Obituary of John O’Keefe
March 26, 1957 – April 9, 2020
Family and friends mourn the loss of John Michael O’Keefe. He passed away suddenly due to natural causes at his home in Niagara-on-the-Lake in the early hours of Thursday April 9, 2020, he was 63.
He was a very loving and caring husband to Mary (nee Gowe) for 29 years.
Brother to: Karyn O’Keefe, Paula O’Keefe-Blitz (Marius),
Bill O’Keefe (Carol) Joanne O’Keefe
Brother in law to: Peter Gowe (Kelly)
Uncle to: Paul O’Keefe (Michelle) Shannon O’Keefe (Matt)
Katy Comeau (Derek) James Beer (Kamila)
Great Uncle to: Wolfe, River, Grace and Ethan
John is predeceased by his father, William Stafford O’Keefe (1966) and his mother Cecile Grace (2018)
John was born and grew up in St Catharines, Ontario and lived his entire life in the Niagara Region.
The O’Keefe family owned a cottage on Bay Lake near Bancroft, Ontario. At the end of every school year they would pack the car and head to the cottage, spending the entire summer with family and friends on the lake. When he bought his first car he would sometimes head up there with friends for the weekend. He attended St Denis Elementary and then St Catharines Collegiate, after high school he decided to attend Niagara College and study Welding. He went on to work for years at the Port Weller Dry Docks and at Procor on rail cars.
We will always remember John for his sense of humour and quick wit. He always appreciated being in nature, he and Mary would go camping, often taking long road trips with their trailer and cooking great meals along the way, he was a fantastic cook, both in the kitchen and on the barbeque. John was the ultimate putterer, he could fix anything mechanical and always enjoyed the challenge. He loved playing golf with his buddies, he and Terry crafted a custom stand for his outdoor TV and on hot summer days he’d keep cool and entertained by floating in his swimming pool while watching golf.
From Rob Hattin: “Johnny was a renaissance man, his interests were as vast and varied as were his friends… golf at St Andrews, Formula 1 in Montreal, a shore lunch on the Trent River, and political critic all the time. He left many footprints along his walk of life.”
From Terry Howe: “we always looked forward to The Master’s Golf Tournament, the golfing highlight of the year for every avid golfer, always held in April in Augusta, Georgia. The course was surrounded by colourful blooming azaleas. Many traditions were associated with the Masters, so John decided to start his own tradition and for 30 years John would buy a symbolic potted flowering Azalea, put it in the window of his own club house and he and I would get together spending the weekend watching the tournament, drinking beer and playing a few rounds. One year we were able get tickets for the tournament only to be there for 45 minutes before it was shut down due to a tornado”
John enjoyed a simple life, his priorities were spending time with close family and lifelong friends. He will be greatly missed.
Let’s all raise a cold brew in remembrance of John and celebrate the life of a very special guy!
John did not wish to have a formal Memorial Service. Please see some of the family's photographs of John, posted under the Condolences tab.
Donations in his name can be made to: Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Assoc. chpca.ca
There are no upcoming public services scheduled or the service has occurred in the past.
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The family of John O’Keefe would like you to consider placing a donation to one of the following charities:
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
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