Karen Lee O'Rourke, age 49, of Kihei, Hawaii, passed away on December 26, 2019. She was born and raised in Marlton & Medford, NJ until moving to the State of Hawaii. She graduated from Shawnee High School, and received her bachelor’s degree in special education from Rowan University. Karen taught for several years at the Y.A.L.E. School in Cherry Hill, NJ and Dudley Elementary School in Camden, NJ where she touched so many young lives. Later she moved to the State of Hawaii to become one of the state's first certified special education teachers. Karen taught for over 17 years between King Kekaulike High School and King Kamehameha III Elementary. Here she loved her students as if they were her own, and was embraced by both them and their families. Karen was predeceased by her father, James C. O'Rourke and is survived by her mother, Joanne G. Hurd (Irvine), Southampton, NJ; brother Keith O'Rourke, Philadelphia, PA; and two sisters, Grace Aroha, Santa Fe, NM and Tracey Thomas (James), Medford, NJ, along with her stepsiblings: Irving Hurd III (Gwyn), Medford, NJ; Diane Sweeney, Austin Texas; and Michael Hurd, Sebastopol, CA. She adored all of her nieces and nephew, Brittany Bruce (Michael), Garrett Hessinger, Meredith Birkhead (Eric), Caroline Thomas and Meagan O’Rourke, along with her three great nieces, Zoey, Lily and Elly. Relatives and friends are invited to greet the family on Friday, January 17th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the BRADLEY & STOW FUNERAL HOME, 127 Medford-Mt. Holly Road, Medford, NJ and on Saturday from 10:00 – 11:00 AM at the Church of the Holy Eucharist, 520 Medford Lakes Road, Tabernacle, NJ, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM. Interment will be private and at the convenience of the family. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy the family requests memorial donations to the Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation, 285 Mahalani Street, Suite 4, Wailuka, HI 96793 or at www.mauihospitalfoundation.org. (www.BradleyStow.com)
“A heart too big for a world too small”….
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