James Francis Rourke of Hopkinton died Oct. 31. He was 68. Jim was born on Sept. 9, 1954, to the late Dr. James A and Virginia Kenny Rourke in Worcester. After graduating Andover High School, he attended Merrimack College in North Andover until mental illness curtailed his formal education.
Jim was vastly intelligent. The breadth of his passions, for poetry and painting, for the sciences, theology, philosophy and religion, for neurology, physics, medicine and art, seemed boundless. He studied the texts voraciously, devouring knowledge and exhibiting a photographic memory. He studied the world’s great religions and scientific works. He recited the writings of Jung, Einstein, Aquinas, Whitman and Laotze. These as he endured a lifetime of challenges. His devotion to the highest levels of human thought provided not only an outlet for, but also sanctuary, necessary to endure his illness. We so loved him.
Jim is survived by his sister, Carol Rourke of Plymouth, and his brothers, Thomas Rourke and wife Terry Rourke of Los Angeles, and Bryan Rourke of Easthampton, as well as nephews Eric and Alexander of Boston, and Austin, Lain and Richard of Los Angeles, Chicago and New Orleans, respectively.
A private family service will be held. In lieu of flowers, his family requests donations be made to the Greater Boston Food Bank (70 South Bay Avenue, Boston, MA 02118) or the Pine Street Inn (444 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118).
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