The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 31, 2006


Jeanne F. (McLean) Rourk A friend to everyone

Jeanne Rourk, 82, long-time resident of Craigie Circle, died peacefully Wednesday morning, March 22, with her family by her side. She was the wife of James B. (Bus) Rourk, who died in 1994.

Jeanne grew up in Hoosick Falls, New York, and had many happy childhood memories of small-town life, which she was always willing to share. She attended Hoosick Falls High School, and after graduation began work as a switchboard operator on the old plug-and-wire type of phone desk. She often recalled the "piggy-back" calls they would use during war-time, the messages she would relay in those days before answering machines, and the jolts that the plugs could deliver.

Jeanne married James Rourk, also of Hoosick Falls, in 1948, and together they moved to Boston where they started to raise a family. Soon, their apartment became too small and they moved to Woburn, where they remained for 12 years.

In 1962, with a large family in tow, they came to Carlisle. At that time her parents, Jack and Helen McLean, came to live with her in the house on Craigie Circle, where they remained until their death in 1966. Every evening at dinner she managed to serve a table of eight to ten hungry mouths, and she thrived on the noise and commotion. She ran a happy home, with constant visitors, and many animal residents.

In 1969 she returned to working outside the home, and soon found employment at Digital Equipment in Maynard. Though a high-tech company, Digital possessed an old-fashioned switchboard that few could get the hang of. She walked in and was at home immediately. During her time there she availed herself of many educational opportunities, from computer programming and telecommunication management, to creative writing and watercolor painting. She soon was responsible for programming entire telecommunications systems within the many Digital facilities.

Jeanne retired from Digital in 1990 and began a new life of volunteering and active involvment in many town clubs and organizations. Among these were the Carlisle Garden Club, the Town Election Committee (where she happily spent more than one election as the "town crank" on the old ballot box), the Carlisle Council on Aging, and many committees within the First Religious Society.

As a board member of the COA, she organized many trips and outings for Carlisle seniors, to places as far afield as Spain and Greece, and enjoyed the activity and responsibilities involved. She traveled extensively herself in her retirement, both with the COA and independently, all over Europe, to Africa, and the western United States.

She felt her most important role in the COA was as a "friendly driver," taking other seniors to doctors' appointments, shopping, or just out for a ride and lunch. She made many new friends in this role, and provided a connection to the outside world for those who would otherwise have been housebound.

She made friends easily, and her sunny disposition was always appreciated by those around her, a gift she had even in her last days as her health worsened. She had a good sense of humor, a fast wit, and enjoyed laughing at herself.

She leaves her children, Sheila Kearney and her husband Bruce of Andover, Connecticut; Eileen Organ and her husband Paul of Grand Junction, Colorado; Stephen of Manchester, New Hampshire; Thomas of Carlisle; Michael of Billerica; and Daniel of Carlisle, as well as five grandchildren and her beloved sister Louise Calkins of Southbury, Connecticut.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, April 3, at 11 a.m. at the First Religious Society in Carlisle, with a reception to follow. She will be interred at the Green Cemetery, beside her late husband and parents. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in her memory be made to the Friends of the Council on Aging in Carlisle, P.O. Box 38, Carlisle, MA 01741, or to the First Religious Society, P.O. Box 817, Carlisle, MA 01741.

Arrangements are by Dee and Sons Funeral Home. For further information, to make an entry into the family's online guestbook or to view her photo gallery, visit

Martin and Ellen Dickau of Bellows Hill Road recently finished first at the Eastern Mass. Bridge Association (EMBA) Sectional tournament. They won the Swiss Teams event at the Winter Sectional held in Watertown.

EMBA's next tournament is April 7 through 9 at the Topsfield Fairgrounds, Route 1 (exit 50 from Route 95). Players will compete at all levels, from beginner to expert. Carole Carlson is host of the event. For more information about the schedule, contact her at 1-978-281-3448 or go to

• This is a special week for Larry Sorli, Sr., of Westford Street. He is celebrating his 85th birthday, as well as his 63rd wedding anniversary. Congratulations, Larry, and best wishes to you, too, Marjorie.

Stephanie Smith and Margie Zuk are honored by the Mass. Music Educators' Association. Shown left to right are Smith, Zuk, daughter Jenny Zuk and Tom O'Halloran. (Photo by Joanne Crowell)

Stephanie Smith of Russell Street and Margie Zuk of South Street, parents of Carlisle School music students, were recently honored by the Massachusetts Music Educators' Association at their all-state conference. They were nominated by music teacher Tom O'Halloran to receive the Music Advocacy Awards for their many years of positive support for the Carlisle School music program.

Dr. Andrea Richman, Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) vice president and general dentist with a practice in Carlisle Center, and Dr. Michael Swartz, MDS past president and West Roxbury general dentist, were among those taking part in the announcement of a new mobile-access- to-care dental van (MAC) that will provide free oral health screenings and services to children across the state.

Later this year, the mobile van will be traveling across Massachusetts providing free dental screenings and basic treatment to children at Head Start facilities, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, community centers and locations serving low-income populations. A dentist, dental hygienist and dental assistant/driver coordinator will provide services on the van. Additional staffing will be supplemented by volunteer MDS member dentists.

The van is expected to be operational in the fall of 2006 and is scheduled to visit all 13 MDS dental districts in the state for up to three weeks each year.

For more information on either the dental van or the MassDentists CARE program, contact Michelle Sanford, MDS manager of community relations and dental access, at 1-800-342-8747, extension 253, or e-mail

Scouts score at regional Derby

First-grade Tiger Cub Benjamin Richardson took first place at the Pinewood Derby Regional Tournament on March 18. Ben's car, which he carved and painted to look like a tank, took first place in all ten heats. Ben is pictured here with his tank and his trophy. Joining him are his brother Peter and his dad John.

The Flintlock Pinewood Derby, held March 18 at the Concord Scout House, had 119 boys competing from 27 packs in 13 towns (Bedford, Burlington, Carlisle, Concord, Hanscom, Lexington, Lincoln, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield, Winchester and Woburn). These were the fastest cars from their local pack competitions.

Six boys from Carlisle represented Cub Scout Pack 135, racing the fastest cars in each age group from our own Pinewood Derby back in January. Competing against boys from packs in much larger towns, our Cubs had an excellent day.

From the first-grade Tigers, Ben Richardson took first place, winning all ten of his races, an amazing accomplishment. From the third-grade Bears, Daniel Moore took second place, and from the fifth-grade Webelos, John Knobel took third place.

Also competing were Jacob Sturtz, Andrew Gorecki and Patrick Bourque.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito