Hailed as an incredible educator, spirited mother, and admirer of a great story, Patricia Ann Jones O''Rourke closed the last chapter on her life story here in this world on December 8, 2014, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. A loving family who adored her and community who admired her, mourns her death and celebrates her life. Always cryptic and charming about her age, she leaves this world just weeks after the 34th anniversary of her 39th birthday.
Her story began in Teaneck, NJ, in November of 1941 on All Souls Day. Patricia Ann was the third of six children born to Paul John Jones, an accomplished yet humble engineer, and Ann O''Leary, a caring mother and devout Irish Catholic. They taught her the importance of good manners, great faith, and that character is measured by who you are when no one is watching. She was incredibly proud of her parents and her greatest aim was to make them proud in return.
Always an honor student throughout her education, Patricia graduated high school from the Academy of the Holy Angels She graduated college with honors from from Caldwell University. After college, she earned her two Masters Degrees; a Master''s in English from Seattle University and a Masters in Education from Seton Hall University. She rode horses, earned her pilot''s license, traveled abroad, and always treated daily life as a grand adventure. She expressed an appreciation of animals and nature. She championed the underdog. She drew out the best in everyone.
She suffered with meaning and endured with dignity and grace. Always a survivor, Patricia recognized in her brave battle against cancer that suffering draws us closer to Christ and she faithfully trusted in his blueprint. Even as a young child, she survived a terrible bout with rheumatic fever. Her survival was a miracle and she lived most every moment of her life as such.
Patricia was fortunate enough to spend her life doing what she loved. She was a teacher with an extraordinary hope in children. She spent over four decades teaching and impacting countless lives around her. A great thinker and an even greater listener she knew every answer at Jeopardy. She always had a thoughtful response for those who looked to her for support, guidance, and perspective. Her favorite story remained The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery and she often quoted her favorite verse, what is essential remains invisible to the eye.
Patricia''s rare combination of intelligence, wit, faith, and compassion will be missed. She lived every moment of her life up until her death.
In July of this year, Patricia celebrated 38 years of marriage to Thomas Patrick O''Rourke, who survives her. She is survived by two daughters whose lives she infused with confidence and love: Ann Marie (Joseph Brasco) and Mary Kathleen (Alexander Kohn). She is survived by three adoring granddaughters: Sonoma, Sienna, and Scarlett (Brasco). She is survived by three siblings: Elizabeth (Jack Mc Intyre), Daniel (Margie Jones), William (Virginia Jones), and sister-in-law Kathy Jones, and several nieces and nephews. She was a caring sister-in-law, loving aunt, adored educator, and respected friend of so many. She follows her sister, Kathy (Richard Mc Entee), brother, Paul Jones Jr., brother-in-law Robert (O''Rourke), and parents, Ann O''Leary and Paul Jones to eternal rest. She loved them all and knows they loved her.
Visitation will take place at Farmer Funeral Home from 4 - 8 PM on Thursday, December 11 and Friday, December 12. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Saturday, December 13 at 12:30 PM at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Roseland, NJ. For further information or to share condolences and memories please go to www.farmerfuneralhome.com. If you wear black, wear it because it looks fabulous but not in a tradition of mourning, because this is a celebration of a life well-lived and of Patricia''s transition into the next, eternal one. In lieu of flowers, donations in Patricia''s honor may be made to one of her favorite charities: Covenant House, 460 W 41st St., New York, NY 10036.
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