Ronald Charles O’Rourke, 80, died Tuesday, September 25, 2012, at his home, surrounded by members of his family.
Ronnie was born September 16, 1932, to John and Clara O’Rourke. He spent his entire life in St. Joseph, except for two years serving in the army during the Korean conflict.
Ronnie was a graduate of St. Francis Xavier Grade School and Christian Brothers High School, class of 1950.
Following military service, he worked as an assistant manager for Safeway, then became an agent with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. He later worked for Hausman Metal Works and Roofing, from where he retired in 1987. After his retirement, Ronnie worked for Heaton-Bowman-Smith & Sidenfaden Chapel, who loved and adored him
Ronnie married Christine Bagby in 1956, and they became parents of nine children: Kathy (Mark) Olvera; Michael (deceased); Kelly (Jay) Jarrett; Danny (Molly), Independence, MO; Rosie (Myron) Holder; Bridget (George) Sandow, Prairie Village, KS; Ryan (Genni); Maureen (Heath) Dudley and Kenny (Lori), Parkville, MO; 17 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Additional survivors include 4 step-children; Julie Waris-Douglas, Bobby, Greg and Douglas Waris; sister-in-law, Anna Bell O’Rourke; several nieces, nephews, cousins; best bud, Bob Slater and many close friends.
After a divorce, Ronnie married Jocile Waris. She died in 1999, he then married Trilby Spillman and they later divorced. He was also preceded in death by his parents; a son, Michael O’Rourke, a sister, Helen Ozburn, and a brother, Jack.
Ronnie was a lifelong member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 571, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
A man who never met a stranger, Ronnie was an outgoing type who loved to be around people, especially his family members. He was a man of strong faith and firm convictions.
Mass of Christian Burial 10:00 a.m. Friday at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Interment Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Thursday at Heaton-Bowman-Smith & Sidenfaden Chapel. The family will receive friends 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.Thursday at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, where a Rosary will be held at 7:00 p.m.
Ronnie was especially proud of his Irish heritage, always wearing green. His last wish is that everyone wear green when they come to pay their respects.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Veterans Administration or to Bishop LeBlond High School.