Theresa O’Rourke Stelk, a resident of Davenport, IA, and Shady Beach, IL, passed away August 1, 2015. Her life was celebrated with a Catholic Mass at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Davenport on August 8, 2015. A visitation was held on Friday, August 7, 2015, at the Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home. Fr. Brian Miclot offered a prayer service.
Theresa was preceded in death by her parents, John and Blanche O’Rourke, two brothers, John and Richard (World War II heroes), and two sisters, Dolores McGillin and Elizabeth Peters. Survivors include her husband, Jim Stelk, Davenport/Shady Beach, brother, Ron O’Rourke, Des Moines, sisters, Carolyn Krob, Tipton, Veronica Hoye, Lafayette, CO, and Sarah O. O’Reilly, Los Angeles, CA.
She was an education major and graduate of Ottumwa Heights, Marycrest College, and the University of Iowa. Theresa was a teacher and specialist for 39 years, 34 of which were spent at Monroe Elementary, Davenport. She taught the youth of Davenport how to read and write, always embedding the ABC’s of life.
Giving back to her community was Theresa’s mantra. She was a board member of the Davenport School Museum, Friendship Force of the Quad Cities, past president of the Alpha Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and Shady Beach Home Owners Association. She was a member and volunteer for St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, American/Schleswig-Holstein Heritage Society (ASHHS) and the Davenport Area Retired Teachers Association.
Counted among her other accomplishments was the promotion of her beloved Irish heritage. Being the “Other Mother” to 36 nieces and nephews was a priority of her life. She was an integral part of their many “Blessed Passages of Life.”
Theresa enjoyed traveling and boating with her huband Jim as well as reading and gardening. May the legacy and pathfinding of this “Irish lass” be ever remembered.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Anthony’s Catholic Church Organ Fund and ASHHS.