Regina L. Bourke, of Somerville, NJ, passed away on Friday, November 8 at Raritan Health and Extended Care Center. The cause of death was complications from chronic kidney disease.
She was born Regina Teresa Lyons, the eldest of three and the only daughter of James C. and Anna Bain Lyons of Wappingers Falls, NY, on September, 29, 1924. She attended public schools in Wappingers Falls and graduated from Wappingers Central High School in 1942. She then attended business school and was employed in a secretarial capacity at Central Hudson Gas and Electric Company in Poughkeepsie, NY.
In 1951 she met Andrew C. Bourke, a teacher at Wappingers Central High School, and they were married at St. Mary’s Church in Wappingers Falls in January of 1952. They had three children: Andrew Jr., Ann Marie, and James. Ann Marie was born with Down Syndrome, and from the time of her birth, Regina was active in supporting the mission of organizations that advocated for children and adults with developmental disabilities. In addition to Wappingers Falls, the family lived in the upstate NY communities of Scotia, Liverpool, and Oneida, before moving to Somerville, NJ.
A devoted mother, Regina participated in a variety of parental support roles connected with the school and extracurricular activities of her children. She was also involved in community and church activities that included Oneida Women of Rotary, Catholic Daughters of America, volunteer work for the Oneida City Hospital and Somerset Medical Center, and service as a poll worker with the Somerset County Board of Elections. She enjoyed the outdoors and the family’s summer vacations in the mountains of upstate New York and the seashore in New Jersey. She was fond of cross country skiing and was a member of the Oneida Ladies Golf League. An avid bridge player, she was active in various bridge clubs throughout her adulthood.
Regina was happiest when surrounded by family and friends. She thrived in her role as a wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoyed people, was outgoing, generous, and adventurous.
She is predeceased by her daughter, Ann Marie, and her brother, Vincent J. Lyons. She is survived by her husband, Andrew C. Bourke of Somerville; her son Andrew C. Bourke Jr. of New London, NH and his wife Diane; her son James J. Bourke of New York, NY, his wife Claudia and their children, Matthew and Catherine; her brother, John R. Lyons and his wife, Olive, of Wappingers Falls, NY; her sister-in-law Jean Lyons of Poughkeepsie, NY; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral Services will be under the direction of Cusick Funeral Home, 80 Mountain Avenue in Somerville, NJ. Calling hours will be from 2 to 4pm and 7 to 9pm on Friday, November 15. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Immaculate Conception Church, also on Mountain Avenue at 9:30am on Saturday, November 16. Interment will follow at St. Bernard’s Cemetery on Route 28 in Bridgewater.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Regina’s memory to Building Futures Foundation, Inc., c/o Madison Cortland ARC, 701 Lenox Ave., Oneida, NY 13421, (315) 363-3389, http://www.madisoncortlandarc.org/.