Annie Rooney, long known to the Bozeman community, lost her life on July 5, 2013, from injuries sustained in a head-on collision with a suspected drunk driver. This accident occurred in Chillicothe, Ohio, Annie's hometown. Annie moved to Chillicothe from Bozeman in 2012.
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Annie first moved to Bozeman in 2001, working as a Bison Herder at Turner Enterprises. Annie then began postgraduate coursework in physics and chemistry at Montana State from 2002 to 2004.
Annie left Bozeman in 2004 to obtain a Juris Doctor degree at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. After graduating law school in 2007, Annie worked as an attorney around the Cincinnati area and her hometown of Chillicothe.
Annie returned to Bozeman in 2008 to work as an associate attorney with Christopher Gillette. From 2009 until 2011 Annie worked as a prosecutor for the City of Bozeman, focusing on prosecuting domestic violence cases.
Annie's interest in law as a profession began while Annie was first living in Bozeman. She became aware of the positive impact one could have by enforcing the law to protect the citizens of a community. Prior to law school, Annie could be found at Montana State, where she raved about the physics and chemistry departments to anyone that would listen. Annie also worked for KGLT radio while studying at Montana State, where her love of music and the artists who created it could be fully realized.
While living away from Bozeman, Annie yearned to be back among the mountains in Montana. She returned to Bozeman in 2008 where she was reunited with her love of the outdoors. While mountain biking, skiing, running, doing yoga, or hosting a KGLT radio show, Annie created a vast network of mentors, friends, and admirers.
Professionally, Annie served the Bozeman community by prosecuting domestic violence cases. In 2009 Annie seemed to have met the perfect mentor: Judy Wang. Long known for her work prosecuting domestic violence cases in Missoula, Annie's career focus began to take shape. Tragically Ms. Wang was killed in September of 2009, coming home from a domestic violence conference in Billings. Annie had spoken with Judy at that conference and Ms. Wang's death affected her deeply.
Annie's zest for life has been extensively documented at www.annierooney.com, her Facebook page, and her obituary that was published earlier in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Though living in Ohio at the time of her death, Annie never stopped thinking about her friends in Montana. Her many trips to the Flying D Ranch were invigorating and strenuous: she loved to run the many trails there to prepare for ski season. Her Montana network is vast and loving, the first sign erected at the crash site in Ohio said: "Montana Loves You, Annie."
Annie's family remembers her many stories about Montana, and all the characters in her tribe that embodied her same sense of adventure. Her friends sought Montana for many of the same reasons she did: the majestic beauty of the land and the powerful spirit of its people. Her Montana friends have demonstrated their love for her to her family, as they continue to grieve the sudden loss of their precious Annie.
For those of you wishing to celebrate Annie's life, please join friends and family in a memorial gathering on Saturday July 20, 2013, where the sharing of memorable Annie stories will be encouraged. Buses will be providing transportation from the parking garage on East Mendenhall Street to the memorial site at 2 p.m. and returning at approximately 6 p.m. If attending, please R.S.V.P. at firstname.lastname@example.org, in order to ensure that adequate transportation is available.
In lieu of gifts or flowers, please make donations to Haven, Gallatin Valley's nonprofit serving victims of domestic violence. Checks can be made out to HAVEN and addressed to: HAVEN, P.O. Box 752, Bozeman, MT 59771.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on July 14, 2013