Eugene (Gene) Francis O’Rourke, 84, died October 4, 2018, at the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy in Hiawatha, Iowa, following a long-term illness.
Gene leaves his wife of 61 years, Esther (Pettengill) O’Rourke; his daughter Pamela (O’Rourke) Morton and her husband Dana; his son John O’Rourke and his wife Elisabeth (Pugliano); his son Timothy O’Rourke and his wife Lisa (Harman); his daughter Laurie (O’Rourke) Christesen and her husband Dave; his son Matthew O’Rourke and his wife Shari (Reynoldson); his daughter Megan (O’Rourke) Hill and her husband Adam; his nineteen grandchildren; his twelve great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his son Michael O’Rourke and his grandson David Christesen.
Born to John and Laura (Eull) O’Rourke on August 20, 1934, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where he was raised.
In his early years, Gene helped support his family by selling newspapers and shining shoes. He left St. Patrick Catholic High School in 1951 to join the Navy. After serving over three years in the Korean War as a Seaman-First Class, Gene returned to Cedar Falls to graduate from Columbus High School. Gene then began work at Rath Packing in Waterloo where he met Esther. He went on to earn his associate’s degree and became a Federal Meat Inspector. The USDA relocated Gene and his family to Webster City, Iowa, where he lived for over 40 years.
While in Webster City, Gene was an active member of American Legion Post 191 where he once served as First Commander. Also, as a member of Knights of Columbus Council 838 where he served as Grand Knight. Gene was very active with Boy Scouts of America having earned his Eagle Scout as a young man. All of Gene’s boys are Eagle Scouts, as well as five of his grandsons.
He received a number of awards, such as the Presidential Thousand Points of Light for his lifetime of outstanding volunteerism; however, he was most proud of being a caring husband, father and grandfather. He was best known for his storytelling and good sense of humor. He will be greatly missed.
Funeral service will be held at St. John XXIII Catholic Church in Fairfax, Iowa on December 15, 2018, at 10:00am.
In lieu of flowers and/or gifts, please make donations to the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy addressed to the Mercy Foundation at 701 10th St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403.