Elizabeth O’Connell Rooney of Middletown died Friday, January 26, 2018 at Newport Hospital. She was the widow of E. Patrick Rooney.
Born May 27, 1921 in Newport, Rhode Island. She was the daughter of J.T. O’Connell and Elizabeth Coyle O’Connell.
She was a graduate of Rogers High School in Newport in 1938 and the College of New Rochelle in 1942. On her 21st birthday, she met Pat on the deck of her parents’ house on Tuckerman Avenue in Middletown when he was stationed in Newport during the war. They were married for 53 years.
She began riding as a young girl and had been associated in the horse show world for over 75 years. During college she was on a National Championship team at Madison Square Garden. After marrying and having her five children, she returned to showing in the New England/New York area. In 1960, she became the first woman President of the New England Horseman’s Council, as well as the Rhode Island Horseman’s Association. She served on several committees of the American Horse Show Association and was one of three founders of the New England Equitation Finals and a trustee of the Eastern States Exposition. In 2017, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Eastern States.
Liz enjoyed sharing stories of her and Pat’s world travels that included trips to Australia, Africa, Europe, Asia and South America.
Survived by daughters Maureen Kramer, Liz Prime (Stephen) of Middletown, Kathy Rooney of Portland, Oregon, Meg Rooney of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and son, Patrick Rooney (Pam) of Middletown; grandchildren Keegan Rooney (Miri) of Portland, Sean Rooney (Lisette) and Kate Rooney (Stephen Sams), Nick and Kiley Prime of Middletown and step-granddaughter Chelsea Kramer of Warwick; great grandchildren Delilah and Declan Rooney of Portland, Sofia and Quinn Rooney and Jack and Lucy Sams of Middletown. She is predeceased by her sisters, Eileen O’Reilly and Mary Walsh.
Calling hours are omitted. There will be a funeral mass on Friday, February 2nd, 2018 at 10:00 in the morning at St. Mary’s Church on Spring Street, Newport, R.I. Burial will be private.
A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Newport Boys and Girls Club, 95 Church Street, Newport, R.I. 02840 or Greenlock Therapeutic Riding, 59 Summer Street, Rehoboth, MA 02769.