Mr. Joe Louis Rourk

01/02/1940 - 08/29/2020

Obituary for Mr. Joe Louis Rourk

Mr. Joe Louis Rourk, husband of the late Mrs. Amy Cooper Rourk entered into rest on Friday, August 29, 2020 in Raleigh, NC.

Public viewing will be held Saturday, September 5, 2020 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Funeral services will be private.

Joe was born January 2, 1940 in Bolivia, NC . He was one of six children born to the late Wheeler Harm Rourk and Carrie Mae Cox Rourk. His siblings, Mary, Helen Dean, Maurice, Della Marie, Carolyn and Dale were brought up in a warm, loving environment.

During his youth he spent summers swimming, fishing, shrimping, and harvesting oysters under the watchful and loving eyes of his aunts and uncles while also working on the family tobacco and cotton farm.

His father, Wheeler, was a cook in the Navy which meant the family moved to various cities in the South. Wheeler’s career took them to Wilmington, NC, Texas then to Langley AFB in Hampton, VA where the young family settled.

After Joe graduated from George Washington Carver High School in 1959, he attended St Augustine College in Raleigh,NC on a full athletic scholarship. It was here, in 1962 that he was pledged into his beloved brotherhood, Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity, Inc. Kappa Epsilon Chapter. He later graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts education in 1964. It was at St. Augustine College that he also met and married Theora Mitchell in 1965. To this union, a son, J'Von Marcelle Rourk was born.

With a lifelong commitment to health, Joe moved to Atlanta pursuing a career in sports and physical education. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Augusta, GA to begin a long civil service career at Ft. Gordon. During his career at Fort Gordon, he was a Sports Specialist and Nautilus Instructor at the main training facility.

Additionally, he was the first African American Golf Professional at the base golf course. After retiring in 1993, he began a second career as a campus police officer at Paine College. Joe possessed an extremely strong work ethic and also enjoyed a career as a bartender and small business owner.

After moving to Augusta, a loving relationship produced his daughter, Carla Murray.

While in Augusta, he met and married Amy Cooper Rourk in 1971. To this union two girls were born, Toi and Tyree. Joe and Amy were married until she preceded him in death in 2012. For Joe was quiet but when he spoke it was always full of wit and wisdom. He always had a kind word and smile for everyone who crossed his path. He could also crack a joke which would leave the entire room laughing. Known as a peace-maker, he could easily neutralize a tense situation with his calm demeanor and advice. As a country boy at heart, he maintained a garden in Harlem, GA with friends and loved to cook what he harvested. He loved his family and would hop in that infamous navy blue Volvo to take a road trip to North Carolina or Virginia for a quick visit. Joe loved a good time and had a wide circle of friends. However, the closest were his beloved social group, The Southside 13.

Joe believed in mentoring and helping others. He was a Trustee at Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church where he served faithfully for many years.

Mr. Joe Rourk leaves to cherish his memory, four children: J’Von Rourk (Brenda) of Raleigh, NC, Carla Murray (Terry) of Memphis, TN, Toi Rourk Carter (Gregory) of Stone Mountain , GA, and Tyree Rourk Bamgbose (Joseph) of Augusta, GA; two sisters: Helen Dean Rourk of Washington DC and Carolyn Burrell of Hampton, Virginia; one brother: Dale Rourk of Hampton, VA; nine cherished grandchildren: Terrance Murry, Johnquetta Webb, Kylon Givens, Zoe’iana Rourk, Rhyan Carter, J’Von Rourk ll, Noelle Rourk, Reese Carter, Remington Carter, Brandon Lucas; best friend of 60 plus years: Jesse Chambers and a host of in-laws, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Family members that preceded him in death are his wife, Amy Cooper Rourk; parents, Wheeler Harm and Carrie Rourk; sisters, Della Marie Rourk and Mary (Lily) Jackson and brother, Maurice Rourk.

We give thanks to God for the life and legacy of Joe Louis Rourk. W. H. Mays Mortuary 1221 James Brown Boulevard Augusta, GA (706) 722-6401.


Guest Book

I will really miss my cousin Joe; he was a special person who always treated everyone special. He was the first person who taught me about football which I still love to watch. God Bless all of youkGPAS

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Condolences to the family,I met Joe many years ago through Jessie Chambers,we had many laughs through the years,very peaceful and kind person

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Condolences for the Rourke Family. Joe was a great guy and friend. Loved by his High School Friends and so many others. Golden Bethune-Hill, Carver High School

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My condolences and prayers go out to Joe's family. William H. Kelly

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Rest in everlasting peace, Mr Rourk. You were an amazing substitute teacher & mentor. My condolences to the Rourk family. God bless! James Butler Jr

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Dear Mr. Joe Louis Rourk family, There is no way to lessen the sorrow of losing someone so precious to your family as Father Mr. Joe Louis Rourk. He was a Son, Brother, Father, Uncle, cousin and friend of many and will be much remembered and much missed. But, please remember that his Sister Carolyn Burrell and Members of Tidewater Prince Hall Chapter #24 Order of the Eastern Star and friends care very much and wish your family strength and comfort at this sad time. We have the greatest respect for the Rourk family. As you grieve, know that we are remembering your family and honoring Joe's memory. Sometimes it's hard to understand, Why certain things must be. But there's a reason for everything, Beyond our power to see. And we find comfort in our hearts, To know the ones we love will find. Eternal happiness and lasting peace, In our great heaven. We know that your family has the strength in them to move on. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers. With Deepest Sympathy, Worthy Matron Bettie Tyson Howard And Worthy Patron Leroy Barnes Tidewater Prince Hall Chapter #24 Order of The Eastern Star PHA Hampton, Virginia

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My Condolences to joe family. Sorry for your loss. Praying for the family.

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Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.

- W.H. Mays Mortuary | Augusta, GA