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Paul Rooney ’59 passed away peacefully at home on Dec. 2, 2011, after an eight-year battle with cancer. His acceptance of his illness and his will to live life to the fullest was an inspiration to all who knew him. He was born April 17, 1937, in Dorchester, Mass., the second son of William and Lillian Broderick Rooney. He grew up on the East Coast and loved to sail as a boy. The family moved to Portland, Ore., when Paul was a senior in high school. After graduating from Columbia Prep., Paul went to Santa Clara University, graduating in 1959. He spent two years in the Army based in Yuma, Ariz. His duties included traveling as a member of the tennis team.
Paul returned to Santa Clara and began a 30-year career with the Santa Clara County Probation Department. He spent many years working with child abuse victims. His expertise made him the "go to guy" for many public health nurses, physicians, and teachers in the area. Paul earned a master’s degree in correctional counseling from Chapman College. He taught in the criminal justice departments of the College of the Redwoods and Gavilan College. After retiring, he worked with the Giarretto Institute.
Paul and Molly moved to Chico in 1997. Paul enjoyed life on the tennis courts, sailing his boat in S.F. Bay, golf with his buddies, Chico’s bike paths, and traveling the world with Molly and friends. He was an active member of Our Divine Savior Catholic Church, Court Appointed Special Advocates, and Knights of Columbus.
Paul is survived by his wife of 49 years, Molly Rooney ’61; son, Sean (Denise) Rooney; daughters, Sheila (Stuart) Murray, and Katie Valenzuela; granddaughters, Kaitlin Rooney and Julia and Liza Murray; brothers, William F. Rooney Jr. and David Rooney.