Charles “Mickey” Rooney

October 17th, 2018

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.


29 Entries in Guest Book for “Charles “Mickey” Rooney”

  1. Jean Reid says:

    A man of honor, integrity, laughter and love! Mickey’s smile and laughter will always be with me. To all his dear family CHERISH his life and memories. A wonderful mentor to all who knew him and gave so much just being him! Rest in peace my dear friend!

  2. Joe Oliver says:

    Had the privilege of being Mickys neighbor and we both worked nights at the MBTA. He was always smiling and was the kind of man that would put a smile on your face also. God bless.

  3. Joan Phillips says:

    Miss you Mickey !! All your friends from As a Good As It Gets Cafe loved having him come in and make us laugh! Miss you always

  4. Beverly says:

    I’m only one of the hundreds of people who will be missing Mickey’s smile, generous spirit and kindness. He was a wonderful man. I know his children and grandchildren have many cherished memories with him that will last forever.

  5. Tiler Eaton says:

    You will be missed by so many and thank you for all you have done for so many others. You always took time to help not only those you knew but anyone in need. Rest in Peace me friend.

  6. Lisa Kapala says:

    Mr. Rooney was such a kind and generous soul. I had the honor of interviewing him many times on WCTV’s “Where’s Wilmington”. He was such a joy to be around and always had a smile for everyone. I miss him already…..Prayers and love for his family and friends.

  7. Lorraine Suttie says:

    Rest in Peace cousin. Will miss your laughter and smile

  8. Heather Moore says:

    So very sorry for your loss. May the love and the cherished memories you shared help to ease your sorrow during this most difficult time.

  9. Dave Jacobson (Jake) says:

    Worked with Mickey at the ‘T’ great guy, fine sense of humor, gave his all to God and Country … ‘Semper Fi’ Bro….

  10. Dave Jacobson (Jake) says:

    Worked with Mickey at the ‘T’ great guy, fine sense of humor, gave his all to God and Country … ‘Semper Fi’ Bro….

  11. Dave Jacobson (Jake) says:

    Worked with Mickey at the ‘T’ great guy, fine sense of humor, gave his all for God and country. .. Semper Fi Bro. Till we meet again… Jake

  12. Kevin McCann says:

    The man was a legend in my family. Will always be in debted to him. When the T was closed to certain families, Mickey spoke up for ours. My dad Thomas senior always spoke highly of Mickey. A real salt of the earth. God bless you , brother !

  13. Lou ascolillo says:

    Micky thank you for all that you have giving and done for myself and countless others , thank you for being a true brother to local 104 and society. You helped me 20 years ago get my CDL and I’ve had many laughs over the years with you . A true example of a great man. You will surly be missed by all ! May your family rest easy and peace be with you brother , your friend Lou

  14. Suzi Cushing says:

    My heart is sad today, there will never be another Mickey. I feel so blessed to have had him as my brother-in-law, he made me feel like family no matter what. Memories of Mickey will be carried on by his family and countless people who were lucky enough to call him their friend. Rest in peace, fly high and know how much you were loved by so many….


  15. Timothy Harris says:

    I didn’t know Mickey as long or as well as most of you. Early in my career in local 104 I had the pleasure to know Mickey. He was a great man with an amazing personality. Rest in peace Mickey!

  16. Pat and Geoff Hodges says:

    A life well lived. No mortal man could have done any better. He was the best of the best. It is sad to have lost him but we were proud to have known him.
    We will never forget his laugh, It will always make us smile. God bless you Mickey!

  17. Gina Fraser says:

    Tim and family, we are so sorry for your loss. I got the chance to meet Mickey once as my daughter Jaclyn who works at At Good As it Gets introduced me to her good friend and best customer one day, I was glad to finally meet Mickey who she talked so much about, cared so much for and who made her laugh.

  18. Bonnie & Marty Spiegel says:

    Marty and I did not know Charles (Mickey) personally, but I (Bonnie) had heard many nice things about him. So sorry to the Rooney Family for their loss. Prayers are sent your way from us. Keep him in your hearts, and he will forever be with all of you.

  19. Nancy Murphy says:

    I had the priveledge of being mickey’s sister in law for many years. He married my sister, Dorsey. My kids loved going over his house because he was “fun”

  20. Nancy Murphy says:

    I had the priveledge of being mickey’s sister in law for many years. He married my sister, Dorsey. My kids loved going over his house because he was “fun”. He was a kids himself. He will be missed. If you knew him you loved him.

  21. Bobby & Carol Kelley says:

    Mickey is our brother in law and a wonder husband to Dorsey father to Sharon, little Mick, Timmy and Patrick. You would always know when Big Mick was close by because the sound of laughter would lead you to where he was. He was a wonderful and caring man who had a love for people and a desire to serve his fellow man. We can honestly say that he set an example of God’s love for those in need. We pray the Spirit of God pour out his mercy,peace and grace upon Mickey’s family and comfort them in their sorrow. In the words of an old hymn, God leads his dear children along, some through great sorrow but God gives a song, in the night’s season and all the day long. May Our perfect, gracious and loving Lord keep you in his care and grant you perfect peace that can only come from God above. We love each of you and pray for God’s wisdom and grace upon your lives now and in the days to come.

  22. Peter Dyer says:

    I had the good fortune to be “broken in” by Mickey and his good friend Hank. A lot of good times on the wire car at night. Mickey epitomized our Marine Corps slogan, Semper Fidelis, to family, friends and country. Rest peace my old friend.

  23. Megan Manent says:

    I know my Grampie, Bill Woods, wishes he could be there in person, but our entire family prays you all be surrounded in love and support! Please know we all also pray that Mickey find eternal peace, be welcomed home by his sweet heart Dorsey and dear friends Sheila Woods, Snooks and Gervie, Kay Stone, and Chet among others. We also pray that fond memories warm your hearts, and you take comfort knowing how truly loved and truly missed he will be

  24. Laurie(MacDonald)Willis says:

    Our family is so grateful that Mickey and Marge became friends and that both families understood the connection.
    Mickey was a bright light in Marge’s day, and a good friend to her, they had some long talks and good laughs (probably at their kid’s expense).
    While Mickey will be missed, he will never be forgotten!

  25. Gerry Duggan says:

    Knew Mickey for many years, when we moved to Butters Row, would see Mickey and Dorsey go by In their Mustang convertable, always a wave and a smile each time. Would see Mickey riding his bycycle keeping In shape for the Pan Mass challenge. always a wave and a smile, would stop sometimes to chat briefly, then on his way, even recently Mickey would be walking, would stop, chat for a bit. A great guy, may he rest In peace, Bless you Mickey.

  26. John & Joanne Robbins says:

    Dennis, Maryann and Joann and your families – our love and prayers go out to Mickey and the rest of the family – Mickey was such a giving man – he drove my mother to church every Saturday for years and also did errands for her – Mickey rest in peace with beautiful Dorsey.

  27. Frank West says:

    Karen and I are saddened at the passing of Mickey. He was a gentlemen and a class act. We will keep Mickey and his family in our prayers.

  28. MaryAnn McKeen ( Buddy ) says:

    To the Rooney family – I was so sorry to hear of Mickey’s passing – Mickey was a wonderful man and will be missed . My memory of what he did was when we moved from Wilmington he had a 4th of July party and he made my son Bobby think it was a special going away party just for him . Only Mickey would think of doing something like this . Bobby felt so special that day . RIP special Mickey . In my prayers .

  29. Ross Spinelli says:

    Mickey, Tim, Sharon and Patrick I am deeply sorry for your loss . My condolences to you all , to your mother and your families.

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