J.H. “Cooney” Dalme, 89, of Orange, died Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, at Southeast Texas Medical Center. Funeral service will be 2 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 23, at Claybar Funeral Home Chapel in Orange. Officiating will be the Rev. Damon Bickham of First Baptist Church of Deweyville, and the Rev. Brad Morgan of St. Paul United Methodist Church of Bridge City. Visitation will be 5-8 p.m., Tuesday, at the funeral home.

Cooney was born Jan. 2, 1920, in Cloutierville, La., to Joseph and Anaise (DeLouche) Dalme.

He retired in 1980 from APAC-Texas 43 years of long and faithful service. He was the last of the original 23 men who started the company of Trotti and Thompson Construction. He astounded the college educated engineers with a “plumb line” or “two sticks and a string” when they said it couldn’t be done, Cooney would prove them wrong with his self taught experience. Trotti and Thompson constructed the majority of the roadway and bridges in our area, as well as the Houston area, including Interstate 10, Highway 69, and Highway 73. As well as being called out of retirement several times, the last time was for the interchange at Beltway 8 and Interstate 10 on the west side of Houston. He was truly one of the “Greatest Generation.” In his late years, he always grew a summer and winter garden, and enjoyed sharing it’s produce with family and neighbors. He was a member of Carpenters and Millwright Local 2232, and Sabine Area Carpenters Local

Cooney is preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 58 years, Clara Davis Dalme; three brothers; and two sisters.

Survivors include daughters and sons-in-law, Mary and Carl White, of Humble, Carol Langley- Rollins and husband John, of Port Arthur, Gwen and John Tallant, of Bridge City; grandchildren, Christina and Katharine Tallant; and sister, Katherine “Kitty” Layssard of Boyce, La.