Interior Design. A business major and studio art minor in college, she expressed her creativity through her oil paintings and her entrepreneurial endeavor, Hats by Eileen, designing and creating custom hats. For over thirty years, she had a successful career as a residential and commercial interior designer in Westchester County, Fairfield County, and New York City. In addition, for some five years, she also ran a seasonal gift business, Blake & Blake Fine Gifts, with her daughter.
For over half a century, she was an active member of Westchester Country Club, where she enjoyed bridge and bowling and served on various entertainment committees. “As much as our mother enjoyed her social activities, she was actually a woman before her time, loving her role as a devoted mother as much as her role as an interior designer, working with her clients to create inviting space in their homes they truly enjoyed,” said her family. “A bundle of energy, never afraid of hard work, she decorated her own homes herself as a young mother from top to bottom. This personal passion led her to the NY School of Interior Design and the launch of her new career.”
She is survived by her sister, Dr. Doris Mortola of Rye; her two children: Gregory D. Blake and his wife Marilyn of Midlothian, Va., and Donna Blake McElwee and her husband Scott of Rye; five grandchildren: Elizabeth Blake White and her husband David, Christopher M. Blake, Emily C. Blake, Blake A. McElwee and his fiancée Peggy G. Shum, Scott A. McElwee Jr.; and a great-grandson, Elliot Christopher White.
A Mass of Christian Burial in celebration of her life was held November 10 at the Church of the Resurrection.
Donations in Mrs. Blake’s memory may be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, (www.guildingeyes.org), Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (www.lls.org), or the Alzheimer’s Association NYC Chapter (www.alz.org).
John. P. Cooney Jr. died peacefully of lung cancer at his home in Rye, surrounded by his family, on November 2, 2015. He was 71.
The only son of John P. Cooney Sr. and Katherine Rafferty Cooney, Jack, as he was known to one and all, was born on October 18, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois. He graduated first from Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois, then from college at Indiana University in Bloomington, and thereafter from the Duke University School of Law where he served as Note Editor of the Duke Law Journal.
From 1972 to 1977 he was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he became Chief of the Narcotics Unit. In 1977 he returned to the New York City law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. After retiring from the firm in 2008 he became a Principal at McKool Smith, P.C.
His time in private practice spanned a period of remarkable growth in the prosecution of white-collar crime, and Jack’s career made him one of the pre-eminent white-collar practitioners of his day.
He defended countless individuals and corporations in grand jury, regulatory, and other governmental investigations, both in the United States and abroad. Because Jack’s cases frequently resulted in the prosecution dropping charges or not proceeding with them, his success in these cases — from those involving insider trading and anti-trust violations to others under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act — was known perhaps more often by his grateful clients and his brethren at the Bar than by the newspapers. Although some of his clients were well known, many others were not: these were clients he represented by appointment by the court under the Criminal Justice Act because they were unable to pay a lawyer to represent them. Not only did these clients get the same dogged, deft, and passionate representation that Jack devoted to his other clients, they got the same outstanding results.
Beyond this professional pre-eminence, Jack’s life embraced an unalloyed joy and enthusiasm for his pursuits — outdoors in his beloved Tetons, shooting pheasant, rooting for the Duke Blue Devils, and being with his many dear friends in New York City, Rye, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Most of all, he cherished his time with the family he so loved and now leaves: his wife, Jane (Hewett); his sons John, Brian, Luke, and Nathaniel, his daughters Anne and Emma; and his grandchildren Alexa and Patrick. Jack’s sister, Judith Ann Cooney, predeceased him.
All his family and friends will miss Jack’s consuming interests in history, literature, and poetry; his lectures on the fine points of college basketball and football and Major League baseball; his disquisitions on the merits of this or that super Tuscan; but most of all his brave and ready embrace of life with all its highs and lows and of love in its every manifestation. We who are left are left, indeed, to reflect that, “we shall not look upon his like again.”
The family will receive visitors at home on Tuesday, November 10 from 4 to 8. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held November 11 at 11:15 at The Church of the Resurrection.
Contributions in Jack Cooney’s memory may be made to the Inner City Scholarship Fund, 1011 First Avenue, 14th Floor, New York NY 10022 (innercityscholarshipfund. org), or to the Yellowstone Park Foundation, 222 E. Main Street, #301, Bozeman MT 59715 (yellowstonefoundation.org).
E. Donald Pike passed away at his home in Rye on October 29, 2015. He was 89.
He was born March 17, 1926 in Stratford, Conn., to Gladys Dutton and Lemuel Gurney Pike. He was raised in Wilmington, Vt., where he graduated high school at the age of sixteen. He attended Dartmouth College for one year before enlisting in the Navy during World War II.
Upon return to civilian life, Don met the love of his life, Grace Heintz, on the beaches of Milford, Conn. He quickly decided to move the venue for his future studies from Dartmouth to Columbia University, where he finished his studies, married Grace, and started a family and a successful career in the advertising industry.
A gifted writer, Mr. Pike built a career at SSC&B, where he rose to Creative Director. Further career moves included a partnership in a smaller agency, Bassett and Pike, and the start of a marketing firm, Marketing Outlooks.
He was a longtime member of Apawamis Club and The Club at Pelican Bay in Naples, Florida. He enjoyed spending time on Long Island Sound, fishing in his Boston Whaler. While he spent the majority of recent years in Naples, he found joy in the time he spent in Rye, particularly with the family he loved.
Mr. Pike is survived by his wife of 66 years, Grace; his three sons: Kevin (Shelby), Tod (Dawn), and Dana (Ann); and six grandchildren: Meghan, Jeff (Taryn), Lauren, Lizzie, Connor, and Matthew; and he will be missed by all.
A Visitation service was held at Graham Funeral Home November 3. The funeral will be private.