1925-2013, Whitney Pier

It is with heavy hearts, that we the family announce the passing of John William O'Rourke of East Street, Whitney Pier. ‘Jack Rabbit’ as he was fondly known by family and friends passed away surrounded by his loving family at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital on January 4, 2013.

Born in Holyrood, Newfoundland, Jack was the son of the late Frank and Sarah (Timmons) O'Rourke.

Jack worked for Sydney Steel Corp. for 42 years in the Blast Furnace and was a member of Holy Redeemer Parish. Jack was the ‘Dad of all Dad's’ with his kind and patient manner, always willing to lend a helping hand to family and friends. He would always welcome visitors with a smile and a pot of tea. Jack was an avid fisherman and hunter and spent much time outdoors fishing and hunting with his sons and son-in-law. Jack was a "Jack of all trades" able to fix anything from an electrical problem to the many cars he worked on fixing both electrical and body work in his spare time.

Jack is survived by his loving wife, Kathleen (Reynolds) O'Rourke of 63 years; sons, Kevin, John (Gracie), Francis, Michael (Anita) and daughter, Betty (Blair) Melanson all of Sydney; sisters, Bridget (the late Charlie) Drohan, Sydney, Peg (the late Bud) Carrie, Oshawa; and 10 grandchildren, Stacey, Natasha, Kevin, John, Jason, Janine, Reilly, Corson O'Rourke and Michelle and Jonathan Melanson.

Besides his parents, Jack was predeceased by his step-mother, Susie Hollohan; brother, Phil and sister, Kate.

Visitation for the late John William ‘Jack Rabbit’ O'Rourke will be held at the Pier Community Funeral Home, Whitney Pier, 1092 Victoria Rd. (entrance on Church Street) on Tuesday, Jan. 8, from 7-9 p.m. Funeral mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, at 11 a.m. in Holy Redeemer Church with Fr. Alex MacLellan officiating. Reception will be held at the Pier Community Funeral Home. Interment will take place in Resurrection Cemetery, Sydney Forks.

Family flowers only, donations in memory of Jack may be made to the Hospice Palliative Care Society or Cancer Care Patient Fund.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care and direction of Pier Community Funeral Home.

Send an online condolence.


                        Online Condolences

My deepest & heartfelt sympathy for you Kay, Kevin, Betty, John, Frances, Michael and your families in this time of loss. It's been many years since we have seen one another but hearing of Jack's passing has brought back many happy, fun memories of times we spent together as a family when my Dad was with us. I will keep you all in my thoughts & prayers. May you find comfort in your own memories of time spent with Jack.
Love to you all….Debbie Barber (Reynolds)

Kay, So sorry to hear of Jack's passing – so many memories of summer's past vacations came back to me, and the good times we had together – Know that my thoughts and love go out to you and your family at this difficult time. On behalf of myself, and my family,you are in our prayers.
From:  Margaret Reynolds Oakville, Ontario (sister-in-law)

Dear Kathleen and family,our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time…Jack was a sweet and gentle man and will surely be missed…love Ann Marie and Sandy McNabb

Michelle, I am so sorry for the loss of your grandfather. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I am sure you have many wonderful memories of times spent with your grandfather at precious family moments and gradually these will replace the ones of this sad time.
From:  Eileen Morford-Martin

Condolences to you all…I will always remember his kindness to Kyla and I..and his rabbit stew…I loved his laugh and his silly poems…Love to you Kay
From:  Michele Cole

My condolences to Michael and family on the passing of their Father, Grandfather. God bless!
From:  Paul Carrigan

Betty, Mrs.O'Rourke, and family members: On behalf of the Teachers of the Cape Breton District Local NSTU I offer deepest deepest sympathy on your loss.
From:  Ron MacIntosh President CBDL NSTU 

I worked with John for many years at Sydney Steel. He was a hard worker and a kind man. You are in my prayers and thoughts at this difficult time in your lives.
God Bless; Joseph G. Williams

Our deepest sympathy to your entire family.  His cheerful personality left you with wonderful memories.
From:  Paul, Emily,Molly and Liz Vosman Smith, Emily and Molly