John Lee O’Rourke, 90, of Wilmington, Ohio went to be with the Lord 4:12 AM, Tuesday, October 26, 2021 with his wife and Christian brothers at his side. He was born April 7, 1931 in Columbus, Ohio. He was preceded in death by his father, Captain Virgil O’Rourke of the Columbus Fire Dept. Engine House 6 and his mother, Delores McKinley O’Rourke.
Mr. O’Rourke began his military service when he joined the Ohio State Guard Marion, Ohio. He then served in the Ohio National Guard before joining the U.S. Air Force and was in England for the German Airlift and served during the Korean War. Following his military service, he worked as an engineer for Mercury Outboard Marine Research. He worked as an instructor at Wilmington College in the industrial education and physical education departments. He was a member of the Wilmington Fire Department for 29 years and taught firefighting for 12 years at Laurel Oaks. Mr. O’Rourke was a master SCUBA instructor and a member of the review committee for the underwater search and rescue. He started the first Shark Dive on Long Island in the Bahamas. He received the Pro 5000 Diving Award alongside Jean Michael Cousteau and Mel Fisher. He also received awards for instructing underwater search and rescue groups across the Great Lakes. Additionally, he served as a special deputy for Clinton County Sheriff’s Dept. under Sheriff Patrick Haley and Sheriff Ralph Fizer Sr. and worked for the Clinton Juvenile Probation Office as the nighttime surveillance officer for 20 years. He was a member of Bible Baptist Church of Wilmington and won the last Grand American World Trapshooting Championship that was held in Vandalia, Ohio.
Mr. O’Rourke is survived by his wife of 30 years, Karen Glaze O’Rourke; sons, Michael (Joy) O’Rourke of Florida and Brian O’Rourke of Florida; a daughter, Alex O’Rourke of Florida; stepchildren, Jeffrey (Amanda) Mullenix of Seaman, Ohio, Matthew (Leanne) Mullenix of Hillsboro, Ohio, and Michelle Fawley (Richard) Helsel of Florida; sisters-in-law, Judith Pelfrey of Hillsboro, Linda Ferguson of Texas, Kathy (Brady) Stevens of Sabina, Ohio, Marta (Roger) Jones of Hillsboro, Ohio, and Debra (Tim) Pence of Virginia; 20 step-grandchildren; and 14 step-great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Everett F. and Charma Bumgarner Glaze; a brother-in-law, Robert Ferguson; a son-in-law; and an infant brother
The family will receive friends from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at Bible Baptist Church of Wilmington, 55 Megan Drive, Wilmington, Ohio. A funeral service with Pastor Josh Dixon officiating will be held at 10:00 AM, Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at Bible Baptist Church. For those unable to attend the funeral, the service will be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/BBCWilmington.
Burial will follow in Sugar Grove Cemetery with military honors provided by the American Legion Post 49 Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mr. O’Rourke’s memory may be made to the Bible Baptist Church Youth Group, 55 Megan Drive, Wilmington, Ohio 45177.
Bible Baptist Church Youth Group
55 Megan Drive, Wilmington OH 45177