New London - Carmalyn "Carm/Cam" Keefe, 75, devoted wife, beloved mother and friend, passed away peacefully after a long illness, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital.
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She was born in New London, on Dec. 3, 1937. Carmalyn married the love of her life, the late Julian Keefe, in St. Joseph Church on May 17, 2008, they happily celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Carm was part of the first four-year class to graduate New London High School in 1955. She participated in the Choir and Tennis Clubs and remained a steadfast volunteer on her reunion committee, helping plan every class reunion for the past 50 years. She was also proud to help launch the "STAGS" (Sophmore Teenage Girls for YWCA), enjoying activities like sleep-overs and sightseeing trips to New York and Williamsburg. After graduating, Carm worked as a secretary at Electric Boat. In 1973, she became one of the first staff to join the newly launched Pfizer Employees Credit Union. During her thirty-one year tenure there, Carm served members as an IRA and CD specialist, organized the annual meetings, trained new employees and earned a reputation as the office "go-to" girl and a caring, trusted co-worker who had a smile and kind word for everyone. A quote from the treasured memory book she received at her retirement party in 2004 said it best: "You put the charm in Carm."
Carm was a member of the St. Joseph Church choir for many years. She loved singing and music, especially oldies from WNEW's William B. Williams Show, the WNLC Italian hour and her all-time favorite, Frank Sinatra. She loved people and knew how to make a friend wherever she went. She enjoyed reading James Patterson novels, solving crossword puzzles, watching westerns, playing softball, bowling, rooting for the Yankees, eating medium-rare hamburgers, sipping VO on the rocks and taking trips to places including California, Washington, D.C, Florida, Iowa, Georgia, England and Ireland. Her most favorite vacations were spent in Newport, R.I., enjoying the pubs and restaurants, kite flying at Breton Point, boat rides, picnics and polo matches.
Carm's greatest joy was spending time with her family, friends and much-loved, Pomeranian of fourteen years, Sweet Pea. Carm's humor, kind brown eyes and infectious laugh will be remembered and deeply missed by all, especially her children, Jon Keefe of New London, Sara Brewster and her husband, Paul, of Delmar, N.Y., Lawrence Keefe and his wife, Rene, of New London; and her two grandchildren, Sara Moran Keefe and Connor Arthur Brewster.
She was predeceased by her parents, Anthony and Helene Granata; and brother, Russell Granata.
Calling hours are from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, at the Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home, 12 Ocean Ave., New London. A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, in St. Joseph Church. Interment will be private.
Memorials may be directed to Hospice Southeastern Connecticut, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital or the Connecticut Humane Society.
Condolence messages may be left on Carmalyn's memorial page at www.neilanfuneralhome.com
Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home
12 Ocean Avenue
New London, CT 06320
Published in The Day on Jan. 5, 2013