Caryle Elaine Keefe
Tue, 09/19/2023 - 12:15pm admin
Caryle Elaine Keefe was born on March 3, 1933 in Hettinger, North Dakota to Herbert and Rosemary Shea. Caryle passed away on July 29, 2023, surrounded by family at her home in Anchorage, Alaska. She died from complications of COPD and heart failure.
Although Caryle had numerous hospitalizations and endured years of severe health issues, she never complained, and was always a grateful person. She was glad to have recently celebrated her 90th birthday with family and special guests from out of state.
Caryle grew up on a wheat farm near Bison, South Dakota. Living through the Great Depression taught Caryle to be very frugal and money conscious, which served her well throughout her life. Caryle attended a one-room country school through 8th grade. For high school, she and other “country kids” moved into town and lived at a local hotel. Caryle’s independent and resilient spirit was born during these years. She often said her favorite subjects were math and accounting, which she utilized for many years working as a secretary, bookkeeper, tax preparer, real-estate agent, broker, and entrepreneur.
After high school Caryle attended business school in Aberdeen, South Dakota where her love of adventure and travel was ignited. She headed to Minneapolis, Minnesota for her first job with Pure Oil Company, then went to Denver, Colorado where she worked for Buick Motor Division. Caryle loved living in Denver, but also took many trips from coast to coast, with favorite stops in New York and Hawaii. Caryle’s traveling adventures led her from Denver to Alaska, with stops in Wyoming, Spokane, and Seattle that included hitch hiking rides with traveling salesmen. From Seattle, Caryle boarded a double-decker Stratosphere prop plane, arriving six hours later in Anchorage on Easter Sunday 1955.
In June 1959 while checking out a State Land Auction in the Big Lake Area, Caryle met John F Keefe, Jr. A short courtship led to marriage on October 31, 1959. She and John went on to have many business endeavors in real estate and electrical contracting, during their 44 years of marriage.
Caryle was a life-long Catholic with a quiet and humble faith. Although she didn’t talk much about her faith, her actions spoke volumes. Caryle attended weekly Mass and participated in Perpetual Adoration at St Benedict’s Church until a few weeks before being hospitalized. She liked bringing meals to Clare House and working in the Archangel Attic donation room. One of Caryle’s favorite Bible verses was Romans 13: 8-10, “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another… love your neighbor as yourself…” Caryle’s family believes she would be honored if others volunteered their time and talents to local charities.
Caryle was preceded in death by her parents Rosemary and Herbert Shea, sisters Sharon Barrett and Virginia Besler, and her husband John. She is survived by her children Jackie (Dick) Colosso, Maureen O’Keefe, Mike (Gail) Keefe, Tom Keefe; grandchildren Tiffani, Brittani, Jessica, Jarod, Aurora, Hans, Karl, Nora; numerous great-grandchildren; brother Duane (JoAnn) Shea of Bison South Dakota; and many nieces and nephews.
Caryle’s family is very thankful for the care and assistance of Providence Hospital, Palliative Care, and the Hospice team who facilitated a quick transition home allowing her to die with grace and dignity.
A funeral Mass will be held on Friday, September 29th at 4:30 p.m., at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church, 8110 Jewel Lake Road, in Anchorage. A Celebration of Life and reception will follow, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the church.
Monetary donations may be made St. Benedict’s Catholic Church or Lumen Christi school.