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Published in August 2023
Nicholas “Nick” Roland Zakon-Bourke, 70, passed away Sunday, July 30, 2023 after a nearly 2-year battle with ALS. He died while moving into his new home in Falmouth, and spent his final day surrounded by friends and loved ones who were there to help him and his family get settled in.
Nick was a relentless optimist who loved openly, laughed loudly, and squeezed life for all it was worth. He was an avid cyclist and skier, world traveler, and lover of wine who always had a bottle to share for every occasion, a new adventure to tell, or a new toy or piece of technology that was the “greatest thing in the world.” He treated everyone, even complete strangers, like they were the most important people in his life. He battled ALS with dignity and grace. Even when he couldn’t speak, eat, or move his upper body, he never stopped smiling and filling the room with joy. From his days as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras from 1977-1980, he exhibited a relentless drive to help others. He carried that legacy later in life when he rode in the Pan-Mass Challenge for 24 consecutive years, raising roughly $400,000 to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The son of the late Roland Bourke and Pierette Bolduc, Nick grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts and raised his family in Wrentham. He leaves behind his wife of 46 years, Yael Zakon-Bourke, his two sons, Aaron and Justin, their spouses, Sonejuhi and Anum, and his darling granddaughter Zia. He had a second family in his colleagues at The Martignetti Companies, where he worked for 35 years as Vice President of Wine Sales. He’ll also be missed by an army of siblings, nieces, nephews, and friends who are committed to living like Nick did, with an open mind, open arms, and a wide smile.
A celebration of life is being planned for September. All will be welcome to share their memories of Nick and raise a toast in his name.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made via donation in Nick’s name to Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS), a non-profit organization in Falmouth committed to improving quality of life for patients, families, and caregivers impacted by ALS.