Dr. John Francis O’Keefe was born on the 3rd of August, 1857 in Harwich Twp, Kent County. His parents James O’Keefe and the former Julia Kelly, were both born in Ireland. Dr. O’Keefe was the 7th of 8 children. His siblings included, Dr. Patrick Joseph O’Keefe, Edward O’Keefe, Mary O’Keefe, Ellen O’Keefe, Michael O’Keefe, David O’Keefe and Joseph Thomas O’Keefe.
Dr. O’Keefe attended Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois, graduating in 1879 and M.C.P.S. in 1882. After his graduation, Dr. O’Keefe set up his medical practice in Tilbury.
He married Annie McDonald Coutts on the 25th of October, 1882, in Tilbury. She was born on the 18th of August, 1858 in Tilbury East Township (Chatham-Kent), the daughter of Alexander Coutts and the former Jane McVean. Mrs. O’Keefe had an older sister named Helen and 5 younger sisters; Mary, Maggie, Sarah, Janet, Angeline and 3 younger brothers; Alexander, Archibald and Augustine. Her parents were farmers.
Dr. and Mrs. O’Keefe had 5 children. Their son, Dr. Alexander A. O’Keefe was born in Tilbury in 1883. He died while studying to be a doctor at St. Mary’s Hospital in Detroit, Michigan on the 26th of March, 1906. Gordon A. O’Keefe was born in Tilbury in 1886 (d. 1965), Muriel was born in 1890 in Tilbury, Ontario (d. 1980), Margaret Mary was born in 1895 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan (d. 1982) and Gertrude Ann was born in 1898 also in Mt. Clemens, Michigan (d. 1906 of diphtheria).
Dr. O’Keefe appears in the 1886 Elgin/Essex/Kent and Lambton County Business Directory and the 1893 Ontario Gazetteer and Directory as practicing in Tilbury. The family moved to Mt. Clemens, Michigan in 1891.
Dr. O’Keefe died on the 26th of June, 1925 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. At the time of his death, he resided at 129 Grand Ave. in Mt. Clemens. Mrs. O’Keefe continued to live in that house with her 2 daughters, Muriel and Margaret until her death on the 12th of April, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. and Mrs. O’Keefe are buried at Saint Peter Cemetery in Macomb County, Michigan.
*His son, Gordon Allan O’Keefe served with the United States Army during World War I and World War II.