On Saturday night the Pittsburgh Steelers announced the passing of Patricia Rooney, wife of late Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, at the age of 88.
The Steelers said that Mrs. Rooney died peacefully at her home. A cause of death was not given.
Dan and Patricia were married for 65 years, until he passed away in April 2017 at the age of 84. Dan Rooney served as U.S. ambassador to Ireland from 2009-2012.
“My family and I are mourning the passing of my mother, Patricia,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II in a statement released by the team. “She helped raise nine children while supporting my father’s career with the Steelers and his time as Ambassador to Ireland. It is a sad day for our family.
“My mother meant so much to not only all of us in the family, but she gave so much of her time and energy helping those in need in the Pittsburgh community,” added her son. “She will leave a lasting impression on so many people and organizations in our area, especially the Salvation Army and many organizations in the North Side of Pittsburgh, where my parents called home.
“We will celebrate her life and the memories we have of her during this challenging time for our family. We appreciate everyone with your thoughts and prayers.”
‘A Lifetime of Sundays’
Notably, Mrs. Rooney was one of four women from influential NFL ownership families who was recently featured in “A Lifetime of Sundays,” a documentary produced by Jane Goodell, wife of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. She was profiled along with Virginia Halas McCaskey of the Chicago Bears, Norma Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs and Martha Ford of the Detroit Lions.
“Patricia represented the Rooney family and Steelers with extraordinary grace, dignity and integrity,” Roger and Jane Goodell said in a statement. “Patricia was passionately devoted to her family, the wonderful family she and Dan raised and adored, the Pittsburgh community and the Steelers organization. She was also one of the most passionate football fans you could ever meet and very proud of the number of female fans around the world.
“We will greatly miss her as will many people whose lives she touched throughout her community, and the NFL.”
Steelers Players React to the News of Mrs. Rooney’s Death
In the wake of the sad news, Steelers players past and present took to social media to express their condolences.
Following is a sampling of some of the earliest messages.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, funeral arrangements are private. A memorial Mass will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army or the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Mrs. Rooney is survived by her brother, Martin Francis Regan, and sisters Evelyn R. O’Brien, Rita R. Heberle and Irene R. Hill. Sisters Mary Regan, Joan Regan, Geraldine R. Glenn and brothers John Regan and Thomas Regan predeceased her.
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