Obituary of Richard Rourke
Richard Michael Rourke, a star athlete and lover of animals, passed away suddenly from a heart attack on Thursday morning, February 14, 2019. He was 53 years old. Rick grew up in Burlington and was a member of the Burlington High School Class of 1984. He was a natural athlete and when he was young his parents enrolled him in gymnastics lessons as a way to harness his unlimited energy. As a sixth grader he was invited to practice with the high school varsity gymnastics team and participated in workouts. He became a dominant force in the Middlesex League and in the State of Massachusetts. He held the Burlington High School Record for the highest score in the All Around Competition for many years and would go onto to compete at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Rick worked in the construction field for many years before becoming disabled. He lived a simple life and enjoyed family vacations to Cape Cod and to all the National Parks. As a passionate animal lover, he had many of the usual pets: cats, dogs, rabbits frogs and birds as well as many exotic pets including iguanas, snakes, and other reptiles. He volunteered at and supported a local feline shelter which inspired him to adopt a Russian Blue cat that he affectionally named Mistah. Rick was also a huge Boston Sports fan and was especially enthusiastic about the Patriots. He never missed watching a Sunday game on TV. His other passions in life were sketching and working with his hands on small building projects. A music fan, he once waited through a lengthy line to meet Ozzy Osborne at his book signing. Because he admired his music as well as his determination to turn his life around he asked him to sign his arm. He then had the autograph tattooed on his arm to remind him to stay focused on his daily goals. Rick treasured the time spent with his family and appreciated their support, encouragement, and unconditional love. He was most proud of his daughter Brittany and shared his passion for gymnastics and animals with her. She was the light in his life. Rick’s family meant the world to him and he valued the holidays and special occasions that brought everyone together. His sense of humor, upbeat personality, and compassion for those around him were some of his shining attributes.
Rick was the father of Brittany Rourke of Pembroke. He was the son of Gerald and Carol (Hourihan) Rourke of Newburyport (formerly of Burlington). He was the brother of Kerry Pattie and her husband Jack of Newburyport and Leigh Farley & her husband Jim of Burlington. He was the uncle of Hanna Hugel and her husband Steve, Kyle, & Maeve Pattie and Brendan & Shane Farley. In recent years he enjoyed the companionship of his special friend Barbara Whalen of Watertown.
Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (exit 34 off Rt. 128/95, Woburn side) on Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 4-8 p.m. Funeral from the Sullivan Funeral Home on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Malachy’s Church, 99 Bedford St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. The burial will be private. Memorials in Rick’s name may be made to the MSPCA-Angell, Attn: Donations, 350 South Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02130 or www.mscpa.org.
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050