This week we mourn the passing of our friend, our mentor and the man who founded RCM Architects, Jim Rooney. Though Jim has been retired from RCM Architects for several years, the foundation upon which he built our firm is still strong. Commitment to service, desire to produce an honest design, and a passion for making his hometown, Findlay, Ohio, a better place still echo in his legacy.
After graduation from Findlay High School in 1948, Jim served his country in the Korean War as an Army Master Sergeant. After military service, he graduated from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree, and married fellow student, Connie Steece. Jim and Connie returned to Jim's hometown of Findlay and began building a family with children Bethany, Kevin, Kyle and Megan. His first job in Findlay was as construction superintendent for the "new" Findlay High School on Broad Avenue.
In 1963, Jim and college roommate, Everett Musser, opened Rooney & Musser, Architects. The firm Rooney & Musser evolved over the years into Rooney & Clinger, Rooney Clinger Murray and finally, RCM Architects. For 45 years as President, Jim led the firm in the design of over 3,000 buildings, with many being award winners. Today, Findlay is still blessed with working examples of Jim's vision such as Blanchard Valley Center; Whittier, Chamberlin Hill, Wilson Vance, & Bigelow Hill Schools; University of Findlay Mazza Gallery and the Findlay Hancock County Public Library.
Jim loved his church. Jim served as President of Saint Michael's School and Parish Council, and shared his soothing baritone in St. Michael's choir for over 50 years. A great joy to Jim was his involvement in the design of the new St. Michael Church, and seeing that become a reality after many years of planning.
Jim was a delightful man. Always positive and kind, a supportive mentor, but firm in his beliefs and his opinion of what was right. Jim Rooney was that rare character of a man who possessed great talents, but humbly used those talents to serve others.
Man of faith, man of family, man of Findlay. We will miss you, Jim.