William C. Bourke
William Cummin Bourke, best known as Bill or Nonno by his friends and family, passed away peacefully in his Larkspur, CA home on Wednesday, October 14, at the age of 86 after a four-month scrum with pancreatic cancer. Bill was the son of Anthony Bourke, who emigrated from Ireland in his 20s, and Jean Donaher Bourke from New York. Bill was raised in Scarsdale, NY. He was the second youngest of one brother and three sisters who have all passed onto their next incarnation. Bill was a stellar student at Scarsdale High School. He attended Yale University where he was awarded a Naval ROTC slot. Upon graduation in 1956, Bill entered the US Naval Flight School and earned a slot as an A-4 Fighter/Attack Pilot with VA-153 based in Moffett Field, CA. Bill flew on Active Duty until 1961 and ultimately transitioned to an A-4 Reserve Squadron based at NAS Alameda through 1965. Bill is survived by the love of his life, Teresa Schwaegler of Yakima, WA; and their four natural children: Anthony, Colleen, Sean and Darrach in Palo Alto, CA. Each had three children and all live in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1978, after Bill’s sister was tragically killed in an automobile accident, Bill and Teresa also raised their nephew, Andre Lafleur, who is more Bourke than most. Bill served as a United Airlines Pilot from 1965-1995. In his spare time Bill practiced law and coached youth soccer, all while playing an active role in St. Ann’s Church and the Palo Alto Community. He also developed a passion for art, poetry, music and fine wine, which led him to startup investments in Chalone, Ravenswood, a Burgundy Wine Brokerage Business, and ultimately co-foundering Merry Edwards Winery. Bill was a family man at his core and embraced a singular philosophy that love is the only emotion that really matters. Those who knew him were blessed by their association and his deep respect for his fellow man. You will be missed, Nonno, but your spirit lives on in all of us! Rest in Peace. A private funeral mass will be held on Friday, October 23 at St. Patrick’s Church in Larkspur. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memoriam may be made to St. Vincent de Paul at St. Patrick’s Church in Larkspur.
Published by Marin Independent Journal on October 21, 2020