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Joan  Francis  O'Rourke
     Joan Francis O''Rourke, 85, of North Platte, died Mar. 13, at Centennial Park Retirement Village in North Platte. Joan was born Feb. 20, 1928, at Moorefield to Maurice and Bessie Elizabeth Welch Stephenson.
     She grew up in the Moorefield and Curtis area and graduated from Curtis High School. Joan then attended college in Colorado where she received her teaching certificate.
     She returned to Nebraska and taught in a country school south of North Platte for a couple of years.
     On Aug. 10, 1949, Joan married the love of her life, Van Darrell O''Rourke, in North Platte where they made their home and raised their four sons.
     Joan and Van later lived in Denver, Colo. before returning to North Platte in March, 2009. She was a member of the First Baptist Church.
     Survivors include her sons, Stephen (Karla) O''Rourke, of North Platte, Robert ''Bob'' (Barb) O''Rourke, of Aurora, Colo. and Todd O''Rourke (Tim Sinclair), of Commerce City, Colo.; daughter-in-law, Jami O''Rourke (Mark) Mendenhall, of North Platte; eight grandchildren, Scott (Melissa) O''Rourke, Stacey (Bob) King, Kari (Ryan) Grigg, Emily (Brock) Wurl, Adam O''Rourke, Katelyn (Josh) Sperle, Vanessa ''Dani'' O''Rourke and Colin O''Rourke; 10 great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews and other family.
     She was preceded in death by her husband; a son, James O''Rourke; her parents; two sisters, Ruby Smith and Zella Mae Keith; and two brothers, Faye and Merle Stephenson.
     Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children''s Research Hospital or the American Diabetes Association.
     Funeral service was at 1:30 p.m. Mar. 15, at Odean Colonial Chapel with Pastor Robert O''Rourke officiating. Burial followed in Floral Lawns Memorial Gardens. Odean Colonial Chapel was in charge of arrangements.
 
First published in The North Platte Bulletin print edition on 3/20/2013
 
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