Joan Kirby O’Keefe passed away peacefully, a week before her 91st birthday, surrounded by love and family on May 27, 2023.
She was the youngest child of John and Marion Kirby of Rye, N.Y. Born during the Great Depression and raised during World War II, she learned early on to cherish the little things, celebrate family, and always have an open door for an unexpected guest or long-lost family member.
She attended Resurrection School, class of 1946, Rye High School, class of 1950, and proudly graduated from Saint Joseph’s Hospital Nursing Program in Yonkers, N.Y. She began her nursing career in the maternity ward at United Hospital in Port Chester, N.Y.
She was introduced to Daniel “Chubby” O’Keefe through her lifelong friends, the Cunninghams, and thus began their romance and long marriage. The couple settled in Rye, and after taking time off to be with her children, Mrs. O’Keefe returned to nursing at The Osborn and reunited with her nursing school family until her retirement after 20 years of dedicated service.
The O’Keefe’s retired to Surfside Beach, S.C., where they enjoyed many years with newfound friends and family. Mr. O’Keefe died in 2013. They were married for 61 years. Mrs. O’Keefe’s final days were at Brookdale Palm Coast in Florida, in the care of kind and dedicated staff and hospice caregivers to whom her family is eternally grateful.
Mrs. O’Keefe is survived by her children, Dennis (Angela), Suzanne (Paul), and Katie O’Keefe; and her grandchildren, Paul, Katie, Lars, John, and Anna, who never failed to put a smile on her face or make her nod her head in quiet approval as she listened to their stories and heard of their accomplishments.
She was predeceased by her son Daniel; and her sisters, Adelaide McGee and Marion (Dede) Maloney, and brothers, Thomas, John, James, and George Kirby.
A Memorial Mass will be held June 27 at 10 a.m. at Resurrection Church in Rye.