Shelagh Mary OKeefe

September 23, 1921 - June 05, 2014

Shelagh Mary OKeefe

September 23, 1921 - June 05, 2014


Ferndale, WA

The Lord has called home his faithful servant Shelagh Mary O’Keefe. She passed quietly and painlessly into Our Father’s hands in the late morning of Sep. 5, 2014 in the home of her daughter.

Shelagh was born Sep. 23, 1921 in India, the 4th child to Ernest and Alice O’Keefe. She married Kenneth Cripps-Paine at the age of 21 and had her only child, Hyacinth at the age of 22. She divorced from Kenneth after 3 years of marriage and never remarried. She lived in India until 1955 when she moved with her daughter to England. Her daughter married an American and relocated to first Canada and then America, compelling Shelagh to soon follow after her, bringing her ultimately to Whatcom County in 1986. She remained close to her daughter and grandchildren throughout her life. She was fortunate to spend her twilight years living in the home of her granddaughter, Nicole, and then the home of her daughter, Hyacinth, where she remained until she was called home to heaven.

She is preceded in death by her parents Ernest and Alice O’Keefe and her siblings; Phyllis, Thelma, and Joseph. Shelagh is survived by her daughter Hyacinth (Herbert Koester). As well as her grandchildren Martinique Palta (Ash), Kurt Koester (Erica), Marc Koester, Natasha Gaskill (Nathan), and Nicole Channel (Rocky). 10 great-grandchildren; Lindsay, Kyle, Lauren, Kristin, Aiden, Morgan, Lucas, Evan, Zoey, and Colton and 3 great-great-grandchildren.

Shelagh is well known in the community for starting one of the first adult family homes in Whatcom County in her advanced years. Named Deerwood, the home still exists in Ferndale, WA on Lattimore Rd. under new ownership. She was an intelligent and business savvy entrepreneur but ultimately ran her business predominantly to provide a service and a “family-like” home to the elderly. The residents she cared for were often long term, some lasting as long as 10 years.

She always prided herself on her appearance and classy dress- loving to shop with friends at Macy’s. Always the “perfectionist” she liked things done the right way, even if it entailed a task being repeated until it met her standards, but the result was always high quality.

Shelagh will be greatly missed by all those that had the privilege to know her. She lived a long full life and her family will forever be grateful for the knowledge and wisdom they gained from her tutelage.

Farewell Tribute Information

Shelagh was a devout Catholic and a member of St. Joseph Church in Ferndale where funeral services will be held on September 16 at 10:00 am. Donations Information

Shelagh’s family asks that in lieu of flowers please make donations to a charity of your choice.

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