Dr. John Francis O’Keefe was born on the 3rd of August, 1857 in Harwich Twp, Chatham-Kent. 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 were; 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. Her parents were farmers and her father was an MPP representing Kent West in the Ontario Legislative Assembly from 1875 until 1879. Further Alexander Coutts served 18 years on the Tilbury East Twp Council and he was the Reeve for 12 years. Mrs. O’Keefe was the 3rd of 11 children. Her siblings were; Helen Ann Coutts, Theresa Coutts, Mary Jane Coutts, Margaret Maria Coutts, Sarah Teresa Coutts (who died on the 13th of December, 1867 at the age of 3), Elizabeth Coutts (who died on the 21st of December, 1867 at the age of 10 months. Her name appears on the same tombstone as here sister Sarah who died 8 days before Elizabeth. The little girls were buried at Saint Francis Xavier Cemetery in Tilbury), Janet Elizabeth Coutts, Angela McGregor Coutts, Alexander Gordon Coutts, Archibald Stanislaus Coutts, Allan Augustine Coutts. Mr. O’Keefe died prematurely at the age of 57 on the 14th of August, 1881 after he sustained injuries when he was kicked by a horse.
Dr. and Mrs. O’Keefe had 5 children. Their son, Dr. Alexander Augustine 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 Allan O’Keefe was born in Tilbury in 1886 (d. 1965), Muriel O’Keefe was born in 1890 in Tilbury, Ontario (d. 1980), Margaret Mary O’Keefe was born in 1895 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan (d. 1982) and Gertrude Ann O’Keefe 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 were buried at Saint Peter Cemetery in Macomb County, Michigan.
*Dr. O’Keefe’s son, Gordon Allan O’Keefe served with the United States Army during World War I and World War II.
**Mrs. O’Keefe’s brother Private Allan Augustine Coutts served with the Canadian Armed Services during WWI. He was wounded by shrapnel on Vimy Ridge in France and spent 4 months in the hospital recuperating. Private Coutts appears on the Gathering Our Heroes website.