Doye L. O'Keefe, Jr. obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Doye L. O'Keefe, Jr.

October 18, 1921 - January 11, 2012

Obituary


SPRINGFIELD - Doye Lindsay O'Keefe Jr., 90, long time resident of Springfield, Illinois who grew up and married in Centralia, Illinois passed away peacefully in his sleep, on Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 in Rock Island, Illinois, near his son and family. Visitation will be at 3:00 p.m. until the time of service at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, January 16, at Bisch and Son Funeral Home, 505 E Allen St. Springfield, IL, 62703 Rev. Mary Ellen Sharp of Central Baptist Church will officiate the services. Burial and graveside services will be 11:00 at Hillcrest Memorial Park...

SPRINGFIELD - Doye Lindsay O'Keefe Jr., 90, long time resident of Springfield, Illinois who grew up and married in Centralia, Illinois passed away peacefully in his sleep, on Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 in Rock Island, Illinois, near his son and family. Visitation will be at 3:00 p.m. until the time of service at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, January 16, at Bisch and Son Funeral Home, 505 E Allen St. Springfield, IL, 62703 Rev. Mary Ellen Sharp of Central Baptist Church will officiate the services. Burial and graveside services will be 11:00 at Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery, Centrailia, Illinois on Tuesday, January 17. Doye "Suey" O'Keefe was born October 18, 1921, the son of Doye Sr. and Glenna Touve Harris O'Keefe in Centralia, Illinois. Doye and his brother John Gail, grew up and experienced many adventures as boys and young men in Sunfield, Illinois and along and around the Kaskaskia River. Hunting, fishing, playing games, making "something" from the rubble found in their travels, was time well spent for young men who would come to know the challenges that the world would require of them during World War II.
Doye graduated from Centralia High School in 1939 and joined the United States Army in 1942 where he eventually became a Technical Sergeant Radio Operator & Gunner in the Army Air Corps, assigned to the 8th Air Force, 445th Bomber Squadron, flying B24 bombing missions over Germany while based in England. He participated in the Normandy, Rhineland and Northern France campaigns before being shot down in his 29th combat mission over Kassel, Germany, September 27, 1944. He was captured and held as a POW in Stalag Luft IV. Near the end of the war, he was part of a 78 day forced march of approximately 500 miles which ended in Butterfield, Germany where he joined the 104th Timber Wolf Division. Doye was awarded the following medals during his service during World War II: Gunner's Wings, Prisoner of War Medal, European Theater of Operation Service Emblem with three major campaign stars, WWII Victory Medal, Good Conduct Service Medal, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Doye returned to the United States and married his high school sweetheart, Sara Jane Allen on July 17, 1945. Upon discharge from the U.S. Army in October of 1945 Doye began a long and distinguished career with the S.S. Kresge and Kmart Corporation where he worked as the General Manager of numerous Kmart stores throughout the Midwest. He worked hard to be the best husband, father, employee and general manager possible, always making time for devotion to his church. He became the father of two sons, Stephen Lindsay, Michael Allen and grandfather of three grandchildren, John Michael, Lindsay Sara and Theresa Lee O'Keefe. He continued to enjoy and share with his sons outdoor activities that he learned to do as a young man and was an avid boater, fisherman, hunter, bee keeper and general nature enthusiast. Doye and his wife were avid St. Louis Cardinal Fans and followed college football and basketball. He was very active in the Ex-POW organization serving in many different capacities, including chaplain; and was an active member of Central Baptist Church, Springfield. Upon his retirement he spent many hours as a naturalist interpreter at the Lincoln Memorial Garden on Lake Springfield in Springfield, Illinois. He wrote a number of personal journals detailing his adventures as a child and young man, as well as detailing his experiences as a POW during WWII. These are invaluable gifts that provide snapshots of the past that will be able to be kept alive forever.
Doye devoted many hours caring for his wife during an extended illness prior to her death in March 2005. Doye was also preceded in death by his parents and son, Stephen O'Keefe. He is survived by son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Sherry O'Keefe; daughter-in-law, Linda O'Keefe; brother, J. Gail O'Keefe; grandchildren, John, Lindsay and Theresa O'Keefe as well as several nieces and nephews.
Visitation and funeral service will be held at Bisch and Son Funeral Home, 505 E Allen, Springfield, Monday, January 16.