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: Bernie Keefe dies on Nov 7, 2021 at age of 92  ( 208 )
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« : November 11, 2021, 09:02:58 AM »

Bernard James Keefe, Jr. passed away peacefully on November 7, 2021, with his wife of 67 years, Dorothy Grace (Paradee) Keefe, at his side.

Born on January 13, 1929, Bernard was the first of seven children of Bernard James and Charlotte (King) Keefe and raised on the family dairy farm on Perry Hill in Waterbury, Vermont.

He graduated from Waterbury High School, the College of the Holy Cross and earned his master’s degree from St. Michael’s College.

His education career spanned thirty-five years. He became principal at Poultney High School at the age of 29, and would move to Fairfax, Vermont in 1962 to become principal there. He concluded his education career at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans.

Bernard served in the US Army Reserves/Vermont National Guard for 32 years, retiring at the rank of Lt. Col. in 1982. Over many summers, he taught military courses at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA. Post-retirement, he worked at U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for several years.

In the mid-sixties, while principal at BFA in Fairfax, he purchased the neighboring dairy farm and continued to operate it for the next few years. He and Dorothy raised their eight children there, along with Morgan horses, large vegetable gardens and acres of cow corn. Over the years, he donated several parcels and easements to the town of Fairfax for recreation uses.

Bernard was elected and served as Fairfax town moderator for 21 years; spent over two decades officiating high school and college basketball; and enjoyed being a Meals on Wheels driver.

He and Dorothy spent winters in Vero Beach, Florida for about two decades, where they enjoyed hosting their children and grandchildren. They joined in week-long family gatherings at Seymour Lake for 20 consecutive summers.

Bernard was a longtime member of St. Luke Church, of Fairfax, whose community of support over the years, including during the recent times, was central to his life.

In addition to his wife, Dorothy, he leaves behind their eight children: David (Marie) of Fairfax; Heidi Recupero (Bob) of Ripton; Brian (Leslie) of Manchester; Donna Barton (Jim) of Morrisville; Mark (Kelly) of Huntington; Bernard (Heather) of Georgia; Barry (Margo) of Fairfax; and Maureen (Dave) of Elmore; along with 11 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

He also leaves behind his siblings: Mary Sutherland of North Adams, MA; David (Polly) of Wilmington, NC; Judy Woodruff (John) of Waterbury; and Susan Keefe (Richard) of South Burlington; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased his brother Bill and his wife, Denise; his brother Jack and his wife, Sally; and his brother-in-law, Stuart Sutherland.

Bernard loved Dorothy’s family as his own, and leaves behind Dorothy’s sister, Mabel Vaughan, along with numerous nieces and nephews who visited often, especially at Thanksgiving and during the summers.

Our family would like to give special thanks to the caregivers at the Residences at Quarry Hill, as well as to those of the UVM Palliative Care and UVM Home Health and Hospice. We also appreciate the assistance of the A.W. Rich Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Saturday, November 13, 2021, at St. Luke Church in Fairfax, followed by a reception in the Parish Hall for family and friends. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Age Well, which distributes Meals on Whee
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