Angela Iris Rush Rourke passed away on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023, at her residence surrounded by her loving family.
Iris was born in Charleston, South Carolina on February 19, 1942, to the late Billy Wofford Rush and Mildred Smart Rush. In 1944, while serving in the U.S. Army during WWII, her father was killed in action in France. She was raised by her mother in downtown Charleston and attended Sacred Heart Catholic School and graduated from Bishop England High School. She was introduced by her cousin to John Rourke, the “little red-headed boy,” who would later become her husband. They married in 1962, and soon after, they began their military travels together where Iris made lifelong friends. In 1979, John was stationed at Ft. Stewart, so they moved their family to Hinesville, GA. After John’s military retirement in 1990, they made Hinesville their permanent home. Even though Iris lived in many states and overseas, she always considered herself a Charlestonian. She was a gracious Southern lady whose Charleston accent will surely be missed by her family and friends.
Iris loved her church and her church family. She was a long-time member of St. Stephen Catholic Church where she was a communicant. She was a lover of all animals, a trait she passed on to her children. She was compassionate about sick and neglected animals, both wild and domestic, and was always willing to help with their care. Besides being a long-time volunteer at the Liberty Humane shelter, she also served as a past board member. Throughout the years, many animals were blessed to have her as their foster mom and/or adopted mom.
Iris was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. In addition to her parents and brother, Billy W. Rush, Jr., she was preceded in death by her son, Larry Rourke. She is survived by her husband of over 60 years, John Rourke; three children, John Rourke, Jr. of Ocholckonee Bay, FL, Debbie Fordham (Neil) of Hinesville, GA, and Barbara Thureson (Tim) of Richmond Hill, GA; five grandchildren, Ryan Rourke, Michael Arnold (Allie), Lindsey Arnold, Catherine Arnold, Aedan Arnold; and three great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. with a Rosary Service at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, 2022 at St. Stephen Catholic Church, 399 Woodland Drive, Hinesville, GA 31313. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 2, 2023 at St. Stephen Catholic Church with Father Adam Kasela officiating. To view the service via Livestream please visit www.facebook.com/cfhbchapel2.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at GHC Hospice in Hinesville for their love and care.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to an animal shelter or animal rescue organization in Iris’ memory.
Carter Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. To share a memory or leave a condolence, please visit www.carteroglethorpe.com.To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Angela Iris Rourke, please visit our flower store.