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Carolyn Bourke

Carolyn Bourke

Jan 18, 1938 - Dec 8, 2022

Carolyn B. Bourke left her worldly body and followed her Lord to reunite with her beloved husband Tom and her family in heaven on December 8, 2022, at her home in Riverton, Wyoming.


Carolyn was born on January 18, 1938, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, to Henry “Ely” and Velma (Wales) Taylor.  She was the youngest of three children.    In 1942 when Carolyn was four, the family moved to California in order for Ely to work welding on the war ships and so her early education began there.   In 1946 after the war ended, the family moved on her eighth birthday to Basin, Wyoming, to be closer to family.  Carolyn and her siblings spent the next several years making friends, growing up and attending schools in the Basin and Greybull areas.   That is where her love for animals began…especially kitties!!


In 1952, at the age of 14, the family moved to Rawlins, Wyoming, where Ely opened a plumbing shop and all of them had different chores to do at the shop after school.  Even after Ely closed up the shop in 1955 and went to Oregon in pursuit of more steady work, Carolyn remained in Rawlins to finish school.  It was during this time, that she was baptized into the Catholic faith.


Early in 1956, she met and began dating the love of her life, Thomas Bourke, and just before graduation, they eloped to Roy, Utah, and got married on March 20.  This union brought forth four children.   Carolyn stayed at home until the youngest child was in kindergarten, and in 1969 entered the work force as a bookkeeper for a drug store.  Eventually she found her niche in the insurance field and worked for several insurance companies in Rawlins.  In 1987, Carolyn and Tom sold their home in Rawlins, and moved to Dubois, Wyoming, where they opened a gift store and sold carvings and signs that Tom carved and painted. After two short years, they had to close the gift store and Carolyn went back to work in the insurance field. They ended up buying the agency where she was working, and for the next few years enjoyed being her own boss.  Unfortunately, it was not meant to be, and they had to sell to another agency, which she did go to work for.   Carolyn remained with them until her retirement in 2004, at which time they sold their home and moved to Riverton, Wyoming, to be closer to their daughter and son in law and medical facilities.  Carolyn served on the Chamber of Commerce board in Dubois, and was a member of the Paradise Valley Helping Hands Club in Riverton.


After her retirement and throughout their lives together, Carolyn and Tom enjoyed spending time together camping and hunting, visiting family members spread all over the state, going to auctions, just being outside tinkering, being with their dogs, mules, kitties and gambling.  


Carolyn is survived by her children Michael (Kathy) Bourke, Morenci, AZ; Kelvin Bourke, Rawlins/Riverton, WY; Jana (Charlie) Allen, Rawlins, WY; Jamie (Randy) Harvey, Riverton, WY; grand-children Tatum (John) Koch, Sheridan, WY; Cully (Ashley) Bourke, Morenci, AZ; Shelby Allen, Casper, WY; Seth (Kelli) Allen, Camas, WA;  Aubrey (RJ) Griffiths, Rawlins. WY; 10 great grand-children, and several nephews and nieces.


Carolyn was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years Thomas (Tom) Bourke; her parents Ely and Velma Wales Taylor; her brother James Taylor; her sister Joyce Taylor Sohn; her grand-parents, Frank and Minta Wales, and Henry and Bessie Taylor; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.


Cremation has taken place and private family services will take place at a later date.   The family asks that a donation to Help for Help and Hospice center in Riverton, Wyoming be made in lieu of flowers.  Cards may be sent to 26 Sarah Dr. Riverton, WY  82501, or to 325 W. Larsen in Rawlins, WY, 82301.


On-line condolence may be left at


Arrangements under the direction of Davis Funeral Home, Crematory, and Monuments.