In Memory

Donald O'Keefe

Donald O'Keefe

Donald C. (Donnie) O’Keefe, Donnie died early Sunday morning August 6, 1967 when his car went out of control and struck a tree just off N Drive North near 15½-Mile Road northeast of Battle Creek.  Donald attended Battle Creek Central High School until 1964, worked briefly as a tree trimmer and entered Army service July 22 of that year.  After completing his basic training at Ft. Knox, KY., he was assigned to duty in Germany, where he spent two years.  Before his discharge July 5, he had attained the rating of private first class.  He was a member of the Redemption Lutheran Church. Survivors included his parents Clarence “Irish” and Meta (Ploehn) O’Keefe; two brothers, Jerry E. and Ronald C. O’Keefe; and three sisters, Mrs. James (Dorothy) Kleynenberg, Mrs. Betty Regina, and Mrs. Vernon (Wanda) Cruce.

Information from the Enquirer and News, Battle Creek, Michigan, August 7, 1967

obtained from Willard Library

Donny and I grew up under the strong arm of the Lutheran Church. At Redemption on W. Michigan Avenue, we were in choir together, were confirmed together, and spent some fun times in our youth group together. We were good friends. I know if I wanted a little adventure, all I had to do was hang out with Donny. He made me laugh, made me wonder, and told me without words to look beyond who I thought I had to be. During high school, I got too busy and before I knew it Donny grew up and went off to Vietnam. He may have died there, but his memory lives on in the hearts of those who think of him often. I'm grateful for our years at Redemption and all the lessons we learned. I look forward to seeing Donny again some day.

Information in 2005 Reunion Booklet provided by Sally Gehrman Guehl.