Clarence O'Keefe

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O'Keefe, Clarence

Clarence Henry O'Keefe was surrounded by love as he peacefully left his family on earth to be reunited with his loving wife and family in heaven on Saturday, March 2nd, 2013.

He was born September 4th 1918, to the late Matilda (Goretski) and James O'Keefe. He resided in the Schofield area with his family until he met the love of his life Dorothy (Kleist) on the Mosinee ice skating rink. He married Dorothy on April 8th 1939. They resided in their house on Pearl Street the entire 69 years of marriage and Clarence remained there until his final days here on earth.

Clarence worked at Wisconsin Box starting at 25 cents an hour until he took a job at Marathon Electric. A few years later he began his career working at Weyerhaeuser Paper Mill where he proudly retired after 38 years of dedicated service. Over the years he also worked part-time at Janssen Funeral Home and as a volunteer Fireman for the Schofield Fire Dept. He was also honored to have served 4 times as a juror at the Marathon Circuit Court.

In Clarence's earlier years he enjoyed golfing, fishing, duck hunting and spending time up north at their mobile home on Birch Lake in Winchester, Wisconsin, all of which he and Dorothy did side by side. Clarence was also an avid wood crafter. As many of you would know he was always happy to share his wood working crafts with anyone who stopped by to visit. His crafts included bird houses, fishing pole holders, key holders, plant stands, picture frames, book shelves, wall shelves and most proudly the shore birds and loons that he would craft and Dorothy would hand paint. Together they reconstructed their whole house from top to bottom, one wall at a time. He and Dorothy's pride in their house and yard is still evident today.

Clarence is survived by one daughter, Lorelei (Stuart) Babl, Schofield. Four grandchildren: Brett (Arletta) Babl, Marinette, WI; KiyAnn (Jim) Platta, Weston, WI; Melody Baumann, Neenah, WI, Letty (Tim) Lahr, Rothschild, WI. Ten great-grandchildren: Danielle (Jason) Weiszhaar, Gibsonton, FL; Tristan (Chasity)Babl, Menomonie, WI; Jestin, Lindy and Kinzie Platta, Weston, WI; Amanda, Ahren and Ander Baumann, Neenah, WI, Braden and Brinly Lahr, Rothschild, WI. Three great-great grandchildren: Caleb, Aubrin and Breckan Babl, Menomonie, WI. One Sister in-law: Marge O'Keefe (wife of Bill).

Clarence was preceded in death by his wife and best friend, Dorothy. Two infant daughters: MaryAnn and Heidi O'Keefe. Parents: Matilda and James O'Keefe. Brothers and Sisters: James O'Keefe, Mert O'Keefe, Mary Albee-Whippler, Joseph O'Keefe (WW II), William O'Keefe and Belvina (Dolly) Boyle.

Clarence wanted everyone to know that when the day came that he would finally be reunited with his "sweetheart", Dorothy, that we should not be sad but we should be happy because this is where his heart ached to be for the last four years. "Rest in Peace Grandpa…You are HOME."

The family of Clarence would like to say a special "thank you" to all the nurses and staff at Rennes Health & Rehab Center and St Clares Hospital (3rd floor) for providing Clarence with the utmost compassion and care in his final weeks. Also, a special thanks to Buettgen Funeral Home for providing him with a professional and heartfelt service.

A Funeral Mass will be held Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 11:00 am at St. Therese Catholic Church. Visitation will be Thursday from 9:00 am until the time of Mass at the church. John J. Buettgen Funeral Home is serving the family.

Published in the Wausau Daily Herald from Mar. 4 to Mar. 5, 2013
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