McHENRY – John Francis Rourke, 68, of McHenry, died Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, at JourneyCare of Woodstock after his second courageous fight against cancer.|
John was born in McHenry on March 16, 1945, the son of Francis and Beverly (Rimell) Rourke.
John was a natural athlete from an early age.
Among many accomplishments, he was proud to have thrown the first recorded no-hitter in McHenry Little League history and was the first recipient of the McHenry High School All-Sports Athlete of the Year Award.
After graduating from McHenry High School in 1963, John went on to attend Northwestern University on a Chick Evans Scholarship. John excelled in everything he did, especially basketball, football and golf.
John was drafted by the United States Army in 1967 and served in Vietnam War as a member of C Troop ¾ Cav, 25th Infantry Division. A true patriot, he served his country with pride and honor. During his service, he received a Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze service stars and a Good Conduct Medal.
Upon arriving home, he married his one true love, Edith Lee Sutherland, on Valentine's Day in 1969.
John worked for Lakeland Construction and later for Northwest Airlines for 26 years and retired in 2007.
During his retirement, John kept busy working on a farm, driving a bus and volunteering at the Sage Cancer Center in McHenry, but there was nothing he enjoyed more than spending time with his family, especially his three grandsons. John was a dedicated fan of the Chicago Bears, Cubs and Bulls. He loved all sports, playing pool, golfing, cribbage, backgammon, a good card or dice game and time spent with his fellow veterans.
John is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Edith Rourke; their two daughters, Jenifer (Jeff) Anderson and Raina Rourke of McHenry; and his three grandsons, Brady John and Ryan Michael Anderson and Jonah Francis Rourke. Also surviving John is his sister, Cynthia (the late Nicholas) Freund; a brother, Kevin Rourke, both of McHenry; as well as many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, nephews and many friends.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Beverly Rourke; an infant brother, Kurt Patrick Rourke; his mother-in-law, Naomi Mazarka; a niece, Billie Jo ""Sissy"" Perry; his great-nephew, Harrison Dooher; a brother-in-law, Nicholas Freund; and in-laws, Paul and Bonnie Mpistolarides.
The visitation will be Friday, Sept. 20, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Colonial Funeral Home, 591 Ridgeview Drive, McHenry. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the funeral home, with Rev. Roger Schneider officiating.
Interment will be in Woodland Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the family for future donation.
For information, call Colonial Funeral Home at 815-385-0063 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in the Northwest Herald on Sept. 18, 2013