Welcome to the memorial page for

Thomas O'Keefe

March 17, 1936 ~ December 25, 2017 (age 81)

Thomas Patrick (Tom) O'Keefe, Sr., 81, of Burlington, died December 25, 2017, at Bickford of Burlington, an assisted living home for seniors where he had been residing the past year.

Born March 17, 1936, in Philadelphia, PA, he was the son of Charles and Margaret (nee Fitzgerald) O’Keefe, who were both born and raised in Ireland before immigrating to the United States. On May 18, 1957, he married Judy Ittershagen in Camden, NJ.  They raised five children together.

Tom worked for General Electric, first as a technician in Philadelphia and then as an engineer in Burlington, moving from New Jersey in 1979.  He retired after 29 years at General Electric in 1995.  

He was a 1954 graduate of St. Thomas More High School in Philadelphia, PA.  Following graduation, he served in the United States Air Force, stationed in Olathe, Kansas.  He worked at New York Shipbuilding Corp. in Camden New Jersey upon his release from active duty and was part of the building of the USS Kitty Hawk.  He received his BS in Electrical Engineering from Widener College in 1979, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and later obtained his license as a professional engineer (P.E).  

Tom was an active member of the community, participating in the Burlington Bike Club and Kiwanis.  A runner since high school and an avid cyclist, he ran many marathons and participated in RAGBRAI.  His interests included classical music and literature.


After 59 years of marriage, Tom’s beloved wife Judy died in July of 2016, after her valiant battle with cancer.  He was also preceded in death by his parents, and his brother Edmund (Eddie), and his sister Mary.

Survivors include four sons, Tom O'Keefe, Jr. of Boykins, VA, Brian (Donna) O'Keefe of Swampscott, MA, Chris (Ronda) O'Keefe of Hudson, OH, Matt (Lisa) O'Keefe of Chicago, IL; one daughter, Marianne Kemerling of Peoria, IL; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a brother and a sister, Charles O’Keefe of Boynton Beach, FL, and Eileen O’Keefe of Hartford, CT and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from noon until 7:00 PM with the family to receive friends 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Wednesday, January 3, 2018, at Prugh-Thielen Funeral Home.

The Funeral Mass of the Resurrection for Mr. O’Keefe will be 10:00 AM Thursday, January 4, 2018, at Divine Mercy Parish-SS. Mary and Patrick Catholic Church, West Burlington with Very Rev. Fr. Marty Goetz as the Celebrant. Music will be provided by the Des Moines County Resurrection Choir. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in West Burlington. A time of food and fellowship will be held at St. Mary’s Parish Center following the Funeral Mass.


In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Kiwanis Club of Burlington in honor of Thomas P. O'Keefe.

 Service Information

January 3, 2018

12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home
3940 Division
Burlington, IA 52601

Family Receive Friends
January 3, 2018

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home
3940 Division
Burlington, IA 52601

Funeral Service
January 4, 2018

10:00 AM
Divine Mercy Parish - SS Mary-Patrick Catholic Church
420 W. Mt. Pleasant St.
West Burlington, IA 52655

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