John J. Rooney Jr.
Retired president of Bennett's Bicycles; his family was his life
John J. Rooney Jr. of Staten Island, N.Y., and Manchester N.J., passed away at Richmond University Medical Center on March 29, 2019. Born in Stapleton, he was the son of the late John J. Rooney Sr. and Margaret L. O'Rourke.
Mr. Rooney worked for his brother-in-law, George Bennett, at Bennett's Bicycles starting at the age of 11 and worked there untill 1957. He then went to work for Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal for 13 years, after graduating from New Dorp High School. He returned to Bennett's Bicycles in 1970, working his way to general manager and president.
After retiring from Bennett's in 1995, he started a new career in the funeral industry. He was employed at Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Home at the time of his death.
John served in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1965, when he was honorably discharged. He is an active third-degree member of the Staten Island Council No. 1662 Knights of Columbus and served as the youngest Grand Knight, Columbian President, a Fourth Degree member, member of the Color Corps and in 2011 became a 50 year-plus member.
He was also a member of the John F. Kennedy Div. No. 1 Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Five Star Post American Legion, the Staten Island Lions Club, and was founder of the Staten Island Club at Leisure Knolls in Manchester, N.J.
John was a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament Church, where he served as a Eucharistic minister and was a member of the Holy Name Society and the Staten Island Vicariate.
John and his wife, Carol, were the co-founders of the Staten Island Pediatrics Care Club and founders of the Staten Island Cleft Lip and Palate Support Group.
John loved talking about Staten Island and traveling with his wife. He always said, HIS CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, AND FAMILY WERE HIS LIFE. He enjoyed talking to anyone about anything. He was a real people person.
He wanted to be buried with his telephone and extra batteries.
John was predeceased by his son-in-law, Peter Saldi, and his granddaughter, Elizabeth Mae Saldi.
He is survived by his wife, Carol (nee Klee); a son, John J. Rooney III (Kristy Maloney); three daughters, Catherine (James) Gonzalez, Carol Saldi, and Cynthia Rooney; three sisters, Anne B. Bennett, Patricia Budnick, and Maureen Castagnetti.
He is also survived by his grandchildren, Kayla and Matthew Rooney, Nicholas Curcio, Jenna Saldi, Shannon and Peter Helfman; two step-granddaughters, Jennifer Bailey and Allison Komal; a step-grandson, Gianluca Tornetti; two great-granddaughters, Gabriella Cotton and Madison Rooney; and two great-grandsons, Aiden and Dylan Bailey.
Funeral is from Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Home on Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial is at Blessed Sacrament R.C. Church at 11 a.m. Interment to follow at St. Peters' Cemetery.
Friends may visit Sunday and Monday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and/or The American Heart Association would be greatly appreciated.
In Lieu of Flowers, Donations in honor of John J. Rooney Jr. to St Jude Children's Research Hospital or to the American Heart Association would be greatly appreciated.