Robert (Bob) Francis O’Rourke
October 5, 1932- December 25, 2020 (age 88)
After a life of service, Lt Col., USAF (Retired) Robert O’Rourke went to be with Jesus on Christmas Day, 2020.
Bob was born in Jersey City, NJ to Francis O’Rourke and Bertha (Solowie) O’Rourke on October 5, 1932. He graduated from Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1950. After graduation, he attended Purdue University and Butler University, where he played football. He then joined the United States Air Force in 1952, where he became an Aviation Navigator for 25 years, including 2 tours in Vietnam. While serving our country, Bob was awarded many medals and commendations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, 3 Air Medals and the Air Force Commendation Medal. After retiring from the USAF in 1976, he worked for Metropolitan Insurance. After retiring from the insurance business, he was elected Blackford County Commissioner for many years. During his tenure as County Commissioner, Bob was President of the Indiana County Commissioners Association. Bob was a devout Catholic and an active volunteer member of his parish. He was a Lay Eucharistic Minister and served in The Knights of Columbus. He was elected Grand Knight at St. John’s Catholic Church in Hartford City, Indiana. Bob dedicated his life to serving his country and his community.
In 1955, Bob married the love of his life, Carol Jean Herbaugh, a graduate of St. Vincent’s Hospital Nursing Program. Together they had 6 children. While serving in the Air Force, the O’Rourke family lived in 5 states as well as in Germany. Along the way, Bob and Carol made life-long friends and taught their children a love of travel, good music, and family values. Bob and Carol celebrated 65 years of marriage on April 16, 2020.
They went on to have 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Bob made sure to shower them all with gummi bears, lessons on faith and generosity, singing in the car, dancing on a whim, the necessity of desserts (especially ice cream), lessons on “family first”, and lots and lots of love. He believed in hard work, and doing things the “right way.” He would often help the unfortunate by anonymously paying for their bills and helping wherever he could.
Bob is survived by his wife, Carol (Herbaugh), his daughters Kathleen (Jerry) DeLaVergne; Sheila (Roy) Casiano; Carrie (Terry) Beausir; MaryEllen (Kelvin) Frye; Lisa (Jim) Verona, his son Kevin (Wendy) O’Rourke, all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren (2 more on their way), and his brother Maj. US Army (Ret.) James H. O’Rourke and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, Ronald O’Rourke, and sister, Sheila O’Rourke Collins.
A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Father Kevin Hurley. Burial will follow at Hartford Cemetery. A celebration of his life will be held this summer.
Donations can be made to the Bob O’Rourke Memorial Fund at St John’s Catholic Church. Checks should be made out to St John’s Catholic Church. Bob O’Rourke Memorial fund should be written on the memo line. Address is 209 Spring Street, Hartford City, IN 47348
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