Craig Edward Rooney, 85, Prairie Village, KS, passed away peacefully Wednesday, May 10th, 2023, surrounded by family. He was born in Kansas City, Kansas to Craig Rooney Sr. and Shirley Storen and was the oldest of 3 siblings, Mike Rooney and Joanne (Rooney) Stout.
Craig was known for his quick wit, the sparkle in his eye, and his curiously crafted dad jokes. His home office plaque captured his essence, “Eccentric Tinkerer”. He attended Rockhurst College and graduated from the University of Detroit with a degree in architectural engineering. After a brief stint at Skelly Co., he embarked on an entrepreneurial journey, establishing his own architectural engineering and drafting business.
Craig always dreamed big, was relentlessly curious, and had a passion for innovation. He made numerous inventions and held several patents, including advancements such as novel coat racks, arm-actuated wheelchair drive devices, and revolutionary concepts for civil modular bridge designs. In the 1980s, he foresaw the emerging era of computers, designing a typewriter and keyboard with cutting-edge construction and applications to the emerging market. Later in his professional life, Craig worked for Black and Veatch. He served as an exceptional leader and mentor where he was respected as much for his generosity as his genius. Though late in his career, he made a lasting impact on the projects and people he oversaw.
Craig possessed a diverse range of talents, making him a true Renaissance man. He excelled in portraiture, painting, music, and and excelled as an arm-chair astrophysicist, therapist, tutor, and storyteller. His children cherish the portraits he drew of them as well as his humor, wise counsel, and endless patience. He made light of his many talents and preferred to ask you about yourself. He would listen with attention, and enjoyed providing guidance as well as good-natured debate.
Together, Craig and his late wife Lois provided sponsorship and support to Vietnamese and Laotians displaced by war, assisting them in their journey towards citizenship and thriving lives in the United States. And they devoted extensive time and effort to assisting North Kansas City’s underprivileged children. Many of these relationships still exist today. Helping others was a lifelong passion they shared with their community. They were open-minded, curious people who provided a loving foundation for their children, their grandchildren, their church, and their community. They will both be deeply missed.
He is survived by 4 children; Chris (Lucia) Rooney, Brian (Mary Ann) Rooney, Sarah (Ben MacConnell) Rooney, and Elizabeth (Mark Antrim) Rooney, as well as 14 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
A mass will be held for him at a later date in the near future, at St. Ann Catholic Church, 7231 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS 66208 with a reception following. All are welcome.
To leave a special message for the family you may leave a condolence online or call/text Sarah Rooney: (785)766-0757.
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