Keith O'Keefe, 80, a Marine Corps Colonel and aviator, died October 26, 2005, of congestive heart failure at his home at The Fairfax, a military retirement community at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Colonel O'Keefe, who was known as “K.O.,” was born in Dighton, Kansas, and graduated from high school in Omaha. After his graduation from the Naval Academy in 1948, he became a Marine Corps officer.
After qualifying as a naval aviator, he flew combat missions as a fighter pilot in the Korean War. From 1964 to 1966, he was commanding officer of Marine Attack Squadron 214, the same unit made famous as the “Black Sheep” squadron of World War II.
He attended the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and in 1972 received a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University.
In 1972-73, Colonel O'Keefe was the commanding officer of Marine Air Group 15 of the 1st Marine Air Wing in Vietnam. He attended the National War College in 1976 and retired from the Marines in 1978.
His decorations included the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals and Navy Commendation Medal.
After his retirement, Colonel O'Keefe was active in real estate investment and land development. He lived in Fairfax Station until October.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Natalie Brown O'Keefe of The Fairfax; four children, Shawn Klupchak of Chicago and Gene O'Keefe, Kitty MacFadden and P.D. O'Keefe, all of Fairfax Station; a sister; seven grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
O'KEEFE, KEITH, Col. USMC (Ret.) (Age 80)
On October 26, 2005. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Natalie O'Keefe; beloved children, Shawn Klupchak, Gene O'Keefe, Kitty MacFadden and P.D. O'Keefe. He also leaves his dear grandchildren, Heather, Kelly, Kyle, Erin, Jessica, Nicholas and Adam; cherished great-granddaughter, Kyleigh and sister, Kathleen Sikes.
Interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery with Full Military Honors on January 11, 2006 at 11 a.m.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, 11240 Waples Mill Rd., Suite 402, Fairfax, Virginia, 22030 or to Capital Hospice, 6565 Arlington Blvd., Suite 501, Falls Church, Virginia 22042.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
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