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J. Tracy O'Rourke Jr.


1935 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
J. Tracy O'Rourke Jr. Obituary
J. Tracy O'Rourke, Jr.

March 14, 1935 – May 10, 2016

J. Tracy O'Rourke, Jr. passed away on May 10, 2016 at the age of 81 in Portola Valley, California. He is survived by his wife, Lou Ann O'Rourke, his son, James (Jay) O'Rourke, III and his grandson, Sean O'Rourke, both of Chicago.
Tracy was born in Columbia, South Carolina, on March 14, 1935. He attended Murphy High School, Mobile, Alabama, and received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Auburn University in 1956. Upon graduating, he accepted an offer at DuPont in their plastics division in Delaware. He left to honor his commitment to the ROTC program with the United States Air Force in Montgomery, Alabama, and became the Base Installation Officer. Upon completion with the ROTC program, he moved to Lewiston, New York, to become a partner in a small plastics company, Liquid Nitrogen Processing (LNP). In 1978, Tracy went on to become President of Allen Bradley Corporation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he was later promoted to CEO. In 1990, he moved with his wife to Silicon Valley to become CEO of Varian Associates in Palo Alto.
Tracy retired from Varian in 1999 after a very successful career in Turnaround Management. He was brilliant at the helm of his companies. He was a master at taking failing companies and turning them around into very profitable organizations. His accomplishments and accolades are respected and honored by all who worked with and for Tracy throughout his entire career. In 1997 he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in Arts and Sciences from Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.
A private celebration of his life is planned for a later date. Please consider making a gift in memory of Tracy O'Rourke to Alzheimer's research at Stanford University. Make check payable to: Stanford University. In the memo line of the check, write: Alzheimer's Research Fund GHAZC. Please mail to: Anne Longo, Stanford Medicine, 3172 Porter Dr, Suite 210, Palo Alto, CA 94304.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on June 5, 2016
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