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Drew Cooney, Lauderdale Propeller Service owner, dies

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By Dorie Cox

Longtime Lauderdale Propeller Service owner and president Drew Cooney died on Feb. 7 “after a very long three-year battle with cancer,” according to his sons. He was 65.

Lauderdale Propeller Service (LPS) has been in business in the Fort Lauderdale area since the 1940s. Mr. Cooney took over in 1985 when the shop was located near Derecktor. In 1994, he moved it to its current location on State Road 84. Mr. Cooney’s sons have assumed the business, Brandon Cooney as president and Chase Cooney as general manager.

They said their dad would probably like to be remembered as a hard worker. 

Drew Cooney
Jan. 27, 1955 – Feb. 7, 2020

“He was dedicated to making sure that everyone was OK,” Chase Cooney said. “He really helped so many employees.”

Mr. Cooney was also known for his kind heart and sharp sense of humor.

“He was good at smack-talking,” Chase said. “He was quick to point out what you were doing wrong, but to also let you know he loved you. I told my friends that if he wasn’t talking smack to you, he didn’t like you.”

Both sons played professional baseball; their dad was their coach when they were young, even though he himself played football as a punter and kicker in college in North Carolina. After their baseball careers – Brandon played seven years with the Baltimore Orioles; Chase played three years with the Chicago White Sox – both men started with the company in the service and parts department.

“When I joined, he threw me in at the counter and said, ‘Learn as much as you can, as fast as you can’,” Chase said. “When Brandon came, I said ‘good luck’.”

Capt. Karen Sue Newberry brought her first set of propellers in for repair in the late 1980s and continued working with Mr. Cooney in her career as a mate, purser and captain. She considers him one of biggest icons in the local marine industry.

“He really helped make my career in yachting,” Capt. Newberry said. “He stood out because he’s the type of person that, if you called from the Bahamas and needed something done, it was done today, not tomorrow. He made sure, whether we were on a charter or a trip, that we made that trip happen.”

A celebration of life and memorial party is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 24, from 2:30-6 p.m. at Rendezvous Bar & Grill, 2525 Marina Bay Drive West (33312).

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About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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7 thoughts on “Drew Cooney, Lauderdale Propeller Service owner, dies

  1. Kristy Fox

    Anyone who knew Drew loved him, he was that kind of guy. I would go visit him long after I left Lauderdale Propeller at the boat shows where they had their display. Drew was always happy with a smile and easy to get along with. I worked with them in 1999 and learned alot about the shipyards down south of SR 84, as that was my route. I got to drive the big van/truck and met so many of the shipyard personnel down south and still know them to this day. He will be sorely missed…always happy and smiling…
    God Bless you Chase and Brandon.
    I heard all about you when I worked at LPS…but didn’t get to see you much.
    I know that he was so proud of you then and is looking down on you both with a big smile.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to all that I used to work with there, as I am sure some of you are still there….

  2. Woody

    My condolences to the family, he was indeed a loved man. Always took good care of his customers. Any problem I had, I could always take it to him and always get it solved.

  3. Pete Lopez

    Hi Chase & Brandon, you might remember me, hopefully…I’m Christian Lopez dad, Pete. The news shocked my wife Letty and I and we’re truly sorry for your loss. My memories of your dad are many, but one thing I’d always admire is his willingness to help those around him. I recall at one time, when we had moved out west in Pembroke Pines, that we told him we were not going to be able to have Chris on his team because it was too far. Well, long story short, he said, no worries, I’ll pick him up everyday for practice or games, I’ll transport him. I’ve never seen any coach as dedicated as Drew was with his team. Brandon, you played at that age with Chris and Chase as well, we had fun. Drew will always be present in those chapters in life when we first met. I pray you and family find comfort in knowing he no longer suffers and is in good hands. Stay strong and continue his legacy. Our sincere condolences.
    The Lopez Family

  4. betsy stickles

    I am so sad to hear about Drew’s passing. He was the best boss to work for and i loved my job as a “prop girl” at LPS. I too would make a point of seeing him at every boat show. It won’t be the same

  5. Kevin Kerwin

    Drew was one of my favorite guys in the industry, too. He’d always take the time to talk if I stopped in, and we both had good stories to tell each other about who bent the props and how! And he was my go-to source for any new technical info on the props I had to spec on newbuilds when I was at Broward and later. I’ll miss him a lot.

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