Obituary of Daniel John O'Rourke
Daniel John O’Rourke, age 74, transitioned into the arms of his Heavenly Father at 7:18 a.m. on February 10,
2023 in his home in Greeley, CO; his wife by his side. Diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer in
November 2022, his short but very challenging fight was not to be overcome.
Dan was born January 2, 1949, in Bloomington, IL. He was the third of ten children and was raised on the
family farm southwest of LeRoy, IL. His parents, Patrick and Virginia (Raycraft) O’Rourke instilled a tapestry
of character in him that would serve him well throughout his life. God, family, community, integrity and
excellence ran deep in Dan. This was evidenced by his many life achievements and the amazing legacy of
family he leaves behind.
Dan attended LeRoy High School and was very active academically and athletically. Always an excellent
student, Dan was consistently selected as a member of the Honors Society and in 1966 was honored by the
LeRoy Kiwanis Club as Student of the Month. Dan also lettered in the Society for Academic Achievement, the
high school equivalent of the Phi Beta Kappa collegiate honors society. Mathematics and Science were his
Dan loved sports, and during high school, he was part of the LeRoy High School football and basketball teams
for four years, and the baseball team for three years. He was a receiver for the football team, and lettered his
sophomore, junior and senior years. Dan was a starting forward on the Panther’s basketball team as well. His
love of sports never changed, and he enjoyed teaching his kids the games and cheering them on in their
Anyone who knew Dan, recognized the leader in him. This was evident in his high school years, as he
participated in extracurricular events including theatre and the “Melting Pot” yearbook committee. Loved and
respected by his peers, Dan was the Vice President of his Senior Class, President of the Future Teachers Club,
and candidate for Homecoming King. His achievements did not go unnoticed, and Dan received the Daughters
of the American Revolution Citizenship Award in December 1966 and the American Legion Award and
Sportsmanship Award in June 1967. Dan was also active in his community, participating in the LeRoy 4-H
Club for seven years, and serving as President in 1966-67. He also participated in the St. Mary Catholic Youth
Organization. Dan graduated with honors from LeRoy High School in June 1967.
Dan attended college at Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. He graduated in 1971, receiving a
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Mechanization. His first post-college job was at ARCO Farm Company as a
sales representative. He enjoyed his work at ARCO until taking a position at State Farm’s Corporate Office in
Bloomington, IL as a Health Claims Analyst in 1973. Dan spent eleven years in the corporate office and was
promoted to Health Claims Superintendent. In 1984, he was transferred to Roseville, MN to the North Central
Regional Office Life/Health Division, where he was the Life/Health Superintendent. He enjoyed thirteen years
in the position before being transferred to Greeley, CO in 1997. Dan worked as Life Health Superintendent at
the Great Western Life/Health Zone (which became the Greeley Life/Health Operations Center in 2003) in
Greeley until his retirement in January 2012.
During his thirty-nine years with State Farm, Dan distinguished his career by achieving the Chartered Life
Underwriter (CLU) and Fellow, Life Management Institute (FLMI) Designations. More important, though, were
the many ways in which he touched the hearts of his employees with his kindness, patience, and mentorship.
Dan had a knack for seeing a person’s individual potential, strengths and talents, and consequently, hand-picked
and shaped the careers of many who will carry on his work at State Farm.
While Dan’s career achievements were many, nothing compares to the legacy of his family. While both
working at State Farm, Dan and Denise (Sweet) O’Rourke met. They dated for four years, and married on March
18, 1978 at Holy Trinity Church in Bloomington, IL. The ceremony was officiated by Dan’s uncle, Bishop
Edward O’Rourke of the Peoria Diocese. After honeymooning in Hawaii, they settled in to their home in Downs, IL and began to build their family. Dan and Denise lived in Downs until their move to Minnesota in
1984. While living there, Denise gave birth to their first three children, Emily (1980), Bryan (1982), and Justin
(1984). Their fourth child, Rachel (1986) was born in Minnesota. No father could have been prouder or loved
his children more.
Married nearly 45 years, Dan’s deep devotion to Denise and their children, along with his quiet, patient nature
was his greatest strength. He was the dad who didn’t miss school or sporting events, birthday parties, recitals or
any holiday adventures. Along with Denise, he helped the children navigate a changing world; providing wise
counsel as they grew older. His love of his immediate and extended family was apparent, as Dan was also the
family photographer. He could be found behind a camera documenting every gathering, vacation, and event.
Treasures for those remaining.
Dan was the epitome of a family man. Nothing brought him greater pleasure than spending time with his wife,
children, and five grandchildren. In 2015, the entire family traveled to Ireland together, where they stayed in an
authentic castle and explored the family’s Irish roots. Most vacations, however, involved traveling to IL to visit
both sides of the family, and more recently, to visit his sons, Bryan and Justin who had moved out of state. For
Dan, family was everything.
Dan had a gift of making everyone feel special. He knew the best relationships, whether in or out of the
workplace, were built on respect and friendship. He was an avid woodworker, sharing his talent with many by
gifting his projects to those he loved. He enjoyed following world events, and shared his opinion thoughtfully,
listening to others in an equally thoughtful manner. Intellectual, kind, talented and so full of love of family and
mankind, his absence leaves a deep void in all who knew and loved him. We will miss his earthy presence.
Dan was a Member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Downs, IL. Later, Dan and his family attended St. Odelia
Catholic Church in Shoreview, MN and St. Mary Catholic Church in Greeley, CO.
Dan is survived by wife, Denise O’Rourke of Greely, CO; their children, Emily (Kacey) Garver of Windsor,
CO; Bryan (Emily) O’Rourke of Cambridge, MN; Justin (Shaina) O’Rourke of Houston, TX; Rachel (Michael)
Crews of Westminster, CO; Al (husband of sister Peg) Trunek of Plainfield, IL; brother, Patrick (Helen)
O'Rourke of Normal, IL; Michael (Susan) O'Rourke of Bloomington, IL; sister, Kathleen (Doug) Johnson of
Mundelein, IL; sister-in-law, Rita (wife of brother Kevin) O'Rourke of Pekin, IL; Trudy (sister of wife Denise)
Jones of Normal, IL; Shelly (sister of wife Denise) Sweet Rubenic of Oswego, IL: Todd (brother of wife
Denise) (Stacy) Sweet of Normal, IL; Grandchildren: Trevor, Adelyn, Emerson of Windsor, CO; Andrew and
Rylee of Westminster, CO; as well as many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Pat (2007) and Virginia (2016) O'Rourke; sister Peg (2022)(Al)
Trunek of Lisle, IL; and brothers: John O'Rourke (1982), Jerry O'Rourke (2007), Kevin O'Rourke (2013) Joe
O'Rourke (2017); and David O’Rourke (2021); father-in-law, Donald Sweet (2001) and mother-in-law, Phyliss Sweet (1996);
brothers-in-law, Vernon Rubenic (2016) and Gayln Sweet (2017).
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Services for Dan will be held at the Adamson Life Celebration Home, 2000 47th Ave., Greeley, CO on
February 18, 2023. Visitation from 10:00-11:30 will be immediately followed by the funeral service and a
reception luncheon. Memorial gifts may be made to the American Diabetes Association or St. Jude Children’s