PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Just about every year at Christmastime, Dan Rooney asked members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to play for his team.
Tucked in among the carols, they’d pay tribute to the Pittsburgh Steelers owner himself, playing the time-honored ballad, “O Danny Boy.”
The music itself brings a tear to the eye.
WATCH: PSO Plays “O Danny Boy” In Memory Of Dan Rooney —
Violinist Chris Wu has fond memories of Mr. Rooney, who passed away last week.
“The most personable guy, the most unassuming guy that you could ever meet,” he said. “And here he was, owner of the famed Pittsburgh Steelers. He would come up, shake your hand, and thank you for coming and playing for the team. And we learned years later Mr. Rooney really wanted some culture for the players.”
Rhian Kenny played her flute at Tuesday’s funeral Mass.
“’Danny Boy’ is an emotional song,” she says. “It’s a saying goodbye song. So, as it is, it’s emotional. And then you have the funeral of someone who’s really and truly beloved. And the cathedral was packed full of people. That’s probably the most moving experience I’ve been a part of.”