Obituary of Patricia A. O'Keefe
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Patricia A. O’Keefe Olean, NY Patricia Ann O’Keefe, an over 62-year resident of 104 N. 17th St., passed away peacefully Monday, September 25, 2023, with her family by her side. Born September 21, 1930, in Olean, NY, she was the daughter of Emil and Dolores (Freaney) Gazdik. Patricia was a 1948 graduate of Olean High School. On December 30, 1950, at St. Mary of the Angels Church in Olean, she married her high school sweetheart, Harold R. “Hal” O’Keefe. They spent 63 loving years together before his passing on August 14, 2013. After her marriage, she and Hal began their life in Leominster, MA, while Hal served in the Army. They returned to Olean, and she and Hal went on to have eight children, filling their home with much love and happiness. Patricia adored raising her children, helping them lead successful lives, and enjoyed watching them grow their own families. Her faith guided her throughout her life. She was a devout parishioner of the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels. She was involved in the church in many ways, including serving on the bishop’s and bereavement committees, as a festival volunteer, and as a religious education teacher. She and her husband enjoyed traveling to California, Florida, Hawaii, South Bend, IN, Myrtle Beach, SC, New York City, and Lebanon, PA. Her weekends were spent taking boat rides on Cuba Lake and gathering at the family campground, Mini Buck Lodge. She worked for K-Bar Cutlery and for 20 years as a library aide at Washington West Elementary School. Many of her former students credit Mrs. O’Keefe as the reason for their love of reading. She was a local card club member and an avid fan of the Buffalo Bills, Notre Dame football, and St. Bonaventure basketball. She was an enthusiastic reader, often sharing her book collection with her family and friends. Patricia will be remembered for her grace and her nurturing and compassionate demeanor. She was always the first to open her arms for a hug or to reach for a hand to hold. She was magnetic; those who met her were drawn to her, and those who knew her loved her. Patricia was talented in making each holiday, family gathering, meal, and sleepover extra special. She brought an insurmountable joy and light to her family, friends, and community. She leaves behind her six children, Kimberly (Robert) Cerrie of Jamestown, NY; Kelly (Barb) O’Keefe of Allegany, NY; Kerry (Teresa) O’Keefe of Chalfont, PA; Kathryn (Timothy) Galbato of Lakewood, NY; Killeen (Michael) Higgins of Webster, NY; Kirsten Benham of Cuba, NY; a son-in-law Pieter Tesselaar of Silver Creek, NY; a daughter-in-law Cheryl O’Keefe of Allegany, NY; her 17 grandchildren, Heather (Dave) Oleksy, Brianne Cerrie, Brendon (Kelsey) O’Keefe, Lura (Andrew) O’Keefe, Bridget (Julian) Ferrett, Patrick (Aimee) O’Keefe, Bethany (Mark) Robine, Rebecca (Jonathan) Hall, Rachel (Patrick) Lynch, Casey O’Keefe, James (Alex) Galbato, Collin (Karen) Galbato, Francesca (Kyle) Galbato, Cole Higgins, Aden Higgins, Jack (Haley) Benham, and Claire Benham; 11 great-grandchildren, as well as step-grandchildren, and a sister-in-law and best friend, Penny O’Keefe of Cuba, NY. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her daughter, Karen O’Keefe-Tesselaar; her son, Kevin O’Keefe; two brothers, Thomas Gazdik and Larry Gazdik; and several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. The family will receive friends on Friday, September 29, from 4-7 p.m. at the Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home, 3128 W. State Rd., Olean, NY. A prayer service will be held on Saturday, September 30, at 11:15 a.m. in the funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at noon at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels Church. Rev. John Adams, pastor, will be the celebrant. Burial will follow in St. Bonaventure Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, 202 S. Union St., Olean, NY 14760, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, September 29, 2023
Casey, Halwig & Hartle Funeral Home
3128 W. State Rd.
Olean, New York, United States
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Saturday, September 30, 2023
Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels
S. Union Street
Olean, New York, United States
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In Loving Memory
1930 - 2023
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