Wake Monday night for Andrew O'Rourke, former Westchester County exec

Andrew O'Rourke, who served as Westchester County executive Andrew O'Rourke, who served as Westchester County executive from 1983 to 1997, died Jan. 3, 2013. He was 79. (1998) Photo Credit: AP

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Visiting hours begin Monday night for Andrew O'Rourke, the former Westchester County executive and State Supreme Court justice who died Thursday after a lengthy illness.

O'Rourke's wake will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday and from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Clark Funeral Home, 2104 Saw Mill River Rd., in Yorktown Heights. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick's Church on 137 Moseman Rd. in Yorktown Heights. The burial will be private.

O'Rourke was 79.

A Republican, O'Rourke served as Westchester County executive from 1983 to 1998. A fiscal conservative, he worked on reducing the county's welfare rolls to keep taxes down and cut government costs by privatizing some county jobs. He pushed through multimillion-dollar projects to rebuild the Westchester County Center, renovate Westchester County Airport and expand the county jail.

While county executive, he ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1986 against incumbent Mario Cuomo. He later served as State Supreme Court justice in Rockland and Putnam counties.

A native of Plainfield, N.J., O'Rourke grew up in Manhattan. He later moved to Yonkers and graduated from Fordham University in 1954.

After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he returned to Fordham for his law degree and was admitted to the bar in 1962. He later enrolled in NYU School of Law and obtained a law doctorate in 1965.

Before becoming county executive, O'Rourke was a member of the Yonkers City Council from 1966 to 1973, followed by a stint as a member of the County Board of Legislators from 1973 to 1982, including the last four years as chairman.

He is survived by his wife, Flora; three children, Aileen, Alice and Andy Jr.; and six grandchildren.

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