William O'Rourke passed away on Wednesday, April 19, 2006. He was born April 28, 1926, to William Robert O'Rourke Sr. and Mary Catherine Johnson O'Rourke in Los Angeles, California. Bill grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Los Angeles City College with a Bachelors Degree in Education. He earned his Masters Degree through graduate work at Pepperdine College, UCLA and USC. He married Bennie Patricia Hines in 1951 and they were blessed with three children. After marriage, Bill moved to the South Bay area where he lived for fifty-four years. Bill coached Track and Field first at Culver City High School and then at Palos Verdes High School. During his coaching years at Culver City High School, he coached Joe Faust in the High Jump and that took both of them to the 1960 Olympics held in Rome, Italy. After much hard earned success, he took on the challenges of Vice Principal at Rolling Hills High School and then as Dean of Students at Palos Verdes High School. He was very active in community, High School, NCAA and Professional Track and Field events. He helped organize and officiate at many of these events. One of his proudest moments was when the U.S.O.C. selected him to be a Track and Field Official for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. His passions in life included sports, traveling, writing, telling a good story and his family. He loved golf and, combined with his travel, played many golf courses around the world. He liked writing and left his heirs volumes of poetry. One of the poems he left reads: I hope that when I've at last been laid, To my eternal rest In my funeral brocade And the coffin's lid Has been sealed in place, Over my quiet, unsmiling And slumbering face, That I'll be remembered And greatly admired, Not by what I've said or done But by the children I have sired. He is survived by his loving children, Robert William O'Rourke of Camino, California; Marylynne O'Rourke Pierce of Fredericksburg, Virginia; Michael Ross O'Rourke of Auburn, California; and grandchildren Katie O'Rourke, Erin O'Rourke, Sara O'Rourke, Jason Pierce and Shannon Pierce. A Memorial Service will be held at Rice Mortuary, 5310 Torrance Blvd

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  1. So sorry to read of Bill’s passing. I am an old paddle tennis teammate of Bill’s. What a GREAT guy and so much fun to be around. My condolences to the family.

  2. Sorry to hear of Coach O’Rourke’s passing. I was a student-athlete of his at P.V. High from 1963 through 1966. He was not only a wonderful coach, but taught us the values of personal responsibility and hard work. Don Morrison Redondo Beach

  3. I, and my family, are saddened about Coach O’Rourke’s passing.But, happy that Coach is in a better place.The Ryerson family will always appreciate the dedication and time he contributed to sports at PV and Rolling Hills High School’s.The poem is very typical Coach O’Rourke.God Bless the O’Rourke family.

  4. Coach O’Rourke was the of huge importance in my life. He taught me to set high goals, to be a good team mate, to respect my competition and to work really hard. He ALWAYS stood for my success. I loved him. He knew it. I valued his consule all the way til the end of his life. I am proud to have been one of the many people that called him Coach. To the family of Coach O’Rourke…he was always so proud of each of you. Thanks for sharing your dad with folks like me. You are in my thoughts in prayers. Don Hurzeler 1965 PVHS Track Co-Captain

  5. Coach O’Rourke was a good man. Although I only had him as a coach for my freshman year before he moved on to Rolling Hills H.S. I still remember his talks after practices. I always looked forward to them because them made me feel part of the team, even thought I was a little freshman who didn’t really matter in comparison to the big varsity runners.

  6. Although I was on the PV track team for one season, I have always remembered Coach O’Rourkes tough Monday workouts. If you could surive getting through running ten 220’s in a row, then maybe you could do OK in live as well. He challenged me one day to do more, but I did not listen then. Life has tossed some curve balls my way, and recently I was given the chance to once again meet and be reacquainted with Don Hurzler and was reminded of Coach O’Rourkes positive influence on him, and others. The day the Coach asked me to do more came to me later on in life, but his lesson still stands with me, and his passing should be remembered as a celebration of those that make the real difference, are those that have impact on another persons life, remain commited to the community, and lead by example. Bill O’Rourke was, and will always be all of these things.

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