Medical 05

Dr. Ted Rooney

October 11, 1952 ~ August 3, 2021 (age 68)


A Visitation with Ted's Family will be on Sunday, August 8th beginning at 2 p.m. and concluding  with a Rosary and Christian Wake Service beginning at 4:30 p.m. at O'Leary Celebration of Life Center in Norwalk.

Dr. Ted Rooney will lie-in-state beginning at 11 a.m. Monday, August 9th followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 1:00 p.m. at St. John Catholic Church in Norwalk.

Memorials in Dr. Ted Rooney's name to the Glioblastoma Research Collaborative and the Arthritis Foundation will be accepted.


For those wishing to send a gift other than a memorial the family is requesting green plants with white flowers.

To send an on-line condolence and/or green plants with white flowers using Norwalk’s locally owned flower shop click the "send flowers/tributes" tab on this screen or call O'Leary's Flowers at (515) 981-0700.  You may also order by going to:

Arrangements are under the direction of O'Leary Funeral & Cremation Services in Norwalk (515) 981-0700.

Dr. Rooney's Life Story


       Dr. Theodore W. Rooney passed away Tuesday morning, August 3, after a 39 month battle with Glioblastoma multiforme, (GBM) a terminal form of brain cancer. Dr. Rooney is survived by his wife Patty, his daughters Kelly, Maggie and Jacy, Sons-in-law, Roman and Josh, grandchildren Deklyn, Maks, Evee, Sasha, Charlie, George and soon to be born, JJ.  Ted is also survived by his brothers Michael (Celeste) and Kevin (Tammy) and his sister Annie.  He will also be missed by many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, as well as ever expanding great, great nieces and nephews. 

       Ted Rooney was born October 11, 1952, the eldest child of Edward and Marilyn Rooney as well as the first born grandson, continuing a legacy  of six  Rooney doctors born to Edward and Olive Rooney.    

       He graduated from Solon, Ohio High School in 1970 and attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  He graduated with a B.A. in Zoology in 1973 and began medical school at the age of 20.   He attended Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (now A.T. Still University) in Kirksville, Missouri, where he graduated at the top of his class in 1977.

       Shortly before graduation, he met his wife, Patty, also graduating from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Missouri.  They married shortly after prospective graduations and moved to Cleveland, Ohio where Dr. Rooney completed his internship and residency at the Cleveland Clinic and was the Chief Medical Resident in his final year there.

       He and his wife moved to Des Moines in 1979 where he accepted a position of Associate Professor of Medicine at Des Moines University (DMU-formerly known as College of Osteopathic Medicine and Science-COMS.)   He was Chair of Internal Medicine, 1980-1984 and later, Clinical Professor of Rheumatology.   During his time there, he recruited many other brilliant physicians to join him in his vision to make the school a premier institution to train future physicians, which he and his colleagues achieved, raising standards for educational excellence.   He was awarded Outstanding Professor 1983, 84 and 86.

       Also, at this time, Dr. Rooney and his wife became parents of three daughters in as many years.  He gradually became that person to ask about all things Arthritis and so in 1984, Dr. Rooney, his wife and daughters moved to Iowa City where he completed his fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Iowa and developed his love for research.  He and his wife co-authored, “The Arthritis Handbook” at this time, published in 1985.

       While completing his Fellowship, Dr. Rooney convinced the leadership of Mercy Hospital that Des Moines needed a dedicated Arthritis Center and started a one doctor clinical practice, with the help of several wonderful women to create the Mercy Arthritis Center.  Again, his recruiting skills, his vision and enthusiasm attracted and created what is now the Iowa Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center, one of the largest practices for Rheumatology in the country with twelve physicians, four Physician Assistants and a large and caring staff, all dedicated to continuing his mission of patient care as the top priority at all times.  

       He co-founded Iowa Research with Joyce Brown and they conducted many clinical research studies, collaborating with physicians and pharmaceutical companies to conduct clinical trials in order to find new and better methods of treatment for his patients suffering with Rheumatologic and Immunologic  conditions.  True to his gift of mentorship, he gave countless lectures to medical professionals over the years promoting best practices for patient care and treatments.

       Dr. Rooney retired from seeing patients but never retired from working to improve patient care. His list of credentials, accomplishments and honors include:

(F.A.C.P.) American Board of Internal Medicine, 1980;  (F.A.C.R.) Fellow, American College of Rheumatology, 1987, Who’s Who Among Rising Young Americans in American Society and Business in 1992, Director of Clinical Research DMU 2004-2008, Mercy One Medical Center Board of Directors, collaborated to institute Perfect Serve, a system implemented for better communications among medical staff, Mercy Patient Care Initiative (Safety First) 2014-2016, which focused on patient safety as well as advocating for physicians looking to remove some of the barriers faced by medical personnel in quality patient care.  He had Medical Staff privileges at Mercy, Methodist, and Lutheran Hospitals, all in keeping with his vision for unity across the city of Des Moines in order to best serve the needs of all patients…

       …his list of accomplishments are simply too numerous to include all of them, but Dr. Rooney has touched the lives of thousands of colleagues, students, patients and their families both personally and behind the scenes administratively, working always to improve patient safety and care and seeking best practices.  If he has his way in heaven, he will continue and will pester God, advocating for humans to find cures and breakthroughs in medical advancements. 


To send flowers to Dr. Ted Rooney's family, please visit our floral store.


August 8, 2021

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
O'Leary Celebration of Life Center ~ Funeral & Cremation Services
1020 Main Street
Norwalk, Iowa 50211

Recitation of the Rosary
August 8, 2021

4:30 PM
O'Leary Celebration of Life Center ~ Funeral & Cremation Services
1020 Main Street
Norwalk, Iowa 50211

Mass of Christian Burial
August 9, 2021

1:00 PM
St. John the Apostle Catholic Church
720 Orchard Hills Drive
Norwalk, Iowa 50211

© 2021 O'Leary Funeral & Cremation Services ~ Celebration of Life Center. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy