Jimmy Dooley 1996 - 2018
Musician. Kind, genuine friend to all.

James A. "Jimmy" Dooley, 22, died on August 4, 2018, after a brief but heroic battle with a neurological illness.

Jimmy attended St. Luke Parish School in River Forest, as had his father and uncles, and his sister Claire. He graduated from Oak Park & River Forest High School in 2014, and the following autumn headed to Roosevelt University in Chicago to pursue a degree in Media Studies. He was one semester away from graduating when he died.


Jimmy 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 comprised of his father Jim, Uncle Mike and cousin Mick, performing at many venues in the Chicagoland area, including the Irish American Heritage Center. He was noted for his quick wit and spontaneous banter that he swapped onstage with his father. Besides being a true music artist, Jimmy had that extra, undefinable charisma that vaulted him to another rare level that the audience - and the band itself - could see from the moment he walked on stage. Many have said that about him.

Jimmy's smile was infectious, and his laugh was contagious. His kind and generous spirit was felt by all who met him. As someone noted, "Everyone's got their Jimmy story." He could get a laugh out of a brick wall. Jimmy's graceful yet lanky walk was reminiscent of him setting off on some great adventure. He was an inspiration to everyone he met.

Jimmy is survived by his father Jim and mother Anna Pries Dooley, his beloved younger sister Claire ("two peas in a pod"), grandmother Winnie Una Pries, uncles Tom (Nancy), Dennis (Kirste), Bill (Judy) and Mike (Trish) Dooley, and many other beloved cousins on both sides of his family, including the daughters of his late uncle Joe (Kate) Dooley. Funeral mass was held at St. Luke Church in River Forest on August 10.

"Carry on through the light and the dark.
What you did won't pull Heaven apart.
We'll keep you dry, keep you safe from harm.
Just you know, you'll be safe in our arms."


From a song by Jimmy Dooley

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Chicago's finest blend of Folk, Jazz, Irish, Swing, Calypso
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The Dooleys have been entertaining Chicagoland for over 30 years with their delightful banter and wide musical repertoire.

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