Genevieve "Jenny" Kakol
November 13, 1954 - August 08, 2022
There are those who teach some of life's greatest lessons, some who make you a better person, who give you a greater, bigger, and better purpose in life. That can be said of our beloved wife, daughter, and friend, Genevieve "Jenny" Kakol Cooning.
Jenny was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, until she headed southwest to Phoenix, Arizona in 1977. She graduated from ASU with a degree in Criminal Justice in 1978, while working at the Maricopa County Jail interviewing accused felons during entry into the jail system. Continuing her pursuit of helping those less fortunate, she then served as a Phoenix Job Corps Outpatient Recruiter, securing corporations for the placement of economically disadvantaged youth into career positions.
In 1980, Jenny embarked on a 20-plus year career in the telecommunications industry working with US West, Mountain Bell, AT&T, and Qwest in marketing, sales, and as an independent consultant in Arizona and New Mexico. Her conscientious, standard-setting business-to-business knowledge led her to create Merge Communications in 1997. As President and owner, Jenny built a nationwide business providing outsourced communications services with a proven track record of success.
She always enthusiastically approached her philanthropic community involvement, giving her time and energy for over 20 years raising thousands of dollars for Phoenix Day, one of the oldest child care centers in Arizona. She was instrumental in the creation of the annual Dick Van Arsdale Celebrity Golf Tournament, and assisted with adopting families for Phoenix Day during their annual Christmas program, providing much needed food, clothing, and gifts for underprivileged children.
Jenny's total dedication to her community, business, and employees was only surpassed by her love and commitment to her family, friends, and faith. Moving her mother, Rose, from Buffalo to Phoenix, she was dedicated to caring for Rosie for over 30 years, providing everything she could ever want or need.
In 1998, Jenny met the true love of her life, her shining knight, Tim Cooning, who filled her life with light and love. She and Tim were married in 2001 and built a remarkable life together, sharing so much love, laughs, and fun adventures along the way. For better or for worse, they were steadfast in their devotion to each other. Tim loves his beautiful bride with all of his heart and soul.
Those who were honored to call Jenny their friend were blessed to be by her side and share her amazing life. She could be that angel on one shoulder, and the devil on the other during fun times, and the most faithful, compassionate, accepting, and unforgettable friend. She shared all the gifts that life brings, helping all to be brave and keep pushing forward when things got tough, and how to grow as humans. From our heart of hearts, thank you, Jenny.
Jenny passed away on August 8, 2022, at age 67 after a tragic and hard-fought, five-year battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. She is survived by her beloved husband, Timothy Cooning; brother Ted Kakol and family, of Fontana, CA; brother John and family of Las Vegas, Nevada; and many nieces and nephews who adore her.
A memorial service for Jenny will take place Saturday, September 10, at 11:00 a.m., at Hansen Mortuary, 6500 East Bell Road. The service will also be live streamed at https://vimeo.com/739727056 for those who cannot attend.
Please send donations to Hospice of the Valley or St. Mary's Food Bank, in memory of Jenny.