Garret J. Rooney, a community leader and recently retired assistant to the city manager of Long Beach, died on Dec. 12. Rooney was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year. He was 68.
"Long Beach has lost one if its great public servants and I have lost my dearest friend," said James Moriarty, chairman of the Long Beach Republican Coalition and a former Long Beach City councilman, who was friends with Rooney for 40 years.
Rooney assisted in nearly every facet of the general administration of the City of Long Beach. He had previously worked as a financial consultant and had been active in community affairs for many years.
A former U.S. Marine, Rooney served as chief of the Long Beach Fire Department from 1975 to 1981, leading one of Long Island's busiest fire departments, and as chairman of the 2nd Battalion Fire District, and he was a member of the Nassau County Fire Commission. He served as president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 17, for two years, and was co-chairman of the Irish Day Parade and Festival in Long Beach for five years.
Rooney was also a former first vice president of the Long Beach Civil Service Employees Union and served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Beach Medical Center.
"He brought energy, keen intelligence and tenacity to every job he undertook," Moriarty said.
For many years Rooney was active, often in a leadership role, in many organizations, including the Long Beach Republican Committee, Long Beach Catholic Regional School, Chaminade High School, Sacred Heart Academy, American Legion, Mercy Hospital, Naval Academy Parents Club of Long Island, Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Long Beach Lions Club and the United States Merchant Marine Academy Metro Area Parents Club.
"Being Garret's friend was always exciting, fresh and interesting," Moriarty said. "I have never met anyone with a stronger sense of compassion, fairness and loyalty. He was a true friend."
Rooney is survived by his wife Linda; his seven children, Rosemarie, Garret, Kevin, Nicholas, MaryRose, Robert and Peter; his sister Roseann (Vincent) Donnelly, his brother Kevin; and his grandchildren and nephews. His son Michael Scott predeceased him.
Rooney's funeral service will be held at Macken Mortuary, at 3930 Long Beach Rd. in Island Park.