Patrick William Michael O’Rourke, a long-time resident of High Prairie, passed away on June 18, 2017 at the age of 65 years, at the High Prairie Hospital.
Pat, a kind and loving husband, brother, uncle, dad, and grandpa, was born March 15, 1952 in Beaverlodge, Alta., to Louis and Ruby O’Rourke.
Pat was a musician since the age of 14, and led a few bands. As a young man, he went to college to learn more about music. In April 1974 he gave his heart to Jesus, and that changed the focus of his entire life.
Pat married Elaine Labrentz in 1976. To support his new young wife, he became a drywaller. He built their home in Grande Prairie as well as in High Prairie. Their first child, Grace, was born in High Prairie while he was working there. Three sons: Pat Jr., Jonathan, and Paul, were added to their family. After that they moved to High Prairie.
Over the years Pat and Elaine raised a variety of domestic animals. He was interested in organic gardening. Some of his time every year was spent searching, sawing and hauling wood for their winter heating supply.
Pat served as a pastor in High Prairie for 32 years, leading in skillful worship. He truly enjoyed people and had a gift of encouraging others to love God. His heart was in the Word of God, and he constantly prayed for both his neighbours and his church people.
Pat was predeceased by: his parents, Louis and Ruby O’Rourke; brothers-in-law, Frank Biegel and Mike Lynch; daughter Grace Suzanne O’Rourke; and by his oldest son, David Patrick Louis O’Rourke.
He is survived by: his precious wife of 41 years, Elaine; sons Jonathan [Isabella] and Paul; daughter-in-law Grace McGowan [Mike]; five grandchildren, Seth, Xander, Liam, Talia, and Tiernan); sisters Betty Lou [Vince], Maureen, and Gail [Ed]; plus many nieces, nephews and numerous friends.
A Celebration of Life was held at the High Prairie Elks Rodeo Hall on June 24 at 2 p.m. A viewing was held from 1-2 p.m. for those paying their final respects.