The Pittsburgh Steelers shared some sad news on Saturday night, announcing that Patricia Rooney, wife of the late Dan Rooney, had passed away. She was 88 years old.
We mourn Patricia Rooney, the wife of the late Ambassador Daniel M. Rooney.https: //t.co/XAydBiVal7
– Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 31, 2021
“My family and I mourn my mother Patricia,” said team 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.
“Not only did my mother mean so much to all of us in the family, but she gave so much time and energy to help those in need in the Pittsburgh Ward. It will leave a lasting impression on so many people and organizations in our area, especially the Salvation Army and many organizations on the north side of Pittsburgh where my parents called home.
“We will celebrate their lives and the memories we have of them for our family during this challenging time. We cherish everyone with your thoughts and prayers. “
Dan and Patricia were married for 65 years before Dan died in April 2017 at the age of 84. The Rooney’s are known for having large families, and Patricia looked after nine children while Rooney worked for the team and helped create the dynasty and success of the ’70s that lasted decades.
In August 2019, Patricia was honored by NFL Films in the film “A Lifetime Of Sundays,” which documented the lives of women among the most influential figures in football. She told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette how proud she was to know the Steelers had such a large following.
“[W]We are so grateful that we had so many loyal female fans, ”she said. “I’ve been told we have the best female fan base of any team in the NFL and we love it when they cheer on our team. They really make a difference. So my message is: Thank you. “
A 2007 study found the Steelers had by far the largest margin of female fans at 37%. Only one other team, the Green Bay Packers, was over 25%.
The Steelers announced that Rooney’s funeral will be private due to COVID restrictions. A memorial mass will be announced sometime in the future. You are asking for memorial donations to the Salvation Army or the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.
UPDATE (11:01 pm): Roger Goodell made a statement following Rooney’s death.
Sad news. pic.twitter.com/vK7CGAElHT
– Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) January 31, 2021
Several Steelers and current / former members of the organization responded to the news.
You were really loved.
RIP Mrs. Rooney
– Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) January 31, 2021
Mrs. Rooney was a beautiful woman! She was so kind, caring, and loving. She will be missed and I am forever grateful to her, Mr. Rooney, and her family. Tell the old man we miss him. Rest in paradise 👑 !! #GeauxSteelers
– Ryan Clark (@ Realrclark25) January 31, 2021
Sad to hear Mrs. Rooney passed away. What a wonderful person. I will always cherish the rides together to book signatures and waiting at the door for DMR to come back from the street games. I’ll never forget that you thanked me for always bringing him home safely when he came to see him.
– Scarps (@scarpizio) January 31, 2021
RIP Mrs. Rooney
My condolences to the entire Rooney family 🙏🏾
– Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) January 31, 2021
Steeler Nation lost a wonderful woman tonight. A few months after my daughter was born, Ms. Rooney picked out a matchday outfit for her first game. She picked it out personally. Delivered personally. It’s the soccer business, but it’s the Steeler family. #Steelers https://t.co/WC8QYASfaY
– Chad Brown (@ chadbrown94) January 31, 2021
My thoughts and prayers go with the Rooney family and friends with the death of Patricia Rooney. Mrs. Rooney was a beautiful person who not only loved her family but treated us all with kindness and love. She really will be missed. @steelers https://t.co/OyNCzxhwDx
– Larry Richert (@KDKALarry) January 31, 2021