By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Patricia Rooney, the wife of late Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, died Saturday at the age of 88.
Patricia passed away at home, the Steelers said in a statement.
"My family and I are mourning the passing of my mother, Patricia," said Steelers president Art Rooney II in a statement released by the team. "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."
Patricia was born on the North Side and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. Patricia was married to Dan for 67 years and raised a family of nine children.
After Dan died in April 2017, the team honored her after the first game for all she did.
"They gave me the game ball, and it was wonderful," Patricia told KDKA's Andy Sheehan in an interview in 2019.
Patricia and Dan infused their family and their football team with a purpose beyond winning. The couple became champions for the community, boosting the efforts of charities. Those included, notably, the American Ireland Funds, supporting the Rooneys' beloved homeland. Patricia also spearheaded a project to restore the fountain at Allegheny Commons.
She is survived by her brother Martin Francis Regan, Evelyn R. O'Brien, Rita R. Heberle and Irene R. Hill.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the funeral will be private. The Rooneys suggested contributions can be made to the Salvation Army or Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.
The Steelers' Zach Banner and T.J. Watt shared their condolences on Twitter.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto also expressed condolences.
"There is much to celebrate Patricia Rooney for, in her service to our nation and our beloved city. In her native North Side, though, she will always be remembered as one of the neighborhood's greatest champions," the mayor said in a statement.
In a statement, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and his wife Jane Goodell said "We extend our deepest condolences to Art Rooney and the entire Rooney family with the passing of his mother and our friend Patricia."
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