James C. Rooney 1934-2017

Son of the late James and Jetta (Radebaugh) Rooney, died peacefully May 10, 2017. Survivors include his sister Patricia Trimble; wife Mary; children: Jim (Sue), Brian (Karen), Dan (Sue), Kate (Ray), Trish (Steve), Matt (Janine), Andy (Andrea); grandchildren Caitlin, Megan, Brianna, Michael, George, Kristin, Allison, Mandy, Shannon, Joe, Grace, Marissa, James, Eric and Nathan, and great-grandchildren Nora, Adele, Clara, and Audrey.

Jim was born in Robinson, Ill.  He earned a Law Degree from Marquette University where he met Mary Black, whom he married in 1957. He was employed by Commerce Clearing House Inc. (CCH), now Wolters Kluwer, originally as an editor of the Federal Tax Guide, rising to retire as a vice president some 38 years later.

Jim’s love of language and the written word have been gifts to so many; a love he passed on to his seven children, including an irritating tendency to correct others’ grammar. His love of theatre included a love of film and teaching film classes at Oakton Community College. His artistic talents found another outlet in photography, creating thousands of unique pictures of friends, family, and the great outdoors.

Jim was an active volunteer in many organizations; from leading an Evanston 4-H group, to laying the groundwork for the Evanston Housing Coalition (which rehabs derelict buildings for resale to low-income families), to helping found the Cook County-wide United Power for Action and Justice. He believed in and worked for an active, involved, Catholic laity, and pursued cross-religious community and inclusivity. He was a guiding force in creating a Jewish-Catholic dialogue group that often met at his home over the last 30 years.

Jim shared his love of the unspoiled outdoors with his children, as he expounded on the genus, species and common name of every plant along every hike, wilderness excursion or station wagon cross country camping trip.

No one who really got to know Jim was ever the same afterward. He had a gift for giving in the real meaning of the word, the giving of self. His family will forever cherish his memory. Services will be at 10 a.m., Aug. 5, at St. Athanasius Church, 1615 Lincoln St. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Peace and Justice Ministry of St. Athanasius, Interfaith Action of Evanston, 1004 Greenwood St. 60201, or United Power for Action and Justice, 4848 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640.