WHITE PLAINS - Government officials say former Westchester County Executive Andrew O'Rourke passed away Thursday night at the age of 79 following a long illness.

The Republican served on the Yonkers City Council and the Westchester County Board during his lengthy political career. He was the County Board chair before serving as county executive from 1983 through 1997. He was also the Republican candidate for governor in 1986.

After leaving office, O'Rourke served as a judge in the New York judicial system, most recently as a Supreme Court justice serving in Putnam County.

Current Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino expressed his condolences to the O'Rouke family and said, "He left his mark on Westchester and made it a better place to live."

Wakes for O'Rourke will be held at the Clark Funeral Home in Yorktown on Monday and Tuesday. O'Rourke's funeral is scheduled for Wednesday morning at St. Patrick's Church in Yorktown. 

To hear extended reflections on Executive O'Rourke, click on News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.