Brian W. O’Keefe, 76, of Newport, RI, husband of 51 years to Kathryn (Mooney) O’Keefe, died peacefully on Wednesday, June 21, at Rhode Island Hospital of complications related to a stroke. He will be dearly missed.
Brian was born in Salem, MA to Margaret and William O’Keefe, and spent his childhood in Salem and in Canada. He graduated from Providence College in 1962. He was a decorated war veteran who served in the Marines from 1963 to 1966. He was a Marine Corp Captain in Vietnam in 1965, where he took part in Operation Starlite, the first major offensive of the war. He was deeply proud to be a Marine and strived to embody the Marine Corp’s values of honor, courage and commitment in all aspects of his life.
Brian found his calling as an FBI agent in 1967. He worked in Iowa and Oregon – where he lived with his family for 14 years – before relocating to Hartford, CT, in 1982. He served as Supervisory Senior Resident Agent of the Hartford Resident Agency, New Haven Field Office, from 1987 until his retirement in 1990. Throughout his career he formed a great number of enduring friendships with fellow agents.
Following his time in the FBI, Brian spent 15 years in charge of investigative services at United Technologies Corporation, a post that allowed him to travel the world.
Brian was a lifelong runner and an avid reader. He also loved boats, and in his retirement enjoyed volunteering at the Museum of Yachting and in serving on Newport’s Waterfront Commission. In recent years, he took great joy in being a grandfather, and was a fixture on the sidelines of his grandkids’ sporting events.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Colleen O’Keefe, of Newington, CT; his son, Jeffrey O’Keefe, and daughter-in-law Shira O’Keefe, of Los Angeles, CA; his daughter, Meghan Galli, and son-in-law Jaeson Galli, of San Diego, CA; his grandchildren Peyton, Reid and Shea Galli and Owen O’Keefe; his brother, Kevin O’Keefe, and sister-in-law Cate O’Keefe, of Silver Spring, MD; as well as numerous cousins, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews.
Brian was predeceased by his sister, Nancy Bolick, of Newburyport, MA.
Visiting hours will be held for Brian on Sunday, June 25th, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m at the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport, RI. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, June 26th, at 10 am at St. Mary’s Church, 12 William Street, Newport, RI, 02840. Burial will be held on Tuesday, June 27 at RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter, RI.
Donations may be made in Brian’s memory to St. Mary’s Church’s “Souls in Harmony” campaign, dedicated to the preservation of the church’s pipe organ and choir loft. To give, please visit stmarynewport.org/Giving-Levels.
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