Marcella A. (O’Brien) Rooney, age 84, of Decorah, IA, died Friday, September 6, 2013 at her home in Decorah.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 A.M. Thursday, September 12, 2013 at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Decorah with Rev. Phillip Gibbs officiating. Burial will be in St. Benedict Catholic Cemetery in Decorah.
Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 P.M. Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah with Rosary recited at 4:00 PM and a Scripture Service at 7:00 PM, and on Thursday one hour before the service at the church.
Marcella Agnes (O’Brien) Rooney was born on July 3, 1929 in Decorah, Iowa to Francis and Elizabeth (Carolan) O’Brien. Marcella attended St. Benedict Catholic School through the eighth grade. She also attended Decorah Public School before graduating from high school at Mt. Mercy Academy in Cedar Rapids. Marcella received her Bachelors and Masters degree from Mt. Mercy College in Cedar Rapids. Marcella joined the Sisters of Mercy in Cedar Rapids in 1948 taking the name Sister Steven Marie and remained a sister for over 23 years.
Marcella was united in marriage with Harry (Rusty) Hubert Herold in Pueblo, Colorado in June 1972 until his death in December 1972. Marcella returned to Decorah and married Charles Anthony Rooney on June 25, 1973 at St. Benedict Catholic Church. Marcella joined Charles in adopting and raising Charles’s children: Ella Mae Rooney Wiemerslage, David (Annette) Rooney, and his step children Arla (Paul) Musser Green, Sandra Musser Steward, and James (Roberta) Musser. Together they also fostered nine newborns from Catholic Charities as well as a five year old. For five years, they babysat Jason Uhlenhake, whom she and Charlie considered a grandson.
As a Sister of Mercy, Marcella taught at Immaculate Conception in Cedar Rapids, IA, St. Joseph’s in DeWitt, IA, St. Joseph’s in Marion, IA, St. Cecelia in Ames, IA, All Saints in Cedar Rapids, IA, and Our Lady of Grace, Edina, MN. Marcella served as Coordinator of Religious Education in the Archdiocese of Dubuque, IA. She also served as Religious Education Administrator and Principal of St. Francis, Pueblo, CO., and a loan officer for Pueblo Colorado Credit Union after leaving the convent. Marcella was active in religious education and many committees at St. Benedict Catholic Church including St. Mark’s Circle. She was a member of the VFW Auxiliary.
Marcella loved life and visiting family and friends. She loved children, and especially enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great granddaughter. Marcella enjoyed traveling and her annual fishing trips with Charlie to Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Marcella lost her battle with cancer and passed away in her home with her family at her side on September 6, 2013.
Marcella is survived by four children: Arla (Paul) Green of Lafayette, IN, Sandy Steward of Albert Lea, MN, Ellie Wiemerslage of Albert Lea, MN and David (Annette) Rooney of Decorah; eight grandchildren: Alicia (Ryan) Ingram, Kade and Bess Wiemerslage, Hannah, Kaitlyn, Emma, Clara, and Ellen Rooney; one great-granddaughter, Shayla Ingram; one daughter-in-law: Roberta (Manuelito) Musser of Thief River Falls, MN; three sisters: Mary (Roger) Fischer of Clutier, IA, Loretta (Don) Orris of Cedar Rapids, IA and Rose Frana of Calmar, IA; one brother: Steve (Mary Ellen) O’Brien of Dubuque, IA; five sisters-in-law: Fran O’Brien of Cedar Rapids, Frances Wilcox of Cedar Rapids, Rosemary (Jack) Marshall of Des Moines, Patricia (Louis) Courtney of Decorah, and Roma O’Brien Michel of Decorah; many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and long-time friend Pat Luren.
Marcella was preceded in death by her husband Charles on June 17, 2011; first husband Rusty Herold; son James Musser on October 14, 2011; her parents, Frank and Bessie O’Brien; her father and mother-in-law Walter and Rose Rooney, three brothers: Robert, Eugene , and Leonard O’Brien; and one brother-in-law: Harry Wilcox.