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Loyal Son of the Mount Patrick Rooney, Sr. Passes Away

Donna Klinger

Patrick J. Rooney, Sr., a 1960 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University and one of the 215-year-old university’s greatest benefactors, passed away October 29. He was 84.

pat-rooney-present.png“Pat will be greatly missed by many and leaves a wonderful legacy at Mount St. Mary’s and among all he touched in his 84 years,” said President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. “The Mount was one of the happiest places in Pat’s life, and he wanted to help ensure that the same is true for today’s and tomorrow’s students.”

Patrick Rooney and his twin brother John J., who also graduated from the Mount in 1960 and passed away late last year, have made it possible for students to compete at the highest level. The first phase of the Rooney Athletic Performance Center project, six new state-of-the-art tennis courts, is complete. The multi-phase project is made possible by a $6 million transformational gift from John and Pat, and their spouses JoAnn and Sandra, respectively, to promote growth and enhanced performances for the Mount’s NCAA Division I athletic program, intramural sport and recreational opportunities for students.

Rooney, who served as CEO of Palm Beach Kennel Club, grew up in Pittsburgh, attending North Catholic High School with his brothers. He majored in history at the Mount and began his career as a salesman for C.G. Hussey & Co. He moved to Philadelphia to help run the William Penn Race Association as assistant general manager before serving as president of Liberty Bell Racetrack. He subsequently led the Investment Corporation of Palm Beach and served as president and CEO of the Palm Beach Kennel Club. With his brothers, he owned the Pittsburgh Steelers before selling his shares in 2009.

pat-rooney-1960.pngWhile he was a student at the Mount, Pat played tennis and was captain of the tennis team in his senior year. In a 2019 interview with Mount Magazine, he looked back at his Mount years. “I…have to say that those were the best years of my life! The camaraderie with tennis teammates and friendships developed lasted a lifetime. I am happy to see the tennis team doing well and continue to support the team,” he said.

Rooney, the husband of Sandra Sully Rooney, was the son of the late Arthur Sr. and Kathleen (McNulty) Rooney. In addition to his wife, he is survived by their children Patrick Jr., Joseph, Theresa, Christopher, Thomas, Brian and Monica (Molly); his siblings Art Rooney, Jr., and Timothy Rooney; 23 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. His brothers John and Daniel Rooney preceded him in death.

A Catholic funeral procession and mass will be held at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, on Saturday, November 4 at 1 p.m. Attendees are requested to arrive no later than 12:30 p.m.

May Patrick J. Rooney be at peace.

Donna Klinger