In loving memory of Marjorie O’Rourke: 1932-2022


Marjorie O’Rourke was born Marjorie Lee Spaulding in 1932 in Vancouver, Washington. 

She is preceded in death by her husband James Michael (Jim) O’Rourke 1931-2006, and her siblings Philip Everett (Phil) Spaulding (1924-2010), Marcella Jeanne (Marcella) Mack (1926-1996), and Mary Lou (Mary) Dauner (1928- 2003). 

Marge was born at home at 39th and Daniels in Vancouver, Washington. Her family moved to Hazel Dell in 1940, where she grew up. 

She knew Jim all her life. They attended school together and Jim had been her family’s paper boy. They both graduated from Vancouver High School. They got married in Reno, Nevada, in 1958, and raised three children whom they loved very much. 

Marge was always a hard worker, sometimes looking after home, children and animals all by herself when Jim, who was a bus driver for many years, was away. She also held many jobs, including as a nanny for a family with six children, a model, an employee at the Awahnee Hotel in Yosemite (which she fondly remembered), as an Avon Lady, and a school bus driver, which was her favorite job. She loved the children and her fellow drivers, and they loved her. Her daughter Erin remembers that when she was a girl and went to the mall with her mother, Marge knew more kids than she did. 

Marge liked life at home — the Clark County Fair, gardening, canning fruit and vegetables, raising chickens, cows and horses — but she also loved to travel the world, especially with her daughter Erin, her favorite traveling companion. Together, they toured the United States and visited Hawaii, Canada, Mexico (where they took a hellacious trip on a Mexican bus from Puebla to the Yucatán, and visited Mérida and Cancún), Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Austria, where her son Michael lives. 

Marge also liked to eat, and her son Patrick fondly remembers the many meals he and his children Emily and Keenan ate with her at the local restaurants she liked. Her favorite restaurant was the Keo Thai restaurant in Battle Ground. 

She was always friendly with the clerks at Safeways and Trader Joe’s, and she loved to bake cupcakes for the guys at Les Schwab who looked after her cars and always took great care of her. 

A child of the Great Depression, Marge was thrifty and knew how to make a dollar go a long way. Nevertheless, she also enjoyed visiting local casinos with her friends. An eternal optimist, she religiously bought lottery tickets and entered every contest she could find, and she sometimes won, including a gold-colored stingray bicycle with sissy bar for her son Michael and a pickup truck for herself. 

Marge loved nature and watching the hummingbirds and other animals in her yard. She loved hiking and still took long walks outdoors until a recent surgery made it harder for her to get around, but she looked forward to getting back outside. 

She loved books and reading and was a regular at the Battle Ground Community Library, and crocheted many library card holders for them. She loved to crochet and knit. The cozy slippers she knit are worn by many friends and relatives around the world. She passed her love of gardening, nature, travel and books on to her children and grandchildren. 

She was close to her brother and sisters and cared for her brother Phil after the death of his wife Jeanette. Marge was fiercely independent and lived alone, although her son Patrick who lived nearby, always looked after her and cared for her lovingly. Her grandchildren Emily and Keenan lived with her for a time, and Emily fondly remembers the songs Marge used to sing to them every night before they went to sleep. She now sings the same songs to Marge’s great-granddaughter Ryleigh. 

Marge is survived by her children Michael (Casey), Patrick (Pat) and Erin (Erin); her grandchildren Iris, Teresa, Eamon, Fiona, Emily and Keenan; and her great-granddaughter Ryleigh. 

Please RSVP to by March 1 and let us know if you’ll be attending the celebration of her life at McMenamins in Kalama on Sunday, March 6, 2022 from 2 to 6 p.m. Don’t forget to include your contact information and the size of your group in the RSVP. We’d also love to hear how you know Marge. 

A final note: Although Marge loved flowers, it would be a greater honor to her memory if you were extra nice to a child, a clerk, a waitperson, a librarian, a gardener or a mechanic.