Dr. Stephen O'Rourke

Obituary of Dr. Stephen Joseph O'Rourke

Stephen Joseph O’Rourke, MD, FRCP(C)

Just shy of his 94th birthday, Steve died peacefully on August 11, 2019 surrounded by family in the Palliative Care Unit at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto. Steve is mourned by the love of his life, “Breid”(Brigid Conlon of Belfast), children , William (Janice), Patrick (Theresa), John (Catherine), Kit (Randall), grandchildren, Patrick (Kelly), Liam (Jackie), Sean, Caitlin, Eamonn, Rosie, Maggie, Eden, Austin, Ella, Maddie, great-grandchildren, Tiernan and Maeve and many nieces, nephews and cousins around the world.


Born on a farm in Bruff, Co. Limerick, Ireland, Steve graduated medicine from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin in 1949. As a Captain in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps he served in the Korean War and later in Fort Churchill, MB. He then joined the Department of Anaesthesia at St. Mike’s in Toronto where he gave anaesthetics for more than four decades, was a highly respected teacher and mentor to countless medical students and residents, pioneered spinal anaesthesia and was instrumental in advancing obstetrical epidurals.


A life-long horse racing fan, Steve rarely missed attending The Kentucky Derby and the Queen’s Plate. Steve and Breid were founding members of St. Bonaventure’s Parish. They loved to entertain and hosted many celebrations throughout the years. Their endless hospitality and fun-loving nature warmed many hearts.


The family will receive friends at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville Avenue) from 1:00–4:00 p.m. and 7:00–9:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 15th.  A Funeral Mass will be held in St.  Bonaventure’s Church, 1300 Leslie Street, Toronto, on Friday, August 16th at 10:30 a.m.  If desired, donations to St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation, 30 Bond St., Toronto, ON M5B 1W8, www.stmichaelshospital.com, would be appreciated.  Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.  Arrangements under the direction of the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, Toronto, 1-800-616-3311.