Frances "Rusty" O'Rourke, RN (ret.)
January 15, 1933 – March 23, 2020
On Monday, March 23, 2020 Francis “Rusty“ O’Rourke passed away at the age of 87 due to complications from pancreatic cancer. She was born Olive Cabral Contildes on January 15, 1933 in Forestdale, Rhode Island to Alfred and Olive Contildes. Despite her parents insistence that she work in the mills, she demanded to go to nursing school where she earned an RN degree in nursing. Thus began a lifelong dedication to the health and welfare of others. On March 13, 1954 she married Bernard James O’Rourke a Lieutenant and pilot in the U.S. Navy. They raised three children while embarking on adventurous tours of duty over the years throughout the United States and to Canada and Japan. During the various tours she would always stay involved with nursing in one way or another. From working in the ER during the DC riots In 1968 until finishing her career working three jobs, a manager in Boeing Health Services, running the cardiac rehab program for Boeing and working at the U of W ER “to keep up her nursing skills”, she has bettered the lives of untold thousands. She divorced in 1983 and remarried in 1985 to Stanley Sifferman whom she met in cardiac rehab as a patient. Often described as “a force of nature" both socially and professionally, she confided to her children that she was just as scared as everyone else but chose to act brave to instill confidence in others. She presided over her household with loving and open arms to all, often gathering “strays“ around the dinner table for occasions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. Rusty loved music and throughout her life entertained friends, family and associates at her home. Early on she would play guitar, banjo or piano while singing bawdy songs at squadron get together’s. Later in life she settled on piano and ukulele as her hands were no longer strong enough for guitar . Every summer she would host musical get-togethers as barbecues to collect her friends and family for a celebration of life. After her husband‘s passing in 2015, she returned to her life of helping others. She became involved with shelters for homeless veterans and for battered women. At the end she was very contented to find that many of the helpful projects that she had started we’re going to be taken over by others to bring to completion. She is survived by her brother David Contildes her three children and their spouses Erin (Bill) Corey, Patrick (Christine) O'Rourke and Shawn (Mary Kay) O'Rourke and three step children Joe (Mary) Sifferman, Mark (Kelly) Sifferman and Bob (Sandee) Sifferman. A Celebration of Life party will be arranged at a later date when such gatherings are once again advised. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Shoreline Veterans Center, Attn: Shree Vigil, 1301 N 200th St, Shoreline, WA 98133. Tax deductible, Tax ID#91-0578229
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Frances "Rusty" O'Rourke, RN (ret.)
March 29, 2020
My very dear village mom, Rusty (with her daughter Erin) enjoying an afternoon tea at our backyard bridal shower for my then soon to be daughter-in-law, Stephanie - one fond memory of many. She had a huge heart, infectious laughter, strong voice and love for those she loved, fierce and unwavering! I cannot be more thankful for her strength, love and support, the one who championed me through all of the trying times. Until we meet on the other side, Rusty, thank you for now being my very special angel. I will always cherish our hat and dearly miss our Wednesday lunches.
March 26, 2020
Ollie was one of my favorite cousins. She arranged yearly ‘cousin trips’ for years. We shared laughter,stories, meals, sometimes tears and always Love. She had many admirable attributes. She was the greatest organizer of events and a wonderful orator. I was impressed by her intelligence and wit. I will miss being able to pick up the phone to just hear her voice. Sharing family news, memories,and especially laughs. Rest easy my cousin. You had a life fully lived and you will be sorely missed. Love you, sweetheart (Dragonfly).
Effie S Stallsmith
March 26, 2020
As with everyone who has met Rusty and got caught up in her enthusiasm for serving, I will miss her wonderful correspondence and her ability to make us feel that we are making a difference in the lives of veterans, both in big and small ways. I, like many others, was looking forward to helping with this latest project.
My last correspondence with Rusty was on the new task she had set in front of her to remedy a badly needed update of a VA facility and she knew we would give as much as she needed to accomplish this goal. It is our fervent hope that this project is completed, it would give her a lasting legacy (though not the only one).
From Rusty: Monday January 13th. I will be meeting at the Shoreline Veterans’ Center (SVC) with the Centers Program Manager , the Compass Alliance Facilities Manager and other key individuals to propose a badly needed refurbishing of their SVC Communal Kitchen to bring it back to being fully functional. "Effie, I like to let the donors fully realize who they are helping and the activities surrounding them . The more I'm involved with these Vets, the more I'm finding that there are people out there who "give-a-damn" . I hear repeatedly that they want to do something, but aren't aware of what they can contribute to that actually gets to the Veteran...."
On Rusty: To me she was an elegant, brilliant, down-to-earth woman, and the proud Mother of three loving children (one of whom we are extremely fond of) who also managed to find ways to support her community in numerous ways. I will miss sharing your enthusiasm and the privilege of helping as able.
“Rest easy my friend, your light will continue to shine – all we will have to do is look up to see its radiance!” Effie
March 25, 2020
Thanks, Rusty, for being a second mom to all of us who are friends with your children..thanks for cheering me on when I dragged Erin into the Polar Bear Plunge...thanks for all the great parties on the lake! I'll work on "Piano Man" on my ukulele in anticipation of the celebration of your life in the future!!