Peter Rooney
1941 - 2021
Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home - Ulster Park
339 Broadway
Ulster Park, NY
Peter Rooney

Ulster Park - Peter E. Rooney, 79, of Twin Brook Farm, Union Center Road, Ulster Park NY died Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 at Northern Dutchess Hospital, Rhinebeck, NY following a brief illness.

He was born in Modena, NY on April 13th, 1941, the son of the late Alexander and Margaret (Smith) Rooney, both RNs who met at nursing school. His dad was one of the first male nurses to graduate from Fordham in NYC. From a very young age, Peter's broad-minded parents instilled in him an unquenchable thirst for originality and independence, and taught him the sky's the limit!

At 15, his fascination with flying became a reality, barnstorming with a seasoned pilot in his crop dusting airplane. The rest of his life was a series of adventures and journeys embracing fatherhood; teaching in the classroom; teaching in the air as a fixed-wing aircraft and hot air balloon flight instructor; creating businesses; raising Bison; growing grapes in Argentina, and cultivating a vast network of friends around the world. Peter's greatness, which endeared him to so many, was his gift of being non-judgmental... no matter who you were or what your stature in life. In short, he treated everyone the same... welcoming all with kindness and respect. He will always be remembered as a brilliant guy, full of life, laughter and great stories!

He graduated from New Paltz High School class of 1959 and Oswego State University in 1963. At Oswego he was an invited member to the Mensa Society, a group of people with high IQ's who gathered to discuss, interact and challenge ideas. Later in life he decided that, as a successful businessman in the Hudson Valley, he had an obligation, as a citizen, to try to change state government by saving and creating jobs, supporting term limits, and reducing regulation in the workplace and businesses, which he felt would ultimately create more opportunities for all. In 2013 he ran for the New York State Assembly, losing by a thread. He always rose to the occasion for justice and fairness in all aspects of life.

His love and respect for the land has been a lifelong priority as witnessed by his interest in the protection of the environment and habitats for animals. A friend once said you can judge a person by how he treats animals... enter Peter Rooney!

Peter is survived by his wife of 44 years, Ande Rooney; daughters, Lisa Wilson (BJ) and Lauren Rooney (Bobby Knoth) of New Paltz; beloved grandsons, Alex Wilson of Boston, MA and Dylan Winslow of New Paltz; sisters, Mincey Slate of Cleveland, NY and Karen Allen of Bernhards Bay, NY as well as several cousins, nieces and nephews.

In loving memory of Peter, please plant a tree, rescue an animal, send memorial donations to St. Remy Fire Department, POB 124, Ulster Park, NY, TEVAS POB 910, Port Ewen, NY or your local Alzheimer's support group.

A celebration of Peter's life will be held later this year once restrictions of the pandemic are lifted.

The Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home, 339 Broadway, Ulster Park, Town of Esopus, is assisting with the arrangements. Online condolences may be made by visiting

Published by Poughkeepsie Journal on Jan. 17, 2021.
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12 Entries
When I was entering Ballooning in 1975 there were already the Titans: Ralph Hall, John Marsden, Bill Hughes and of course Pete. You were all A-Lister Aeronauts. I so looked up to the both of you and was always interested in what ventures you were involved in. Dip-er-Do, the enameled signs, Danger Men Cooking, running for Public Office etc. It was great to see you at the NEPAR Reunions. I have been out of Ballooning since 1985 but still stay in touch with a few of the oldtimers. I was sorry to hear of Peters passing and I hope all the many people he touched in his multifaceted career lift your spirits during this time. KIndly, Dave and Janis Steven
Dave Steven
January 28, 2021
Dear Ande,
I ‘m sorry to hear of Pete’s passing. Please accept my sincerest condolences to you and your family.
I met Pete in my freshman year at NP HS, my one and only year there. His sister , Karen, was a classmate of mine. I remember Pete as a well liked and friendly guy, even to us lowly freshmen.I can see why he was so successful in life after high school.
Again, my condolences.
Bob Thorn
Bob Thorn
January 21, 2021
Ande, sending our sincere condolences to you & your family at this difficult time. RIP Peter.
Kathy Nealis & Gabe Cicale
January 19, 2021
Ande, we are sorry for your loss. Peter was kind, funny, and a pleasure to talk to. Our thoughts are with you. Joan and Joe Geuss
Joe Geuss
January 19, 2021
Peter was a good friend for many years and an extraordinary individual. I consider it an honor to have known him and to be a business associate.
January 18, 2021
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Frederick Pizzuto
January 18, 2021
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Ann Marie Corso
January 17, 2021
We had so many great memories together with Friendship and Sundance
Tom and Rudy
January 17, 2021
I can remember so many great stories of your friendship. I'm so happy that we had Pete as part of our "Friendship"
Tom Smith
January 17, 2021
My dear friend, my heart misses you.
Ride free cherished cowboy.
Much love from Merle
Merle Borenstein
January 17, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Robert K. Schlichting
January 17, 2021
Rest In Peace Pistol Pete
January 16, 2021
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