Grace Adeline (Ashworth) Keeffe passed peacefully in the early morning of Monday, March 26, 2012 after spending her last days on this earth embraced by many family and friends.
Grace was born July 20, 1922 in Friendship WI to Sidney and Gertrude (Hansen) Ashworth and married her high school sweetheart, John Edmund Keeffe, on April 27, 1945. Grace was preceded in death by her loving husband of 64 years, beloved son Michael John Keeffe, and sister Sharon (Ashworth) Rose.
She is survived by sister Shirley (Don) Foss, Overland Park KS, and brother Sidney "Junior" Ashworth, Portage WI, daughters Patricia (James) Christensen, Princeton MN, Karen (Tom) Geissler, Elk River MN and Kelly Keeffe, Aspen CO and sons Daniel (Jeanne McCarthy), South Milwaukee WI, Joel (Anne) of Crystal MN, and David, Tim, and Kevin (Leslie) all of Wausau, along with 15 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Grace worked 25 years as office manager for husband John's dental practice, and before starting her family worked in Milwaukee and Chicago for retail stores and for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad.
Growing up on the Holm/Hansen farmstead in Adams County as the only child with three adults, Grace understood a child's need to be around others. This might explain her choice to raise a large family of her own. She was a loving mother, friend and neighbor who extended unconditional love not only to her children, but to many others. In times of need Grace's home was always open. All were made to feel like part of the family whether staying for five minutes, or five months. It was not unusual to find a group of teenagers in her kitchen late at night whipping up scrambled eggs and great conversation, with Grace fully engaged. Later in life Grace enjoyed connecting with her father's second family who she welcomed as her own.
Grace was a fine musician who at age eight played flute in the traveling Badger State Booster Band, and later attended college with the intention of teaching music before World War II intervened. She loved playing her piano and made sure her children were exposed to all kinds of music, from Beethoven to the Beatles to Duke Ellington.
Grace lost her loving husband John to the Lord a year ago. Their love and dedication to family and community will be remembered fondly. The family thanks friends for the wonderful support during these difficult times.
A heartfelt thanks go out to Cedar Creek Manor in Kronenwetter for providing a friendly and welcoming home during Grace's illness and final days, and to Aspirus Hospice Care and Comfort Services for keeping her comfortable and peaceful during this time.
A celebration of Grace's life will be held on Friday, March 30 at 3:00 pm at St Anne Catholic Church, 700 W Bridge St, Wausau. Visitation will be at the church from 1:30 to the time of service and after the service at the church's McKillip Hall Gym.
Brainard Funeral Home will assist with services.
On-line condolences may be given at www.brainardfuneral.com