Robert Vernon O'Keefe
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Robert O'Keefe passed away on June 24, 2014, at Embracing Hospice, Gwinnett County, Snellville, Ga.
Mr. O'Keefe "Bob" was born Dec. 16, 1921, in Springfield, Ill., the son of Dwight H. O'Keefe and Anna Louise Young O'Keefe. He married Elsie Jane Staley on Jan. 1, 1944. Although Mrs. O'Keefe passed away Aug. 4, 2013, they were married for close to seventy years.
Bob graduated from Dartmouth College. He was a platoon sergeant for Third Platoon, Company B of the 23rd Infantry, Division II in World War II. They landed on Omaha Beach three days after D-Day and ultimately fought around St. Vith, Belgium, and throughout the Battle of the Bulge. Bob was awarded a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal.
Returning to Springfield, Bob was employed by Baker Manufacturing Company and later was Assistant Works Manager for Allis Chambers Manufacturing Company, Springfield Works. He became Executive Vice President of the Weatherproof Company of Litchfield, Ill., until he was General Manager of the Weaver Manufacturing Company in Springfield. In 1974 Bob and his family moved to Michigan where he became Executive Vice President of Dura Corporation, Southfield, Mich.
Bob was the first Chairman of the Board of the Town and Country Bank and served on the Board of Directors of the Illinois National Bank and later was Executive Vice President of the Springfield Marine Bank. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Center Illinois Light Company and of Cilcorp, Inc. He also was a member of the Board of Directors of Cilcorp Venture Capital, Inc., and of Environmental Science and Engineering Co., Inc. He was a past Trustee of the Springfield Pleasure Driveway and Park District during the building of the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon. He was a lifetime member of Illini Country Club where he served as President in 1962.
Survivors are his four daughters, Dianne Simpson (husband, David), Jennifer Anderson, Pamela Franks (husband, Richard) and Niana Hill (husband, Steve). Mr. O'Keefe has nine grandchildren, Christopher Simpson, Kelly King, Roland Anderson III, Megan Franks, Mollie Franks Christiansen, Madeline Franks, Matthew Franks, Robert Hill, and Sarah Hill. He has two great- grandchildren, Connor and Benjamin Simpson.
Graveside services will be held at noon, Thursday, June 26, 2014, at Oak Ridge Cemetery with the Inter-Veterans Burial Detail of Sangamon County conducting military honors. Family and friends will meet at Boardman-Smith Funeral Chapel, 11:30 a.m., Thursday, and go in procession to the cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts to Embracing Hospice, 2160 Fountain Drive, Snellville, GA www.boardman-smith.net