Robert E O’Keefe, Sr., 90, of Springfield, passed away on Saturday, January 3, 2015.
Bob was born May 20, 1924 in Chicago, Illinois, and was proud of his service as a Marine Raider in the Second Division during WWII. Bob was awarded a Purple Heart on July 27, 1944, and later graduated from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona. While in Minnesota he met his future wife, Margaret Mary Calnan. They were wed on June 10, 1950 in Clinton, IA and remained wed for 64 years until his death. They moved to Palo Alto, California where he received his Masters’ Degree in English from Stanford University. Bob had a highly successful career beginning as a teacher and coach, and then moving on to principal and superintendent in and around Tampico and Long Point, Illinois. After moving to Springfield in 1961, he became the first Chief of Staff for the Illinois State Senate Democrats and served in that position under four Senate Presidents. He later moved to the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office and retired as Deputy Treasurer under James H. Donnewald. In his retirement Bob truly enjoyed his passions: grandfathering, golfing, hunting with his sons, and fishing in the Florida Keys and with the Herscher guys in Minnesota. Bob was a mediocre, but enthusiastic golfer; was repeatedly eluded by the Illinois wild turkey; never quite landed the biggest fish that got away: but he managed to tag a deer every year. He would talk with you for hours about these and other stories while enjoying a Beefeaters in the evening.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret M. (Calnan) O’Keefe; four sons, Robert E. O’Keefe, Jr. of Springfield, Dr. Timothy (Donna) O’Keefe of Joplin, MO, Drs. John (Cindy) O’Keefe of Springfield, Daniel (Lynn) O’Keefe of St. Louis, MO; one daughter, Ellen (Geoff) Andres of Springfield; ten granddaughters; five grandsons and two great-grandsons.
He was preceded in death by one grandson, Robert E. O’Keefe III, his daughter, Dr. Colleen M. O’Keefe, and two brothers Thomas J. O’Keefe, Jr. and Eugene F. O’Keefe.
Visitation: 4:00-7:00 p.m. Monday, January 5, 2015 at Staab Funeral Home. A prayer service will be held at 6:45 pm.
Funeral Mass: 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, January 6, 2014 at Blessed Sacrament Church with Reverend Paul Habing officiating. Gravesite services immediately following at Calvary Cemetery.
The family requests memorial contributions be made to: Blessed Sacrament School or Land of Lincoln Honor Flight.