Thomas O'Rourke

Public Visitation

3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sunday, January 5, 2020
Norman Dean Home for Services
16 Righter Avenue
Denville, New Jersey, United States
(973) 627-1880

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am - 10:45 am
Monday, January 6, 2020
St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church
15 Myers Avenue
Denville, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Thomas Patrick O'Rourke

The world moves about a bit quieter today as the family of Thomas Patrick Michael O’Rourke would like you to know that Tom’s work here is now done. Thomas lived a long, spirited life undoubtedly attributed to a spry sense of humor, blatant disregard for doctor’s orders, liberal libations, generous portions of butter, and an earnest exuberance for daily life. Always an early riser and last to leave the party, Tommy burned the candle of this life at both ends - illuminating the lives of so many who knew and loved him. The youngest of six children, Tom entered this world moments after his identical twin brother, John, in March of 1938. Born to Lizzie and James Norman O’Rourke of Glen Cove, NY, his dad owned O’Rourke’s Restaurant. His mom was a talented seamstress. Tom proudly served in the United States Marine Corp. After his military service, he built a career in aviation and commercial building maintenance that spanned over four decades. Understanding true leadership is vested in service to others, Tom was instrumental in founding the Knights of Columbus in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ where he served as Grand Knight. Thomas was the first to volunteer for most any task whether it was emceeing a fundraiser, ushering at Mass, building radiator covers for the school library, or helping a friend properly carve a turkey. Tommy was a national dart champion recognized in the New York Times, dedicated basketball coach, talented fisherman, and affectionately touted as the ‘Roller Skating King of Glen Cove’. He excelled at repairing what was broken, growing tomato plants, outsmarting squirrels, rarely losing a game of pinochle, and watching The Quiet Man in its entirety each time it was televised. In a world that tends to measure one’s life by accolades and formal accomplishment, Tom’s most valuable contributions were those hidden in the most unsuspecting and ordinary of places. Tom never squandered an opportunity to hold a door open for another. He came to the aid of neighbors without fail. He had an eye open for souls struggling with groceries in parking lots. He got down on the floor to paint pictures with his daughters and cooked trays of sausage and peppers for the police just because ‘they were brave’. A gifted storyteller with humor and purpose in his observations, Tommy extracted lessons from failures. He believed in forgiveness, second chances, and unconditional love. He lived a life informed by faith in a loving, merciful God. Thomas Patrick maintained a twinkle in his eye even during times of sorrow, particularly when the love of his life, Patricia Jones O’Rourke, departed this world in December of 2014. He follows his dear wife and best friend to eternal rest, as well as his beloved parents, James and Lizzie, his siblings, Robert, Mickey, John, and Elizabeth, his brothers-in-law, Paul Jones, Richard McEntee, and his sister-in-laws Kathy Jones McEntee, Martha Sheperd O’Rourke, and Shirley Marquis O’Rourke. He is survived by two adoring daughters, Ann Marie and Mary Kate, whom he taught to dance, to use a hammer, to bait a fish hook, and to seek humor even in the most challenging of times. He is survived by two daughters from his first marriage, Maureen and Madeline. He is survived by his brother Larry, two son-in-laws, Joseph Brasco and Alexander Kohn, four loving granddaughters, Sonoma, Sienna, Scarlett, and Scout Brasco, and a large, loving group of in-laws, nieces and nephews. Visitation will take place at Norman Dean Funeral Home, 16 Righter Ave in Denville, NJ on Sunday, January 5, 2020 from 3-7pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Monday, January 6, 2020 at 10am at St. Mary’s,15 Myers Ave, Denville, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St Christopher Ottilie, 1 Alexander Place, Glen Cove, NY 11542 in memory of Tom. In the days to come, the family asks in Tom’s honor, do an unexpected act of kindness for another soul - hold open a door, share a joke, make someone a tray of food, sit with a friend, or just make someone smile.
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