James A. “Jimmy” Dooley, 22, died on Aug. 4, 2018, after a brief but heroic battle with a neurological illness. Born in Chicago, Jimmy and his family moved to River Forest in 2001, living in the Dooley home that has been in the family since 1909. He attended St. Luke Parish School, as had his father, uncles, and his sister Claire and, as a proud Bearcat, he participated in school sports and choirs until his 2010 graduation. Then, he traded his Bearcat blue and gold for OPRF blue and orange, representing the Huskies in team volleyball and basketball. After graduating from OPRF in 2014, he headed to Roosevelt University in Chicago to pursue a degree in media studies and was one semester away from graduating when he died.
He was passionate about many things, most notably music and performing. He had blossomed into an excellent and artistic guitarist, always exploring. His voice was pure and charismatic. He composed many beautiful songs, which he performed solo and with his groups, Blue Lagoon and Yard Sale. He was also a four-year member of the Dooleys (the Dooley Brothers), a band comprising his father Jim, Uncle Mike, and cousin Mick, performing at many venues in the Chicagoland area. He was noted for his quick wit and spontaneous banter, which he swapped onstage with his father. An enthusiastic basketball and volleyball coach at St. Luke School, he had a special connection with the students and parents. He was also a long-time court crew worker at the River Forest Tennis Club and appreciated the people he met there. He co-hosted the Roosevelt University radio show “RU Positive,” covering current events, student interests, and musical cuts.
His smile was infectious, his laugh was contagious and he had a kind and generous spirit. As someone noted, “Everyone’s got their Jimmy story.” He could get a laugh out of a brick wall. With his graceful yet lanky walk he always seemed to be setting off on some great adventure. He was an inspiration to everyone he met.
Jimmy Dooley is survived by his parents, Jim and Anna Pries Dooley; his sister, Claire (“two peas in a pod”); his grandmother, Winnie Una Pries; his uncles, Tom (Nancy), Dennis (Kirste), Bill (Judy) and Mike (Trish) Dooley; his cousin, Maureen Dooley; and many other cousins on both sides of his family, including the daughters of his late uncle Joe (Kate) Dooley.
Visitation will take place on Thursday, Aug. 9, from 3 to 8 p.m. at St. Luke Church, 7600 Lake St. in River Forest, followed by a funeral Mass at the church on Friday, Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. Members of the community have generously set-up a GoFundMe page to help with his medical and funeral expenses, and the family is deeply grateful.
Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.