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880 Hopmeadow Street
P.O. Box 335
Simsbury, CT 06070
Phone: 860-658-7613
Fax: 860-651-0476
Irene O'Keefe

Irene May O'Keefe

November 9, 1934 - November 13, 2020
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Irene May (Sullivan) O’Keefe, 86, of Southbury, died Friday, November 13, 2020 at the home of her daughter, surrounded by her loving family. She was born November 9, 1934 in Waterbury, daughter of the late John and Marie (Gagne) Sullivan and had lived in Waterbury and Wolcott prior to moving to Southbury many years ago. She was a veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy. Irene earned a Masters Degree in Secondary Education from Central CT State University and a Sixth Year from Wesleyan University. Mrs. O’Keefe was an English Teacher and the head of the English Department at Wolcott High School for many years prior to her retirement. She was a volunteer EMT with the Heritage Village Ambulance Association in Southbury for over 10 years. Irene enjoyed opera, and classical music concerts. Most of all, she enjoyed vacationing with her family on yearly trips to Cape Cod and Florida. Irene was a loving and dedicated grandmother, never missing an opportunity to support her grandchildren.

She is survived by her son, Thomas O’Keefe and his wife Lillian of Winter Haven, FL; her daughter, Carrie Levesque and her husband John of West Simsbury; two grandchildren, Simon and Sophie Levesque and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her first husband Quentin Stahl and her second husband, John J. O’Keefe and three sisters, Helen Marchenko, Jane Mack and Marie DelFemine.

At this time, services will be private. The Vincent Funeral Home of Simsbury is caring for the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation, in Irene’s honor, to a charity of your choice. Please visit Irene’s “Book of Memories” at for online tributes.
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Robert Swift

Posted at 10:09am
Mrs. O'Keefe was my Senior year English teacher at WHS. She was tough, smart, dry witted and motivating. I really enjoyed her class and her approach for helping us change from kids to mature young adults. May all of her family rejoice in a life well spent and find comfort in one another during this time of grief. Robert Swift.

Claudine Primack

Posted at 06:17pm
Carrie, John and Family,

I am sorry for your loss. Irene was my colleague in the English department at Wolcott High School for many years. In so many ways she was a mentor to me helping me to grow as a teacher and introducing me to the broader world of education beyond Wolcott. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for her tutelage. She was an incredible teacher and woman. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Claudine Primack

Anthony Curulla

Posted at 08:11am
Carrie, John and family,
Sincere condolences on the passing of a genuine, forthright, understanding, professional colleague. Ita was such a pleasure working with Irene, who taught so much by example and was appreciated by all.
God bless,
Tony Curulla

Kris Sanderson

Posted at 07:15pm
Dear Levesque family-

I am so sorry to hear of Irene’s passing. She will never be forgotten. I have fond memories of Mrs.O’Keefe. She was my English teacher in high school and I will never forget the literature that she introduced me to and the lessons she taught me. To this day, I reflect upon it. A wonderful person through and through just like her daughter and her family. May she rest in peace.

Kris Erickson Sanderson

Marianne D. Derwin Posted at 03:38pm

..."may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest" Marianne

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