Obituary of John Edward O'Keeffe
The above two links can be used to view the Funeral Mass for Jack O'Keeffe on Friday, January 12th at Noon.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the peaceful passing of John Edward O'Keeffe, Jr, known to everyone as Jack, aged 90. He left this world on Saturday, January 6 after a brief illness, surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Boston and raised in Brighton and Cambridge, Jack always made it a point to say that he was born the day prohibition ended in the US. The son of John Edward, Sr from Cork, Ireland, and Ada (Bulger) Lalime from Cape Wolfe, PEI Canada, Jack's life was a testament to resilience, love, and commitment to his family, his church, and his many friends. Jack joined the Airforce in 1950 and was stationed in Lake Charles, LA during the Korean Conflict. He was discharged and continued his service in the National Guard and then began working at Cambridge Electric Light (later knows as Commonwealth Electric) where he worked in the Meter Department, then joined the Line Crew and retired as a Line Supervisor.
In 1953 while on leave at home from the service, Jack picked up his sister Connie up at work, and offered a ride to a cute little brunette named Angela, his sister’s friend. Little did he know that this chance meeting would change his life forever. Jack and Angie dated for 18 months and then married in June of 1955. A few years later they were blessed with their first child, Pamela, followed by their son Mark two years later. Needing more space for their growing family, Jack and Angie moved to their forever home in Burlington in 1961. Several years after moving to Burlington, Jack and Angie were blessed with their third child, Paul. Their family complete, Jack and Angie dedicated themselves to raising their children and supporting their respective families and Angie’s aging parents.
Jack was a man of many talents and interests. He was very handy around the house, having built his house in Burlington, he was always eager to help others in building, wiring, or just lending a hand to any of his family or friends in need of his help. After retiring from Commonwealth Electric in 1991, Jack continued working part-time as one of the electrical inspectors for the town of Burlington. He retired from that position at age 72 but still continued working periodically for the town of Burlington for the next few years on projects with the public works department.
Jack had a great connection to his family in Prince Edward Island, Canada. In 1994 he and Angie purchased land on the ocean and built themselves a cottage by the sea near his many cousins who were still farming in the area. Jack and Angie spent 23 happy summers hosting family and friends in Burton where many lasting memories were made. Jack also dedicated much of his free time to help grow and nurture his faith and the faith community of St. Margaret’s Church in Burlington. Together with his wife he participated in Cursillo and TECH retreats at Stonehill College and The Cenacle in Brighton, making a positive impact on countless lives. He and Angie were also part of the Marriage prep program at St. Margaret’s and sang in the Choir for 30 years. Just as with his wife, Jack lived out his faith by using his time and talents to help maintain the upkeep of St. Margaret’s Church. He also believed deeply in demonstrating his faith through acts of charity and compassion for others.
Jack and Angie enjoyed traveling and experiencing new cultures. They traveled many times to Europe, with Italy being a particular favorite of Jack’s, along with other trips to the Holy Land, and in later years winter vacations in Florida and cruises in the Caribbean, always with friends and family. Jack and Angie even visited Ghana, West Africa where their son was living for some years. Jack commented that it was the only vacation he’d gone on where he lost weight!
After Angie’s death in 2018 and 62 happy years of marriage, Jack felt the need for a change and sold their home in Burlington, moving in with his daughter Pam and son-in-law John to their home in Atkinson, NH. Ever pragmatic and resilient, he thrived in his new surroundings, managing one more building project (his in-law apartment) and enjoying full retirement. It was also after the death of his wife that he began having serious health issues. Through it all, he never complained, and was always positive and upbeat with family and the many healthcare professionals who kept him alive for the past 6 years.
Jack's warm smile, wisdom, and playful sense of humor will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. His legacy of love will live on in the hearts of his family and friends for many years to come. We rejoice in the extraordinary life he was privileged to live, and we feel grateful and blessed to have been loved by such an amazing human being!
Jack was predeceased by his wife, Angelina (DeRosa) and is survived by his three children, Pam Walsh and her husband John of Atkinson, NH, Mark J O’Keeffe and his wife Terry of Tyngsboro, MA, and Bro. Paul O’Keeffe, OFM of Manhattan, NY. He is also survived by 5 grandchildren: Anne Walsh and her partner Paul Farrell of London, UK, Maggie Lazzaro and her husband Mark of Portsmouth, NH, Michael and Rebecca O’Keeffe of Tyngsboro, MA, and Ryan O’Keeffe of Stratham, NH. Great-grandfather of Adri, Bella, Gio and Lucci Lazzaro. Brother of Carolanne Barker and her husband James, who Jack also considered as a brother of No. Reading, the late Peter O’Keeffe and his widow, Joanne of Burlington, MA, and the late Constance Bzibziak and her late husband, Walter. Loving uncle to many nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn Street, Burlington MA on Thursday, January 11 from 5-7pm Additional visiting hours will be held at St. Anne’s Church, 26 Emerson Ave, Hampstead, NH on Friday, January 12 from 10-noon followed by a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at St. Anne’s at noon. The burial will be private.
Memorials in Jack’s name may be made to Heaven’s Kitchen, c/o St. Anne Parish P.O. Box 339 Hampstead, NH 03841.
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050