Leola Edith (Pete) Gibson Rourke, 91, died Monday, May 30, 2011, at Friendsview Retirement Community in Newberg, Ore., of natural causes after a long struggle with Alzheimers disease.
Leola was born Dec. 24, 1919, in her grandparents sod house at Eudell, in Custer County, and raised in Broken Bow. She married Joseph William (Joe) Rourke Jan. 19, 1938, in Boise, Idaho. He preceeded her in death April 19, 2006.
They were the parents of eight children: Myrna Lea (Frank) Tuning of Wilder, Idaho; Joseph William [Bill], Jr. (Myrlene) of Newberg, Ore; Michael Eugene (Connie) of DeSoto, Mo.; Maurine Louise (Butch) Freeman of Eagle, Idaho; Stanley Craig (Beckey) of Boise, Idaho; John Edmund (Lisa) of Wilder, Idaho; Dennis Steven of Boise, Idaho; and Robin Christine Fritts of The Dalles, Ore.
Joe and Leola lived in Boise, from 1938 until December 1991, when they moved to Friendsview. Leola
was a homemaker, and worked in the Greenleaf Friends Academy office while Dennis and Robin were students there.
She was a very active member of Whitney Friends Chuch, and attended North Valley and Newberg Friends Churches in Newberg.
Leola had a beautiful voice and music was always an important part of her life.. In high school she received an excellent rating in Nebraska state competition for vocal solo and ensemble work, and for many years she had junior and adult choirs at Whitney. In spite of her severe memory loss issues, several of her family were blessed MotherÃs Day because she could still sing hymns right along with them.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert Alphonso Gibson and Coila Ethel Donelson Gibson; infant son, Brian Dean; sister, Fern Viola Meston Speer; brothers, Adrian Deforest (Bud) Meston, Elmer Deloise Meston, Orvis Milton Meston, and Kenneth E. (Hoot) Gibson.
She is survived by sister-in-law Helen Rourke Gibson of Meridian; eight children; 20 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild, and best friend Hazel Lanham of Boise.
Memorial services were June 3 at Whitney Friends Church in Boise. Burial was at Cloverdale Cemetery in Boise. Attrellâ€™s Funeral Home, Newberg, Ore., was in charge of arrangements.
The family requests memorials be given to Greenleaf Friends Academy, Greenleaf, Idaho, in lieu of flowers.
Published in the June 9 Custer County Chief.