Kathleen Keefe, 92 |
Nov. 9, 1924 — Jan. 5, 2017
Kathleen Keefe (nee McCarthy) left this world peacefully on Jan. 5, 2017, at the age of 92. She was on born Nov. 9, 1924, in Buffalo, N.Y., the eldest of five children. She graduated from Holy Angels Academy in Buffalo, and then attended Business School at the University of Buffalo.
At a young age, she discovered she had a natural talent for figure skating, and this became her great passion and joy in life. She was a member of the Buffalo Skating Club, and competed as an amateur before going on to become a professional figure skater with the Ice Follies. As a member of the Ice Follies, she traveled around the country by train, seeing the sights. She forged friendships that have lasted for a lifetime.
After retiring from skating professionally, she went on to become a choreographer and executive secretary of the Buffalo Skating Club.
The skating rink was also the place where she met and fell in love with her future husband, Harold J. Keefe. Harold had returned to Buffalo after serving in World War II and his brother-inlaw was on the board of the skating club where Kathleen practiced. Knowing that Kathleen might not be interested in a nonskater, Harold took on the daunting task of learning to skate before asking her out.
His efforts were indeed successful, for they married on June 21, 1952, and went on to have five children and a loving marriage that lasted 54 years, until Harold’s death in 2006. The couple moved from New York to Wisconsin, where they lived briefly in Milwaukee and Thiensville before moving to Cedarburg in 1964. In 2002 they moved to Alexian Village of Milwaukee. Kathleen was a devoted wife and mother who volunteered in the schools and for her church, supported her children in all of their academic and athletic events and instilled in them a strong sense of right and wrong. Kathleen made sure that each of her 10 grandchildren knew that they were deeply loved.
For the past 15 years, Kathleen has made her home at Alexian Village in Milwaukee, first in an independent apartment, then in assisted living, and then, following a stroke in 2013, in the Health Center. Her family wishes to acknowledge the quality care and attentiveness she received from the staff at Alexian Village and Dr. Bruce Rowe, as well as from her Horizon companion Lois, who always knew how to make Kathleen smile.
Kathleen was also a longstanding member of the Junior League in both Buffalo and Milwaukee, where she happily volunteered for many admirable causes. Throughout her long life she was a true champion of the underdog and an upholder of high standards, a stubborn Irish-Catholic, fully devoted to her church and family, a fiercely loyal, principled woman. She will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.
Visitation will be held on Feb. 4 at Alexian Village (9301 N. 76th St., Milwaukee) from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Funeral mass at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Francis Borgia School, Cedarburg, Wis.