Gwendoline Burden O'Keefe, 94, Honesdale, died unexpectedly on Friday, July 25, 2014 at the Wayne Memorial Hospital. |
She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Edward (Eddie) Francis O'Keefe, whom she met during WWII and married in England, her home country, on March 20, 1944.
Born April 8, 1920 in Redditch, England, she was the daughter and last surviving member of the George and Louie Stephenson Burden family.
She loved to play the piano and earned a hair dressing certificate after completing her high school education.
She was a member of the British Army Signal Corps during WWII. Gwen met and married Eddie who was a member of the 101st Airborne Division with duty in England.
Following the war, the couple moved to Honesdale. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1955.
She was an avid bowler on the Honesdale league for many years, and later was a member of the Seelyville Fire Company Women's Auxiliary.
She was a partner with a group of women starting the Craftsmen's Gallery, which was a shop featuring a wide variety of handmade items made by the owners and consignees.
She served as the Inspector of Election – Minority for the first district of Texas Township for many years on the Wayne County Board of Elections.
She was honored in a ceremony with recognition for fifty consecutive years of voting.
Gwen loved spending time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Other pastimes include gardening. sewing, cooking, baking, knitting, crocheting and crafting. She could be found at many craft shows throughout the area.
Always a smile for everyone, later in li fe Gwen could be found sitting on her front porch on Park Street enjoying the view of her English garden.
She is survived by her children; Michael and wife Maryetta of North Providence, RI, Sandy DeGroat, Honesdale, Sally Dixon, Springfield, Va., Sheila Braun, Lancaster, Patrick and wife Hahn, Aurora, CO., Sheryl and husband Lyle Smith, Aurora, CO., Stephen and wife Mi–Sun, Upper Marlboro, MD., Susy and husband Frank West, Honesdale and Robert, Orlando, FL.; 17 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her sister Margery Burden Sayers, England, her brother John (Jack) Burden, England, and grandson Robert Sieg O'Keefe.
The family sends special thanks to the staff at Wayne Memorial Hospital for their professional and caring service in her final days in the hospice.
As per her request, cremation was held and the ashes will be interred in the Mother of Sorrows Cemetery, Finch Hill.
Friends may call Saturday, August 2, 2014 from 2-6 p.m. at her daughter and son-in-law, Susy and Frank home, 2595 Lake Ariel Highway, Honesdale, to join the family in a "Celebration of Life" memorial.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the National Downs Syndrome Society,
, Parkinson's Disease Foundation, or the Dessin Animal Shelter, Honesdale.
Arrangements by Hessling Funeral Home, Inc. 428 Main Street, Honesdale, PA 18431.
Published in Wayne Independent on July 29, 2014