Cover photo for The Rev. Dr. E. Gene Rooney's Obituary
The Rev. Dr. E. Gene Rooney Profile Photo
1935 The Rev. Dr. E. Gene 2021

The Rev. Dr. E. Gene Rooney

August 7, 1935 — October 16, 2021

The Reverend Doctor E. Gene Rooney, Jr., 86, of Jefferson City, Missouri, retired pastor of First United Methodist Church, passed away on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City.

He was born on August 7, 1935, in Birmingham, Alabama, the son of Earl Eugene Rooney, Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Pearson Rooney.

He was married on December 15, 1962, at Linwood United Methodist Church in Kansas City, MO, to Maeanna Jane Taylor who survives at the home.

He was an Honorably Discharged veteran of the United States Army Reserves (Infantry).

Dr. Rooney was a 1953 graduate of Thayer (Missouri) High School. Attending the University of Missouri on athletic and academic scholarships, he graduated in 1957 as first in his class in the Business School with a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in Accounting and Economics. He subsequently worked as an auditor for three years with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company, Certified Public Accountants.

While in high school he lettered in football, basketball, baseball, track, and tennis, and was All-Conference in football and basketball for two years. He played basketball for the University of Missouri from 1954 to 1956.

He received a Master of Divinity degree Cum Laude in 1963 from Saint Paul School of Theology-Methodist in Kansas City and was ordained an Elder in the Missouri West Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1964. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Central Methodist College in 1980.

Dr. Rooney completed 1500 hours specialized post-graduate training in Neuro-Linguistics and Communication Skills, including Masters and Trainers Certification, from the Society of Neurolinguistic Programming and the National Training Institute for N.L.P. in 1990. At that time, he was the only full-time pastor in the world with that certification.

The special emphases of his counseling work included spiritual discernment, chronic illnesses, pain control, communication and interpersonal skills, and marital and family issues.

He acquired further training in cancer counseling with Carl and Stephanie Simonton and Western States Associates. He conducted national seminars on spirituality, communication skills, emotional needs of cancer patients and their families, managing stress, avoiding burnout, grief management, listening skills, neuro-linguistic leadership skills, organizational functioning, paradigm shifts, achieving personal excellence, and Claire Graves’ Levels of Reality.

He was lead trainer for L.E.A.D. Consultants of Columbus, Ohio, and did both consulting work and conducted seminars.

Dr. Rooney served United Methodist churches in Kansas City, Drexel, Lamar, Joplin, Lebanon, and Jefferson City. He was a past chairman of the Missouri West Conference Board of Evangelism, the Missouri East Conference Episcopal Committee, and the Missouri East Conference Vision Committee.

His awards include the 1975 Lebanon Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award; the 1975 Liberty Bell Award from the Missouri Bar Association; and the 1974 National Freedom Foundation Annual Award for his founding of Project Misdemeanant in 1973, a program that utilized volunteers with juvenile offenders.

Other awards include the 1986 Missouri East Conference Evangelism Award and the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Missouri Municipal League. He served as Governor Bond’s personal representative to the 1981 National Leadership Conference and was frequently invited to be the keynote speaker at various institutional events throughout the United States.

Dr. Rooney served with the continuing education faculty at Lincoln University for several years where he was an adjunct professor at the graduate level in Sociology and Psychology.

He served on the Board of Directors of Central Bank, Capital Region Medical Center, Y.M.C.A., Wesley Foundation, Sheltered Workshop, American Red Cross, Missouri Division of Parole, Cole County Mental Health Association, and the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri.

He did consulting work with Capital Region Medical Center, Jefferson City teacher organizations, Missouri State Board of Health, Missouri State Parole Officers, Missouri State Juvenile Officers, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Office of the Secretary of State, Missouri Office of Administration, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

He hosted a Sunday morning Talk Show called "Pastor's Study" for five years on KRCG-TV Channel 13 and a similar program on KWOS AM Radio as well as broadcasting weekly worship services from First United Methodist Church on KRCG-TV for many years.

A published author, Dr. Rooney's works include, God's Bill of Rights; Metaphors for Metamorphosis; Speaking Heart to Heart; Listening with the Mind's Inner Ear; When the Bough Breaks; Amphorae; The Simon Syndrome; Think on These Things; and Fountains of Life.

He produced Volume I of a cassette series of sermons entitled, "Cleaning Glass"; composed several thousand poems on varied subjects; and contributed to a twelve-volume confirmation course entitled, A Faith of Your Own.

Dr. Rooney enjoyed reading, writing, hunting, fishing, camping, and caring for feral cats. He loved the mountains and his cats.

Survivors include his wife, Jane Taylor Rooney, Jefferson City; four children, Dr. J. Todd (Kim) Rooney, Lee's Summit, Mo.; Michele Rooney McInerney (Lee Blalack), Kansas City, Mo.; Dr. M. Webb (Mandy) Rooney, Columbia, Mo.; and Dr. S. Craig Rooney (Nathan Fleischmann), Columbia, Mo.; seven grandchildren, Katelyn Hardt, Lee's Summit, Mo.; Allie Taylor McInerney, New York City, N.Y.; Maddie Jane Rooney, Lee's Summit, Mo.; Lucas Rooney, Columbia, Mo.; Jack McInerney, Kansas City, Mo.; Jordan Rooney, Columbia, Mo.; and Maggie Rooney McInerney, Kansas City, Mo.; one great-granddaughter, Charlie Mae Hardt, Lee's Summit, Mo.; one brother, Jerry (Pam) Rooney, Knoxville, Iowa; one sister-in-law, Patti Taylor (Rich) Hilton, Rogers, Ark.; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his in-laws, Basil and Jane Taylor; and a younger brother, Bill Rooney in 2000.

First and foremost, Gene was a man of God, called by God, to minister to His people here on Earth. Gene was a good and faithful servant. He loved his family, friends, and all who he ministered throughout his life.

Gene was cremated as per his wishes.

A recording of Gene preaching will be shown in the church sanctuary prior to Gene’s memorial service on Saturday starting at 9:20 a.m. The live stream on the church’s website will begin at 9:15 a.m.

A Memorial Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for Gene’s life will follow at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 20, 2021, at First United Methodist Church. Gene’s family will receive friends following the service.

Masks are suggested and will be available at the church entrance.

Memorials are suggested to First United Methodist Church, 201 Monroe Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101; the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 96929, Washington, DC 20090-6929; the African Children’s Choir-Music for Life (, or to Hiefer International, PO Box 8058, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203.

Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Those wishing to send tributes or condolences may do so at the website.
To send flowers to the family in memory of The Rev. Dr. E. Gene Rooney, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, November 20, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

201 Monroe Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101

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