July 30, 2019
Madelon Arveta O’Keefe, 93, of Litchfield passed away July 30, at Dassel Lakeside Care Center under the care of Ecumen Hospice. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 5, at Church of St. Philip in Litchfield. Visitation will be from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, with parish prayers at 4 p.m. at Johnson-Hagglund Funeral Home in Litchfield. Visitation will also be one hour prior to the service at church. Interment will be in Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Litchfield.
Maddy was born May 29, 1926, the third daughter of Arthur and Lillian (Pinch) Coser. She was raised on Rice Lake and attended Eden Valley country school. She received her GED in 1976. Maddy and Thomas O'Keefe were married June 4, 1946, in Litchfield. They were blessed with six children. They were life-long residents of Litchfield and members of St. Philip’s Catholic Church.
Maddy was a homemaker and stay-at-home mom with her children. Since 2006, she enjoyed her time living at Gloria Dei in Litchfield. Maddy was an Avon representative for many years and was in the Avon Presidents Club from 1988-1993. She was a member of Association for Retarded Children (ARC) starting in 1957. She was very active in the founding of Day Activity Center for Meeker and Kandiyohi counties, which has now grown into Pro Works. Her volunteer activity at St. Philip’s school included working with the basketball team and making the team banner. She belonged the Eagles Auxiliary and American Legion Auxiliary. She was auxiliary president for a number of years and was also known as the "poppy lady".
Maddy's hobbies included sewing, crafts, flowers, fishing, playing cards and scrabble. She taught her children and grandchildren, when playing games or cards, "friendships cease." Maddy's philosophy of life was when you get up in the morning, you have a choice to make how your day is going to be. She always chose to smile, be happy and to make the most of her day with family and friends.
Blessed by Maddy's memory.
Those that survive and hold cherished memories are her children, Carolyn O'Keefe of Litchfield, Marilyn (Jay) Olson of Underwood, Dianne (Daniel) Barka of Litchfield, Marjorie (David) Sonsalla of Litchfield and Martin (Paige) O'Keefe of Chaska; 12 grandchildren, Stacy Olson, Bryant Olson, Bridget (Michael) Lux, Stephanie (Terry) Olstad, Joshua (Lynn) Barka, Noah (Kim) Barka, Adam (Trista) Barka, Amanda (Scott) Gerten, Eric (Melissa) Sonsalla, Nicholas (Angela) Sonsalla, Katherine O'Keefe and Erin O'Keefe; 22 great-grandchildren, Michael Crouch, Timothy and Gregory Lux, Allison Olstad, Natalie, Elizabeth, Joseph, Christopher, Benjamin, Hope, Annie and Olivia Barka, Karin, Greta and Krin Barka, Sam and Lyla Gerten, ShayAnn, Tanner and Westin Sonsalla and Michael and Brooke Sonsalla; sister Helen (Donald) Lehman of Paynesville; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Maddy was preceded in death by her husband Thomas O'Keefe; infant daughter Nancy Ann; parents Arthur and Lillian Coser; sister Marilynne Larson; and brothers and sisters-in-law, Russell Larson, Margaret and Lester Candela, Patrick and Rose Hughes, Leo and Edna O'Keefe and Roger and Lucille Straub.
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