Temporarily in lieu of a Final Obituary —
Hello FOJ (Friends of John) —
This is Roald Simonson, son of John Coney’s wife Jodi. As many of you getting this note already know, John passed away (leukemia) last Friday morning August 7. John has been a dear and enjoyable and wonderful member of our family — which besides our mom includes older brother John and family in Austria, and myself and younger brother Bruce, both in Juneau, Alaska — for more than twenty years and we are extremely sad at his passing.
One thing we’ve learned in bits and pieces over the years on family vacations or holiday gatherings at their home or just while periodically laying overnight in Seattle — through funny anecdotes told by both John and his friends passing through, discovering in his home office random plaques and awards stashed around, contemplating his Rolodex — is how varied and extensive and significant is professional career was, and we would like to honor that in an obituary.
The problem we have though is, even though we spoke with John about an obituary in his last months, we didn’t get that accomplished. And though we, his stepsons, can speak with great fluency about our time with John — his unparalleled ability to plan travels and how interesting he was to be with on those trips, his foodie bent, his high quality and coherent art collection, his opinions expressed on opera to politics and back again (which can be a very short distance :-), his gardening, etc etc etc — we can’t really construct a detailed obituary before our personal family years with him especially concerning his professional career and accomplishments. For example — he made a movie with Sun Ra?!?! What???
In lieu of our inability we thought maybe a fun and efficient way we could gather information would be to broadcast through this note to his personal friends and professional colleagues our dilemma — and that perhaps the FOJ could write us a sentence or two or three of particular remembrance of working with John on projects or other personal remembrances — with dates and organization names especially helpful.
You could publish your recollections here at The Co-op Funeral Home's website and we’ll gather them with the aim of fashioning a complete obituary in about a month for posting here and elsewhere online and distributing to news outlets.
John, Roald, and Bruce Simonson
hi--if this is the same john coney who lived at ****-13th ave west---he bought the house from us in 1977---we carried the contract -- 392 bucks a month-- and think it was early 1990's--he called one day and said--hey Wilson your dishwasher failed-told john--mercy--we put that installed in august 1966---ed
John as a member of FAP86 (Friends of Art on Pier 86) Steering Committee represented Uptown Alliance. When we met for coffee at Zingaro back in early May John told me that he was supportive of our goals but his immediate priority was work loft housing for artists in lower Queen Anne. As long as he was able, did indeed come to the FAP86 meetings. We will miss him and admire his success with the Elliot Ave. Overpass to Myrtle Edwards Park. --Betty Winfield, Chair, FAP86
John worked for John Crabbe at the PBS station in Sacremento before I hired him at KCTS in the early 80s. He was the Executive Producer when Channel 9 was still located on the UW Campus and his office was in the Patterson Bldg at 41st and Brooklyn. He was a good colleague and dedicated professional. --Burnie Clark
I was John's first hire at KVIE, an all purpose one-man production department. (Burnie, actually, Arthur Paul was CEO when John and I were there) and we worked together on many ambitious production projects John was typically always dreaming up. He was probably my first true mentor in television and a good one -- one thing was, you never wanted to disappoint him! He and I were periodically in touch in the many years since. I will miss those catch up conversations. --Alan Foster
John was a very active and knowledgeable member of the Seattle City Neighborhood Council for many years, including its Transportation Committee in his final years. That's where I got to know and appreciate him as a great activist in his retirement years, advocating for better public transit, representing the Queen Anne Community Council.