James S. O'Rourke, 59, of Worcester, a retired Worcester firefighter, died Sunday, April 13 at St. Vincent Hospital after a short illness surrounded by his family.

He leaves his wife of 38 years, Jessica H. (Ryan) O'Rourke; four daughters, Ellen G. O'Rourke and her companion Leo M. Reitzell Jr. of Fitchburg, Pamela J. Siebenhaar and her husband Gordon of Millbury, Colleen L. Metallic and her husband Glenn of Worcester, and Beth-Ann O'Rourke of Worcester; his mother, Florence (Smith) O'Rourke; a brother, Thomas W. O'Rourke, both of Auburn; two sisters, Maureen Kuchnicki and her husband Bruce of Auburn, and Joan Stockwell and her husband George of Oxford; four grandchildren, Katelyn, Gordon, Justin and Hailey; and many nieces and nephews.

He was born in Worcester and lived in Worcester all his life. His father was the late James A. O'Rourke Jr. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War era.

He graduated from Doherty High School, Johnson & Wales College in Rhode Island and Quinsigamond Community College.

Mr. O'Rourke was a Firefighter for the City of Worcester for many years, retiring in 1997. He spent most of his career assigned to Engine 7 at the Grafton St. Fire Station.

He was a member of St. Stephen's Parish and the Auburn Sportsmen's Club. He was a member and Past Commander of the Chester P. Tuttle American Legion Post 279 in Auburn.

He enjoyed the great outdoors including hunting. He was especially excited about fishing with his grandchildren. He loved country music and was an avid New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox fan.

Calling hours at the Athy Memorial Home, 111 Lancaster St., Worcester, are Thursday, April 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. The funeral will be Friday, April 18 from the funeral home with a Mass at 10 a.m. in St. Stephen's Church, 357 Grafton St., Worcester. Burial will be in Worcester County Memorial Park, Paxton.

Flowers may be sent or donations may be made to Matthew 25, 52 Queen St., Worcester 01610.

Published in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette from 4/15/2008 - 4/16/2008.