Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Robert Thaddeus Mooney, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, passed away in Iowa City, Iowa on December 9, 2016. He is survived by his wife Barbara Burlison Mooney, son Will, and daughter-in-law Megan Mooney.

Mooney was a native of Champaign, an alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a longtime member of the Illinois School of Architecture faculty. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1956, followed by the Bachelor of Architecture professional degree in 1962. Between earning these two degrees, Mooney was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy, serving as a Naval Aviator for three years.

Mooney became a Registered Architect in 1965 while working at the firm of Richardson Severns Scheeler and Associates in Champaign. In 1969, he earned the Master of Architecture degree, a year after serving as a Francis J. Plym Traveling Fellow, the school’s highest honor for an Architecture alumnus. For the Plym Fellowship, Mooney travelled throughout Western Europe.

After completing his master’s degree, Bob immediately joined the Architecture faculty, retiring in 2001 as a full professor, whereupon he was awarded emeritus status. During his three decades as a faculty member, Mooney served in a variety of administrative roles, including academic advisor, assistant and associate head of the department, and associate director of the school. He was the school’s Director of Development, 1986-1990, and was recognized by the university for his success in that position. Before and after retirement, Mooney taught undergraduates in the Campus Honors Program. After retirement, Mooney moved to Iowa City to join his wife Barbara, a faculty member in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa.

Mooney was an exacting design critic and excellent teacher, setting high standards for the students he taught and the junior faculty members he counselled. He met those same standards in his own work, producing a series of exquisitely high quality photographic exhibits that traveled across the nation. His superb black and white photographs in three major exhibits on the Mississippi River, the Oregon Trail, and the American West demonstrated his design and graphic skills and served as models of excellence for all of his colleagues. In 1986 and 1988, he won National Photography Competition Awards from the American Institute of Architects, of which he was a lifelong member.

Mooney’s son Will and wife Barbara invite his personal friends and professional colleagues to join them at a memorial event celebrating his life at the Immaculate Conception Church in Bongard, Illinois (20 miles south of Urbana near Villa Grove) at 10 a.m., Wednesday, December 28, 2016. A reception will follow. Will Mooney has requested that those attending inform Jim Warfield (jwarfiel@illinois.edu) in advance for planning purposes.