13 November 2011

Ancestor Profile #1: Regina "Jean" O'Rourke

Ancestor Name:                  Regina Ann O'Rourke       AKA's: Jean, Jeannie, Jean Ann
Relationship to Me:            Mother
Date of Birth:                      18 Jan 1938                      Place:  Niagara Falls, Niagara, New York
Parents:                                James O'Rourke
                                              Regina "Jean" Doyle

Date of Marriage:                 6 Jun 1959                       Spouse:  Dennis Joseph McHugh
Number of Children:                  3
Number of Grandchildren:        3
Date of Death:                         13 Nov 1988                 Place: Tempe, Maricopa, Arizona
Buried:                                      16 Nov 1988                  Place:  Queen of Heaven, Mesa, Arizona

Catholic School for Elementary
North Junior High School, Niagara Falls, NY
Niagara Falls High School

Colato's, now known as Regal Tip by Colato; Niagara Falls, NY  http://www.regaltip.com/
Greyhound Exposition Services, Phoenix, Az

Special Interests:
Bowling into young adulthood. Even bowled with a broken right thumb at one point.
Tap dancing
Sewing, crocheting and macrame
Drawing (a talent I first learned about only a few years before her death)

Notable Notes:
  • Jean was an excellent writer, and could argue her point very effectively. This was shown in one example in a Letter to the Editor she'd written, defending the role volunteer firefighters played in fighting the Grief Bros. fire in Niagara Falls, NY in 1968. (Article can be found via http://www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html and searching the terms 5951 Garlow Road). 

  • Jean hated Catholic school. She told tales of being thought "dumb" when she asked why 2 + 2 = 4, and walking in the front door and right out the back door of the school when dropped off in the morning.

  • Jean wasn't always a practicing Catholic, but she always valued the Catholic Church and its teachings. 

  • While she loved the guitar and once tried to learn to play one, she was less than thrilled when she first  heard a guitar played in Mass as part of the regular Sunday Choir at Holy Spirit Church in Tempe, Az.

  • Jean once fell asleep while floating on water. She suffered a severe sunburn.

  • Later, in Arizona, Jean would sit poolside with a sweater on when it was 90° outside.

  • Jean was a leadfoot behind the wheel, and was the primary reason we once drove from Buffalo, NY to Des Moines, IA in ONE DAY.

  • Jean refused to wear a seatbelt unless mandated by law, and she never locked her car door if she was inside it. 

  • Jean knew how to dress to the nines. She was stylin'!

  • Jean was an excellent cook, though she never seemed to really enjoy it.
Photo Gallery: (all photos in the collection of Colleen McHugh).


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