Elizabeth  McNeil O'Keeffe

Obituary of Elizabeth McNeil O'Keeffe

Elizabeth Anne “Betty” McNeil O’Keeffe formally of Denville, passed away peacefully on January 1,2018 at the Hospice Inn of St. Peters Hospital, Albany, NY.


A true “Jersey Girl”, who loved nothing better then time at the shore with her family or a party on the deck.  Betty relocated to the Albany area following the death of her of husband and love of her life, John C. “Jack” O’Keeffe.


Betty was born October 9, 1924 in New Brunswick, NJ to the late James W. McNeil and Bessie Lyons McNeil.  Betty grew up in Verona and was a proud graduate of Mt. St. Dominic Academy in Caldwell.  She continued her education at Lesley College, in Cambridge, MA. where she received a degree in Early Childhood Education. On September 8, 1947, Betty married Jack.   The couple lived in Hoboken, Pompton Plains and Verona before settling in Denville with their children in 1957.


Hospitality, community involvement, being a helpmate and support to Jack and raising strong, principled and independent children was the work of Betty’s life.  Her bright spirit, positivity, love of life and her eternal optimism will be truly missed and remembered forever.


She is survived by her cherished children and grandchildren. Christopher O’Keeffe and his wife, Barbara of Sagamore Beach, MA. and their children Michael, Jimmy and Jack. Karen O’Keeffe and her husband, Daniel Shannon of Denver, CO.  and their sons Edward (Eri Yamashima) Dennis (Claire Peterson) and James. Brian O’Keeffe and his wife Melinda Wilson and daughters Amelia (Jeff Woodward) and Lily of Scottsdale, AZ. Nancy O’Keeffe and her husband, Frank Thomas of Schenectady, NY.   Also surviving is her sister Rosemary Cody of Englewood, FL. as well as numerous and well loved nieces, nephews, cousins and friends who Betty worked to keep in touch with and loved to entertain on her deck.


In addition to her parents and husband, her brother, Arthur McNeil, sister Eleanor McNeil Hallock and daughter Leslie O’Keeffe predeceased Betty.  


While raising her family and supporting Jack in his political career, Betty taught at a number of area nursery schools including Humpty Dumpty in Morris Plains and the Child Care Center at County College of Morris.  Betty served for many years as the Director of Denville Recreation Department Summer Camp. From her years at “summer camp” Betty leaves behind a trail of children and families who remember her many crafts and take –home projects.


Betty contributed to her community as a Eucharist Minister and home visitor at St. Mary’s for many years.  She was an elected committee person for the Republican Party of Denville, served as a poll watcher, was a member of the Denville Social Service board and the Denville Women’s Club.  The community activity she was most proud of and enjoyed was as an active member of the Alumnae Association of Mt. St. Dominic Academy where she was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.


Betty is returning to Denville to be buried with her beloved Jack.  A memorial Mass will be celebrated on October 6, 2018 at St. Mary’s Church at 11AM.   There will be a calling hour before Mass starting at 10AM.  Burial will follow at Denville Cemetery. Please leave a condolence and special memory for her family.