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Mary Lynn Bourke


1932 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Mary Lynn Bourke Obituary
December 26, 1932 - December 8, 2017 Mary Lynn was born to Lowell and Hazel Coate at their little home in North Pasadena. Three months premature, Mary was incubated in a laundry basket with a hot water bottle for warmth. Mary defied odds throughout her life - physically by surviving her first years, polio at 12 and lifelong health challenges; and intellectually by studying politics at a time when few women pursued that path. She attended USC on a scholarship, graduating with honors in 1954. For the next eight years she worked in the Los Angeles County Personnel Department assessing job descriptions. Though Mary met Dick Bourke when she was just 16 years old, they did not start dating until eight years later while he was attending arch-rival school UCLA. Dick had different political leanings, his family drank cocktails and served in the Navy; all of which went against the grain for Mary's Quaker, conscientious objector father who served as President of the National Prohibition Party in 1953! Nevertheless, Mary and Dick were married on December 27, 1957. They then defied the odds together for nearly 60 years of love and humor in the face of life's many challenges. During the 1960s they enjoyed hosting parties and New Year's Day events at their home near the Rose Parade route in Pasadena. When their children came along, they enjoyed family vacations at Lake Arrowhead, Yucca Valley and La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. Mary made a point of exposing her children to new cultures by touring Los Angeles: Chinatown, Olvera Street and Canter's Deli on Fairfax were just a few of the destination lunches remembered by her children. Mary is now laid to rest next to her sister, Joy Mendez, near their parents at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena. She is survived by her adoring husband Dick Bourke of Laguna Woods, their children Scott Bourke and Mary Allison Bourke, brother Cardy Coate (Lorna), and many loving nieces, nephews and cousins spanning several generations as well as dear friends whose closeness she treasured for a lifetime.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Jan. 3 to Jan. 7, 2018
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