John J. Rooney, immigrations official
John James “Jack” Rooney Jr., a retired Immigration and Naturalization Service contracting official, died of pneumonia Sept. 16 at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Columbia.
The Ellicott City resident was 85.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., he was the son of John James Rooney, a U.S. congressman, and Helen Hughes. He attended Saint Francis Preparatory School in Brooklyn.
He enlisted in the Air Force and became an airplane mechanic assigned to Strategic Air Command at Andrews Air Force Base, where he served from 1951 to 1955. He later worked as a civilian employee of the Air Force.
He joined the U.S. Department of Justice and worked in its Immigration and Naturalization Service for more than 28 years as a contracting officer. He retired in 1994.
Mr. Rooney initially settled in Laurel, then lived for many years in Ellicott City on Coachlight Lane.
He later moved to Brighton Gardens of Columbia, an assistedliving facility.
“My father had a great sense of humor and used it every chance he could,” said his daughter, Jennifer Kim of McLean, Va. “He didn’t take himself too seriously. He was a patriotic American and believed in supporting the troops.” Mr. Rooney enjoyed dinners with friends at the Outback Steakhouse in Ellicott City and at Mission BBQ in Columbia.
A memorial Mass will be held at 12:30 p.m. today at St. Mary of the Mills Roman Catholic Church, 114 St. Mary’s Place in Laurel.
In addition to his daughter, survivors include his son, John James Rooney III of San Francisco; a brother, Edward Rooney of New York City; a sister, Mary Ann Farrell of Catonsville; and three grandchildren. His marriage to Joan Fitzpatrick ended in divorce.