In Memory

Mary McIllece (Rooney)

Mary McIllece (Rooney)

September 8, 1955 - April 30, 2021

A tribute from Ladies of Trojan League of Los Angeles -
It is with a very heavy heart, that I share the heartbreaking news of  the passing of our friend and TLLA Past President, Mary McIllece Green Rooney.
Mary graduated from USC with a Bachelor of Arts in 1977, followed by her JD degree from USC in 1980. After receiving her BA, she married fellow Trojan  Kevin Green. Kevin and Mary raised two sons, Brett and J.B. After tragically losing Kevin, Mary found love again with Peter Rooney, and they married. Peter was a loving father to the boys, and they shared a happy life in Newport Beach.
Mary was diagnosed with lung cancer seven years ago. She fought cancer valiantly with her typical grace, but the cancer, alas, spread to her brain. She transitioned to hospice care early this week and  passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family.
Mary joined Trojan League of Los Angeles in 2006, and served as Annual Benefit Chairman, and then President. She was recognized for her volunteerism and leadership with  the Widney Alumni House Award.
She was also a Trustee's Scholar at USC

Published in Orange County Register on May 9, 2021.

September 8, 1955 April 30, 2021 Mary Green Rooney of Newport Beach passed away peacefully at home on April 30, 2021 surrounded by her husband, Peter Rooney and her two sons, Brett and J.B. Green, after heroically battling cancer for seven years. Mary was born in Seattle, Washington, and adopted by her wonderful mother Alice McIllece Harris. Mary grew up on Mercer Island until she was ten years old. She moved to South Pasadena in Southern California when her mother married George Harris in 1965 and went on to graduate from South Pasadena High School. Mary graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and International Relations in 1977. She was awarded the Order of the Laurel at graduation by her beloved mentor, Dean Joan Schaefer for her significant contribution in the areas of scholarship, leadership, and service. After graduation, Mary attended the USC School of Law where she earned her J.D. degree in 1980 at a time when few women attended law school. After she passed the California bar exam, she was hired in 1980 by Rutan & Tucker, Orange County's oldest law firm where she became a partner and spent her entire career practicing real estate law. Mary successfully represented some of the largest landlords in Southern California as well as Fortune 500 companies. Mary was very fond of her law partners and clients and enjoyed the intellectual challenges of the ever-changing real estate business. Mary never forgot the two scholarships she received from Town & Gown of USC including a four year scholarship for her undergraduate studies and a three year scholarship for law school. She was so grateful for the opportunities she received at USC. She believed she would not have been able to attend USC were it not for the two Mary Norquist Scholarships and she wanted to do the same for others. Mary later joined Town & Gown and was able to endow a scholarship for other deserving students and was a member of the scholarship committee. She joined the Trojan League of Los Angeles in 2006 where she served as the Annual Benefit Chairman and as the President for two years. Mary received the Widney Alumni House Award for her volunteerism and leadership. She cherished the bonds she had with her fellow members of Trojan League. While in college, Mary was an active member of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority where she made lasting relationships with many friends. She later served as the President of the Pi Beta Phi House Corporation for four years starting in 2006 and oversaw a major restoration of the sorority house. Mary's pledge class in 1973 was the first to move into the then new sorority house which was designed by the iconic Los Angeles architect Paul Williams whom she admired. During those years of service, she enjoyed getting to know and work with the young women and other board members. Mary met Kevin Green after she started practicing law in Orange County. Kevin also attended the University of Southern California and they shared many friends and interests. They married in 1983, moved to the Bayshores Community in 1985, and had two beautiful sons, Brett and J.B. With great sadness, Kevin passed away in 2000 at an early age from his own battle with cancer. Mary and Peter met during a real estate transaction to purchase a former aerospace facility in Pico Rivera. They enjoyed negotiating with each other over a year's period and developed a strong friendship. Peter was smitten by her beauty and intellect and fell in love with her. They were subsequently set up on a date by friends and Mary found love for a second time. They were married in 2002 and shared an incredible life together. Mary retired from her law practice in 2004 to spend more time with her boys who were entering Newport Harbor High School. Mary supported all of the boy's events and loved cheering loudly at their games. She also liked to travel extensively with her family including many summer trips to La Grulla, Rancho Las Cruces and Moonstone on Catalina Island. Mary enjoyed boating with her family and was a member of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. She also played golf and was a member of Big Canyon Country Club and Eldorado Country Club. Mary loved spending time at their home in Indian Wells with their family and good friends. She was a long time member of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach where she taught Sunday School. Mary was preceded in death by her first husband Kevin Green, by her mother Alice McIllece Harris, by her mother-in-law Jeanette Barton Green and by her father-in-law Max Green. She is survived by her husband Peter Rooney, her two sons Brett Green and J.B. Green, her stepmother-in-law Harriet Green, her mother-in-law Brooks Rooney, her father-in-law Peter Rooney III, her sister-in-laws Marcia Redford, Linda Alshuler, Barbara Welch and Shari Rooney Rodriguez and their families. Mary loved her children more than anything else. Brett and J.B. were the light of her life and she was so proud of her accomplished sons. She had a strong faith in God and surrounded herself with people who shared her faith. She touched so many people's hearts during her incredibly rich life. Mary was an amazing example of grace, high standards, loyalty and infinite compassion. She will be forever missed by all and her beautiful legacy will long be remembered.


go to bottom 
  Post Comment

05/05/21 10:45 AM #1    

Elaine Feuer (Feuer-Barton)

Such sad news to lose another classmate. While I haven't been in contact with Mary in our adult lives, I remember her as a nice, intelligent person. We were in many classes together and then ran into each other at USC Law School which both she and my husband Rick were students. My condolences to Mary's family and close friends.


05/05/21 05:26 PM #2    

Lindy [Widge] Armstrong (Batchelor)

Mary was such a kind and caring friend to me when I was an AFS student at the wonderful SPHS. I was in contact with her a few times since we all left school, and certainly wish it was more. I always admired her intelligence and calm outlook, and the way she coped with such personal sadness with the loss of her husband many years ago. I'm pleased to know she was able to have some extra happy years with her sons and new family life. I enjoyed their Christmas cards over the years, but so sad to know she is no longer with us. Thinking of her family and friends, with happy memories of a dear and special woman.

05/05/21 08:29 PM #3    

Marsha L Ginsburg

When I remember Mary, the word grace comes to mind. She always carried herself with such poise and modesty even though she was super academic and a high achiever. Highly affable and friendly, I can still picture her smile, always coming at you in Tigerettes or just walking down the hall. I remember too she got accepted to Stanford. Their loss. I'll bet she was a hell of an attorney and mostlikely a great mom as welI. I hope her husband and sons have sadness replaced with healing and joyful memories soon. We won't forget you Mary. Our class was better for having you in it. 

05/06/21 09:18 AM #4    

James Griffin


My sincere condolences thoughts and prayers go out to Mary and her family and friends . Remember her as a very bright and beautiful person. Last time I saw Mary was at our 40-year Class reunion in 2013
Posted a  picture of Mary at that event with her Fellow Tiger Mate Barbara Doty.. 
Looking at our yearbook  I see Mary was our class Treasurer, Weldon Award Winner, Senior Committee Member, Life CSF, Top Ten, Girls State.   Wow ! A smart person and I'm sure she lived and enjoyed life to the fullest. 
Ending with a comment from my pal and fellow Tiger & Trojan Alum David Gerletti like Mary who happened to be Dave's date at our Senior Prom in 1973 .. 

" A stalwart Trojan,  she will be missed.  She is probably holding court with the other Angels as we speak" - Dave Gerletti

go to top 
  Post Comment