It is with profound sorrow, that we announce the passing of our beloved Dad, John O’Rourke on November 28, 2013.
Dad was born in the small village of Annamoe, Co. Wicklow, Ireland on August 21, 1927. He was the second eldest in a family of thirteen children born to Michael and Anne O’Rourke. The family was not well off, and when a family friend, Sam Tyndall, visited with stories of how great the opportunities in Canada were, and how the streets were paved in gold, Dad listened. He left his family and girlfriends behind, but not his Irish roots and boarded the boat to Canada.
He arrived in Kelowna, in 1948, after a long and horrible journey, if he was telling the story. He soon learned that the streets were not paved in gold, and even worse, you did not meet the ladies, milking cows at 4 am. He then worked in construction, on the tugboat, and in one of the hotels. He left Kelowna and more girlfriends in Kelowna in 1953.
He arrived in Princeton and assumed the duties of front desk clerk at the Princeton Hotel. He met and married Rose Alexandre, and together raised six children, Doug, Phyl, Joanne, Colleen, Brigid and Therese. He was an awesome Dad, always doing something special for us, like keeping our gas tanks full. Sadly, Rose passed away November 11, 1984.
He started his own business, O’Rourke’s Transfer, and delivered anything and everything from dirt to family prized possessions. But he was probably best known for being the garbage collector, no sanitation engineer label for him, much to the dismay of his daughters. He loved what he did as it allowed him his social time. He finally retired in November 2002 at the age of 75.
And perhaps, he was least known for his charitable acts. He had a huge heart, inherited from his mother, he would say. He would open his wallet for any sad story, and not require recognition or a tax receipt in return.
Throughout his life and especially in his final years, Dad was an active member of St. Peter’s Parish, a great ambassador of Ireland, a Leisure Inn seat warmer, an amateur weather forecaster and news reporter, a loving friend, brother, Uncle, Dad and Grandpa.
Many thanks to all the staff at Princeton Hospital, Dr. Munro, Dr. Black for their compassionate care; to Bob and the Hanson Funeral Home for making the arrangements; to Fr. Clarke for officiating the Mass, to Dad’s friends at St. Peter’s Parish for the reception following; and not to forget all his friends for their friendship throughout his life.
Also many thanks for your many prayers, condolences, cards, flowers, food and donations. Each and everyone is sincerely appreciated.
He will live forever in many hearts, especially ours,
Doug and Deanna Alexandre, Phyl and Robert Schepens, Joanne and Chet Dondale, Colleen and Louis Doyle, Brigid Kavanaugh/Gord McEwan, Therese and Michael Grgich, sisters and brothers in Ireland, sister Joan in Ontario, 19 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Donations may be made in Dad’s name to Princeton General Hospital for Emergency Room Equipment.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.hansonsfuneral.ca .