In Memory: May 11

Elaine Chaffers, 69, Vero Beach

Elaine Chaffers, 69 passed away unexpectedly on Sunday morning at home in Vero Beach, Fl.

She is survived by her sister, Patricia Gugliotta and her husband John of MA; her nieces, Michelle Mahoney (Christopher) and their son Emerson of NC ;Emily Joyce of CA and her nephew, Patrick Joyce, also of CA.

Elaine lived in Vero Beach, Fl for several years coming from Cape Cod, MA and previously, many years in Alexandria, VA.

In her lifetime, she held a number of jobs but her proudest accomplishment was her completion of her nursing degree from Marymount University and the nursing positions she held as an RN.

She will be remembered for her kind heart in helping those with less than herself. Her kindness extended beyond the human race to the animal world. She was passionate about ending animal abuse and cruelty. She rescued and cared for many animals over her lifetime, and she was a devoted “Mom” to her fur baby cats, who clearly brightened her world.

May she be welcomed into heaven and comforted by God’s boundless love as she is reunited with her mom and dad, relatives and many friends who have preceded her.

The family will be holding services privately.

If you wish to honor Elaine’s life and passion, please feel free to donate in her honor to H.A.L.O No Kill Rescue , 710 Jackson Street Sebastian, FL 32958 or online at This is a no kill shelter with multiple locations in Fl and where her kitties are until they are adopted.

If a donation is out of your means, we ask you to commit a Random Act of Kindness on Elaine’s behalf. We hope you will take a moment to share a thought, memory or photo in the virtual guestbook. We thank you for your love and support as we collectively mourn.


Michele Christine Cooney, Vero Beach

Michele Christine Cooney, Mickey to all who knew her, passed away peacefully at home on May 8, 2020, after an almost two-year battle with cancer. She was born on July 13, 1943, in Detroit, MI to Florence (Higgins) and Michael Toth. She attended Immaculata High School (’61) and the University of Detroit (’65 cum laude). While at the University of Detroit, she was asked to be the Homecoming Queen candidate for Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. A tall, dark and handsome young man volunteered to be her date. They were immediately smitten. William Patrick Cooney III (Bill) and Mickey married on August 19, 1967 and they have been partners in everything since.

Mickey moved to Rochester, Minnesota in 1971 when Bill was asked to join the Mayo Clinic staff as an orthopedic hand surgeon. They travelled the world as part of Bill’s professional career and Mickey loved meeting people from different backgrounds and entertaining them at Orchard Acres farm if they visited Rochester. At 35, after the birth of her fifth child, Mickey was diagnosed with breast cancer and it seemed like a grim prognosis at the time. To the great fortune of her family, she survived and was able to share her optimism, candor and sense of ethics with her children as they grew up.

After over 30 years in Rochester, Mickey and Bill retired to Vero Beach, Florida, after vacationing there for years through their connection with the Los Angeles Dodgers. They were also lucky enough to keep a lake house in northern Minnesota on Bay Lake where their greatest joy was entertaining their large family with boating, swimming, fishing, baking, and campfires galore. Mickey was an excellent cook and her grandchildren all enjoyed baking with her and eating her delicious meals which have been collected in a family cookbook, Cooking for a Crowd. Mickey also enjoyed crossword puzzles and sudoku and loved finding deals at jewelry auctions. In Rochester, Vero Beach and at Bay Lake, they were so fortunate to have loving, fun friends with whom they shared countless good times.

Mickey is survived by Bill, her husband of 52 years, and her family which was her pride and joy: Chris & Dr. John Mansour of Dallas, TX (Kelly, Will & Erin); Kate & Chris Burke of New York City (Brennan, Maggie, Kenzie and Patrick), Drs. Bill and Romi Cooney of Denver, CO (Connor, Rylan & Ashtyn), Mike & Colleen Cooney of Chicago, IL (Dylan, Owen, Colin & Evan) and Kelly & Pete Cilella of Los Angeles (Gabe & Mara). Mickey had a special relationship with each of her 16 grandchildren and valued them for their individual personalities. She is also survived by sisters Marge Toth Fredericks of Stuart, FL and Susan Toth Currier of Vero Beach and a large extended family that includes numerous loving sisters- and brothers-in law, nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her parents and her sister Anne Toth Sommerfeld.

A Mass of celebration and reception will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Hope for Families Center in Vero Beach, or the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

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