Robert R. OKeefe, age 85, of Osage Beach, Missouri, passed away Monday, April 22, 2013 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Robert was born December 23, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Francis and Irene OKeefe.
Robert spent most of his summers in Sioux City, Iowa at his Grandparents, Aunt and Uncle’s home. His mother would pack up his bag and his teddy bear, and place him on the train to be picked up in Sioux City.
Robert was married several times before he met his one and only love, Gloria Jean Lagerwall. They were married April 21, 1962 in East Chicago, Indiana. They were married for 51 years. Robert and Gloria lived in Chicago, Illinois for four years, moving to Glenwood, Illinois for 26 years. Upon retiring, they moved to Osage Beach, Missouri where they resided for the last 21 years.
Robert attended school in Chicago until he received a music scholarship to Grant Union High School in Sacramento, California, studying and playing the organ. After graduation, he attended college for about 2 years, the Uncle Sam said “come and join the service”. Robert served in the Army CIC Division in Germany for 5 ½ years. Afterwards he worked for several corporations until he found his true love; being an Operating Engineer for Local 150 running heavy equipment and running tower cranes on top of buildings in Chicago. He also continued his education, taking classes in high pressure boilers and air conditioning. He was always eager in learning as much as he could; he was never idle.
Robert and Gloria enjoyed life to the fullest; working, traveling all over the United States and Alaska, taking cruises, visiting family and friends. After retirement they made their dreams come true, moving to a home on a lake and owning a boat and becoming involved in the community. Robert’s kidney failure did not slow him down.
For six years of dialysis, he found a new family in the dialysis center and entertained them with all of his stories. In the years to follow, he had some medical problems, but they never got him down. Through all this, he was involved in politics and the betterment of the community. For relaxation, he enjoyed playing the Conn Theater Organ.
Robert will be truly missed by all that came in contact with him.
Robert is survived by his wife Gloria Jean OKeefe; his son James Allen OKeefe and wife, Donna, and step-daughter Jennifer from Wildwood, Illinois; adopted son Joseph Lauletta, wife Cindi, granddaughter Angelica “Charlie” from Palos Hills, Illinois; adopted daughter, B.J. Olin, grandson Jason and Jonathan from Rosewell, Georgia; brother-in-law Ted Lagerwall of Chattanooga, Tennessee; niece Cherlyn Mortenson; grand nieces, Schauna and Sabrina from Santa Barbara, California; nephew Robert and Masako; grand niece Sena Mortenson from Japan; Julie and John Riddell; grand nephew and niece Ryan & Tara Riddell from West Hills, California; niece Tamara Lagerwall from Planinfield, Illinois.
Page 2 of 2 - Robert had a long list of organizations and committees that he was involved with including the head of Health, Welfare and Pension for the Local 150; past President of the association where he lived; past Commander of the American Legion Post 130 in Chicago, Illinois; past President of Operating Engineers Square Club (charter member), past President of Chamber Active Volunteers, pas Rajah Lake of the Ozarks Shrine Club (Clown Unit); Osage Beach Utilities Committee; Osage Beach Transport Committee; Alderman of Osage Beach, Ward 1; Lake of the Council of Local Governments; Solid Waste Advisory Board; Sold Waste Management District T; Chairperson for Camden, Laclede and Miller Counties; LOCOLG Organized Labor; Osage Beach Special Road District of Camden; Osage Beach Law Enforcement Committee; Republican Committeeman and and Treasurer of the Election Committee; Leadership Program, class of 1995-96; Pool inspector of Village of Glenwood, Illinois; and lifetime member of the following; BPO Elks Lodge 130; Medinah Temple Chicago, IL; Masonic Lodge; Scottish Rite; and Easter Star. And just for the fun of it, Robert played Santa Claus at Stone Crest Mall and other children’s day care centers.
Memorial Services will be held Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at Hedges Scott Funeral Home Osage Beach, Missouri. Full Military Honors.
Memorials made to Shriner’s Hospital.
Expressions of sympathy may be forwarded to the family at www.hedgesscottfuneralhomes.com
Arrangements have been placed under the care of Hedges-Scott Funeral Home, Osage Beach, Missouri.