OBITUARY: Charles E. “Mickey” Rooney, Jr., 80

WILMINGTON, MA — Charles E. Rooney, Jr., fondly known as “Mickey” to his family and friends, age 80, a life-long resident of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on October 17, 2018.

Mickey was born on May 20, 1938, in Winchester, MA; he was the dear son of the late Edward and Mary (App) Rooney. Mickey was raised and educated in Wilmington and a graduate of Wilmington High School with the Class of 1955. Throughout his life, Mickey, loved to play sports and was an avid athlete; he was a talented football player who not only excelled throughout his school years but he went on to play on several semi -pro teams.

In February of 1956, Mickey, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Mickey attended Marine corps School in Quantico and actively served in the Marine Corps. until February of 1959 when he was honorably discharged to the Marine Reserves. Mickey continued to serve in the Marine Reserves until February of 1962.

On September 17, 1960, Mickey married his high school sweetheart Dorothy “Dorsey” Kelly; the couple shared many wonderful years together until her untimely passing in 2006. Mickey and Dorsey made their home on Chestnut Street in Wilmington where they raised four wonderful children. Mickey loved being a dad; he was truly a kid at heart who enjoyed packing his car full of his children, nieces, nephews, friends kids or any other kid who wanted to come along and they would head to Lake Winnipesaukee for a weekend of fun or up to Waterville Valley where he volunteered as a ski instructor and where they all had a blast on their ski trips. Mickey enjoyed watching the kids have a great time and they made memories to last through generations. Mickey looked forward to the time he spent with family and friends but he especially enjoyed the time he spent with his grandchildren; they were the apple of his eye.

Mickey worked hard to provide for his family; for many years he worked as an electrical lineman for the MBTA and then for the Reading Light Department. Mickey had a great work ethic and a terrific personality; all attributes that made him one of the favorites amongst his co-workers.

Mickey worked equally as hard to promote the welfare of others; he was the true definition of a “philanthropist”. Mickey gave freely of his time and talents to help others in need and enjoyed every minute of it. He worked tirelessly in the pursuit of a cure for cancer and was honored at the annual “One Hundred Spring Gala” at Mass General for his efforts. Mickey was involved with the Angel Flight group that transported seriously ill patients as well as deliveries of vital organs in a timely manner for patients in need of transplants. Mickey’s biggest passion was his yearly participation in the Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) which he rode in for over 32 years raising over $228,0000 for Dana Farber. Mickey sponsored many children as “Pedal Partners”; proudly riding in their names. He also made his way to the Kraft Donor Center in Boston and donated his blood platelets more than 100 times to help out many cancer patients.

Mickey was very active in his community; he was always reaching out and lending a helping hand whenever and wherever it was needed; his efforts did not go unnoticed when he was honored as Wilmington’s Good Guy in 2002 for his outstanding community service. Following his retirement from the MBTA, Mickey volunteered with the Wilmington Auxiliary Police Department; where he participated in countless community events. Mickey proudly marched in the annual Wilmington Memorial Day Parade with his fellow Veterans and volunteered his time at many other Veterans’ events that were held throughout the years.

Mickey will be fondly remembered as a “true gentleman” with a great smile and a huge heart; he was kind, caring, and generous. Mickey lived his life with integrity, compassion, and love for others; he was an outstanding example of a wonderful human being. Mickey leaves behind countless lives he touched through his simple actions; he was truly loved and will forever be missed by all.

Mickey was the beloved husband of the late Dorothy E. (Kelley) “Dorsey” Rooney, devoted father of Charles E. “Mickey” Rooney III & his wife Beth and Timothy Rooney & his wife Ranee all of Wilmington, Sharon Rooney of Braintree and Patrick Rooney of Wilmington. Loving grandfather of Liam, Colin, Caroline and Charlie Rooney, Ashley, Conor and Jack Rooney, Timothy, Michael, Christie and Sarah Dorsey Wanagel. Cherished son of the late Edward and Mary (App) Rooney, dear brother of Dennis Rooney & his wife Yvette and Mary Ann Lee & her husband Donald all of Wilmington, Joanne Sanborn & her husband Barry of New Hampshire, the late James Rooney, William Rooney and Suzanne McNeil. Mickey is also survived by many nieces, nephews and friends.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Monday, October 22nd at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Thomas of Villanova Church, 126 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting Hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Sunday, October 21st from 4:00-8:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mickey’s memory may be made to the Pan Mass Challenge, 77 4th Ave., Needham, MA 02494. Mickey proudly served in the United States Marine Corps.

Charles E. Rooney, Jr.
Charles E. “Mickey” Rooney, Jr.

(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)

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