James Mooney of Fisk, Mo., passed away Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at the Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center. He was 86.
Mr. Mooney was born June 25, 1925, in Chicago, Ill., to the late Lawrence Mooney and Margaret (Hickery) Mooney. He grew up in Irish Bridgeport, with his 3 brothers, Lawrence, John and Richard. The boys lost their mother early in life and were raised to be tough, hard-working Catholics. The only time he ever missed Sunday Mass, was when he was severly burned in 2005 and the last week of his life. He enjoyed reading, painting, puzzles and attended the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in Poplar Bluff. For 10 years he worked with his father and brothers as a Union Glaziers of Local 27. In 1955 he went to work for the Chicago Public School system, as a union glazier (window glass). He worked there for nearly 40 years.
He proudly served in the Navy during WWII, as a Seaman First Class, USN I in the Philippines, on the Philippine Liberty 1 Star and on the Asiatic Pacific 1 Star. In appreciation for the Veterans of the Second Gulf War, Jim donated his burial plot in Arlington Cemetery to a young soldier.
On April 10, 1948, he was married to Elizabeth "Betty" (Walenda) Mooney. She preceded him in death on May 21, 1994. They had 6 children, Kathleen, James, Margaret, John, Patrick and Dymphna. He worked extensively with disadvantaged children and adults after the death of his oldest son, Jimmy, who was severely autistic and brain-damaged and required constant and exhausting care.
After the death of Betty, he traveled the world, taking him to Japan and South America. He was a adventurous and almost fearless man. At the age of 82, he bungee jumped off bridges, climbed mountains and rode the rapids. He would climb the neighbors trees to trim them. He loved nature and animals. He enjoyed hiking and walking anywhere. Through his travels, he met and married his beloved, Rachael Clark of Fisk, Mo. They were married June 16, 1997. He cared for her until her passing in 2011. Their early years were filled with dancing, laughing and traveling. Every morning, while the coffee was brewing, they would dance in the kitchen. Rachael turned the "city boy" into a "wanna-be" farmer. He enjoyed his tractor and his enormous garden. They spent many years with Jim outside in the workshop, garden or fields and Rachael in the kitchen, cooking and canning, before ending the day sitting on the swing holding hands.
James is survived by his 5 children, Dymphna Mooney, Patrick Mooney, John Mooney, Margaret Mary Mooney and Kathleen Mooney; his grandchildren, George, Grace, Harmony and Alex, as well as his nieces and nephews, including his favorite niece, Pamela Mooney-Dryden and a sister-in-law, Rosemary Guintaunt.
He is preceded in death by his late wife's, Elizabeth Mooney and Rachael Clark-Mooney; one son, James Mooney, his brothers, Lawrence "Bud" Mooney, John "Jack" Mooney, and Richard Mooney.
Visitation for Mr. Mooney will be from 3 -8 p.m., Sunday, January 22, 2012, at Fowler-Sullivan Funeral Home, Poplar Bluff, Mo. A Mass of Christian Burial will be recited at 10:30 a.m., Monday, January 23, 2012 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, with Father David Dohogne officiating. Burial with full Military Rites will be held at 2 p.m., in the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield, Mo.