Patricia Rooney, wife of longtime Steelers owner Dan Rooney, dies at age 88

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers announced the death of Patricia Rooney on Saturday night. She was 88 years old.

She was the wife of longtime Steelers owner and former ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney. She was born to Mary Duffy Regan and Martin Regan originally of Co. Mayo in Ireland.

“My family and I are mourning the passing of my mother, Patricia,” Steelers President Art Rooney II said in a statement released by the team on Saturday night. “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. 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.”

Rooney was born on the North Side of Pittsburgh and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. Due to COVID precautions, funeral arrangements are private. A memorial Mass will be scheduled 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. The family would also like to thank the many caregivers who provided wonderful care to her.

Maj. Philip Lloyd, with the Salvation Army, told Channel 11 Rooney was an incredible partner for the organization for more than 30 years -- and a lifetime member of the Greater Pittsburgh Advisory Board.

The Steelers said Rooney passed away peacefully at home Saturday night. She was the devoted mother of Arthur J. Rooney ll (Greta), Patricia R. Gerrero (Bob), Kathleen R. Miller deceased (Thomas), Rita Rooney Conway deceased, Daniel M. Rooney (Allison), Mary Duffy Regan, John T. Rooney (Emma), James E. Rooney (Stephanie), and Joan M. Clancy deceased (Chris), 18 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren, along with numerous extended family. She is survived by her brother Martin Francis Regan, Evelyn R. O’Brien, Rita R. Heberle, and Irene R. Hill. Her sisters Mary Regan, Joan Regan, Geraldine R. Glenn, and brothers John Regan and Thomas Regan predeceased her.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his wife, Jane Goodell, issued a statement after learning of Rooney’s death:

“We extend our deepest condolences to Art Rooney and the entire Rooney family with the passing of his mother and our friend Patricia. Patricia represented the Rooney family and the Steelers with extraordinary grace, dignity, and integrity. Patricia was passionately devoted to her faith, 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 the many people whose lives she touched throughout her community, and the NFL.”

Bishop David Zubik also issued a statement regarding Rooney’s death:

“Patricia Rooney was a model of quiet strength, grace and faith as she raised her family while aiding community causes and supporting her husband, Dan, the late chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers. For the 65 years of their marriage, she kept their modest North Side home and made sure the family got to Mass, game or no game. She taught humility and kindness by demonstrating it daily. Her commitment to public service was as strong as her husband’s, whether in Pittsburgh or in Ireland during the years of his ambassadorship. Mrs. Rooney exemplified quiet leadership here in Steelers country and beyond. My prayers are with the Rooney family, as is my confidence that she has raised the younger generations to carry on her spirit of charity and concern for all.”