It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Roderick Francis Bourke; a much-loved father, grand?
father, great-grandfather, hus-
band, brother, and uncle to a wonderful bunch of family and friends in Canada, New Zealand, and around the globe. He passed away peacefully at the age of 91, on Dec. 8, 2012, at Waverly Senior’s Village in Chilliwack, BC.
He is survived by his second wife, Ruth McKitrick; daughter, Maureen Halsall (John); grandchildren: Roderick Halsall (Lisa), Noeline Borg (Wiley); and great-grandchildren: Alexis, Ethan, and Charlotte; as well as brother, Ian Bourke; and sister, Noeline Eglinton. Rod was predeceased by his son David, first wife Marjorie, and brothers, Tony and Denny.
Rod was born in the small town of Pahiatua, New Zeland. He spent his childhood on the family farm before en-
listing in the army at the age of 19, later transferring to the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
He completed his pilot’s training in Canada in the Air Commonwealth Traning Program, earning his wings in 1942. He joined the RNZAF #488 Mosquito Night Squadron, flying numerous patrols and sorties in Europe through the end of the war.
He returned to New Zealand via Canada where he married his sweetheart, Marjorie Smith. They lived in Pahiatua for two years before settling in Canada. There, Rod found work in the lumber industry, progressing through a number of lumber grading and inspecting roles culminating in his job as supervisor with the Cariboo Lumber Manufacturers Association in Williams Lake, BC.
Rod and Marjorie spent many happy years there, where Rod was a lifetime member of both the Royal Canadian Legion and the Williams Lake Gold and Country Club. On his retirement in 1985, they moved to Chilliwack to be closer to their daughter, Maureen, and her family.
After Marjorie’s death in 1990, Rod lived on his own until 1995, at which time he met Ruth through square dancing. They were married May 5, 1995 and had a great life together, enjoying many trips and helping local senior citizens. He was a kind, generous loving man and performed a great Haka.
In April 2010, Rod suffered a fall, which resulted in a broken hip. Upon his release from hospital, he moved into Waverly Senior’s Village where he spent the remainder of his days. The staff made Rod welcome, and provided outstanding care and support.
At Rod’s request, there will be no service, however, the family will host a memorial tea at The Senior’s Recreation Centre at 9400 College St, Chilliwack, BC between 2:00 and 4:00 pm on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 (across from Henderson’s Funeral Home).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or the charity of your choice.