Dr. Colleen M. O’Keefe, DVM, 61, of Springfield, passed away on Saturday, June 16, 2012 at Memorial Medical Center after a courageous fight with cancer. Colleen was born January 13, 1951 in Palo Alto, California, but spent her formative years and most of her adult life in Springfield and other cities in Illinois. Colleen was a highly successful veterinarian and nationally known breeder of Welsh Springer Spaniels. She graduated from Ursuline Academy in Springfield, Springfield Junior College, and the University of Illinois- College of Veterinary Medicine. Later she attended Kansas State University and received an advanced degree with emphasis in animal reproduction.
She is survived by her parents, Robert E. O’Keefe, Sr. and Margaret M. O’Keefe of Springfield; four brothers, Robert E. (Lisa) O’Keefe, Jr. of Petersburg, Dr. Timothy (Donna) O’Keefe of Joplin, MO, Dr. John (Cindy) O’Keefe of Springfield, Daniel (Lynn) O’Keefe of St. Louis, MO; one sister, Ellen (Geoff) Andres of Springfield; ten nieces; four nephews and two great nephews. She was preceded in death by one nephew, Robert E. O’Keefe III.
Colleen received a multitude of honors for her professional achievements. Her service to the breed of Welsh Springer Spaniel was known internationally, and she was the past president of the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America, and owner of numerous champion dogs. Colleen was Chairman of the National Specialty four times, received the TomJoy Breeder of Merit Trophy, and was the first recipient of the Greenwood Cup, a lifetime achievement award for service to the breed. Colleen served many years as a small animal veterinarian in clinics around Illinois, and was formerly the Manager of Food Safety and Animal Health at the Illinois Department of Agriculture, a position that was responsible for more than 200 positions in a variety of bureaus in the Department.
Visitation: 4:00-7:00 p.m. Monday, June 18, 2012 at Staab Funeral Home.
Graveside Service: 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at Calvary Cemetery with Reverend Peter C. Harman officiating.
The family requests memorial contributions be made to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation or the AKC- Canine Health Foundation for Welsh Springer Spaniels.