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Norma Jean O'Keefe

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BENNINGTON -- Norma Jean O’Keefe passed away on Monday, Oct. 6, 2003 at her home on Greenview Drive at the age of 80 years. She was the daughter of Verle E. Hotchkiss and Nina Marie (Pierson) Hotchkiss.

Mrs. O’Keefe attended schools in Colorado Springs and completed her education in Klamath Falls, Ore., graduating with the class of 1941 of Klamath Falls High School. She married her high school sweetheart, Leslie Jack O’Keefe, on Feb. 7, 1942 in Carson City, Nev.

Her business experience encompassed a variety of fields which included being a casino credit manager, a production manager in the bar code technology’s infancy, she also owned and operated a retail furniture business, and was a bookkeeper/office manager in the lumber and metallurgical heat-treating industries. She completed her business retirement as a deputy court clerk in Mono County, Calif.. Upon her retirement, in 1996, she entered into the antique business and owned and operated an antique shop in Sherwood, Ore. She became very knowledgeable in glass patterns and Victorian era furnishings.

Mrs. O’Keefe and her husband moved to Vermont in 1998 from the Portland, Ore. area to be closer to family and to assist in the establishing of the Century Barn Antique Center in Pownal with their daughter and son-in-law.

Mrs. O’Keefe was an avid reader and collector of hardback mystery books. Her collection of books is well in excess of 3,000 and many are signed by the authors. Reading one book a day was not a rarity. Her other interests were varied. She and her husband traveled to 48 states visiting historical sites and states parks. She loved American history, especially the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and tracing her ancestry from the Mayflower, Revolutionary War and Civil War. She was eligible for membership in the D.A.R. She was one to speak her mind and was fond of figural sweatshirts and oversized sweaters, which she was proud to have purchased from local thrift stores. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Besides her husband, she is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Ruth O’Keefe of Lodi and Ontario, Calif.; her daughter and son-in-law, Leslie and John Resio, of Shaftsbury; her brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Liza Hotchkiss, of Fort Bragg, Calif.; and by three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her brother, Verle Edwin Hotchkiss Jr., of Santa Rosa, Calif., predeceases her.

Funeral arrangements are with the Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home in Bennington. No services are planned. Those who wish to make a donation in Norma’s name should support their local library.
Published in Bennington Banner from Oct. 7 to Oct. 9, 2003
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