Emmy award-winning sports director and producer Joe O’Rourke, 84, of Middletown, passed away peacefully on Friday, December 23 after a long illness.
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Joe moved in 1961 to Fairfield, where he raised his family and lived for many years. He used his creativity along with his knowledge and passion for sports to build a career in live television broadcasting that spanned more than 45 years.
During those years, Joe worked for Hughes Television Network, Madison Square Garden Network, SportsChannel, and various other networks and affiliates in telecasting games for Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, and the National Football League, as well as numerous golf tournaments for the PGA and LPGA, boxing events, and horse racing. He is best known for his work as the director and producer of telecasts for the New Jersey Devils and Nets, the New York Rangers, Knicks, Islanders, and Yankees, and the Houston Astros.
Joe graduated from Hyde Park High School, Boston, in 1950, served in the US Army, and was member of the Directors Guild of America.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ann (Crehan) O’Rourke of Middletown; his three children, Joann Wojciechowicz and her husband, John, of Mashpee, Massachusetts, Tim O’Rourke and his wife, Cathy, of Milford and Kathryn Buonacquista and her husband, Michael, of Middletown; his six grandchildren: Caroline Wojciechowicz, Colleen, Joe, and Dan O’Rourke, and Julia and Patrick Buonacquista; a sister, Evelyn Crocker, of Quincy, Massachusetts; a brother, Dennis, of Foxboro, Massachusetts; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Patrick and Aimee (Rogers) O’Rourke; his brothers, Russell and Patrick; and his sister, Kathleen O’Brien.
Ippolito Stellato Funeral Home, Fairfield, is in charge of arrangements. Burial will take place at the Massachusetts National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Send condolences to stellatofuneralhomes.com.
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