MARY ELLEN THIELE ROONEY Mary Ellen “Reggie” Rooney passed away peacefully Monday, February 5, 2018 at her home in Hudson Heights, New York City, at the age of 83. The daughter of Ellen M Thiele, an Irish school teacher, and Charles A Thiele, a German bootlegger turned slot machine dealer, Mary Ellen Rooney was born on October 30th, 1934 and grew up in Bridgehampton, NY. Her spirit for adventure was clear when she saw a picture of Scotland in a book. Secreting away her wages working as a maid’s maid for Madam Balsan, the former Duchess of Marlborough, she bought a ticket to England on a steamship and boldly announced to her parents that she was to set sail for adventure. She graduated from St. Lawrence University via the University of Edinburgh and hit New York City ready to take the publishing world by storm. Reggie Rooney’s life never followed a traditional path so it would be useless to cover it in a linear fashion. Highlights include:
-Writing for countless outlets in her own indomitable poetic style -Cultivating a deep love and understanding for birds and rocks -Becoming a licensed falconer at age 70 -Singing tenor in the NY Oratorio Society and the Saint George’s Coral Society -Diving with Cousteau Society in French Polynesia -Driving a potato truck in Bridgehampton -Hanging out with runaway bank robbers in Denver, Colorado -Crewing a boat in Operation Sail for the bicentennial in 1976 with broken ribs -Visiting every spiritual healer, priest, reiki, acupuncturist and therapy modality known to man and taking what she needed and leaving the rest -Helping countless people under the lashes of alcohol addiction with her experience, strength and hope -Displaying her photography all over America, notably her “Windows on Wise Women” exhibitions in Boston’s Beacon Hill -Shepherding her brother Carl to the other side when he lost his life in the early 90s -Teaching English in Kyrgyzstan and the Czech Republic. -Attending her son Lucas’s opening nights decked in diamonds exclaiming proudly “I am the star’s mother!” -Surviving the untimely death of her son Colin with grace -Watching over her grandchildren Derek, Devon and Morgan and making sure they knew that they came from uncommon stock -Creating a home in the old city of Quebec with her husband Dr. Wallace C. Rooney Jr. -Marveling at her son Peter’s doggedness in business and life -Making the most eclectic, vast group of friends on the planet and carefully tending to them through the years. -Bookending her life with trans atlantic journeys on the Queen Mary. -Never backing away from a fight and leaving her opponents grateful for having crossed her path. .
A public memorial service will be held in New York City in the spring. In lieu of flowers donation can be made to the St George’s Coral Society. Reggie Rooney will never be forgotten and as she stated towards the end ‘I think the world knew I was here’. Indeed! To learn more about Reggie’s incredible life and work, please visit her website at www.flywaystories.com.