Selfless beyond measure, Dave Keefe lived his life to the fullest. A lover of all people, he made each and every person he met feel special. Known to hold doors open for perfect strangers, he modeled for others compassion and a humble heart for others in need. Proud of his twenty-one-year sobriety, he became a reliable driver in the community during the Chatfield Western Days often driving people home in the wee hours of the morning in his 1975 six-door Cadillac. His generosity, as well as his fun-loving personality, will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his close family and many special friends.
Reflecting on the year 1956, it was the year of Rock and Roll music sweeping the nation. Elvis Presley appeared on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time, with his current hit, "Heartbreak Hotel" which claimed the charts for eight straight weeks. That same year, David Edward was born to Norbert and Mary (Peters) Keefe on February 9, 1956, in Rochester, Minnesota. Dave's birth brought much joy and happiness into the family home.
Growing up on the family farm, Dave's childhood reflected his sense of adventure as well as his mischievous side. As a young adolescent, he was known to sneak a smoke in his bedroom before school. When his mother cleaned up his room, she located his peanut can with cigarette butts hiding in his dresser drawer, but never said a word. Dave had a reputation throughout his school years as a rebel and would often buck authority to do as he pleased. His grandpa would buzz cut his hair during these years, but once he was old enough to grow out his hair, he kept it that way for the rest of his life! A strapping teen, he loved to eat and never seemed to gain a pound, a quality that many envied as he grew into adulthood.
By 1974, he graduated from Chosen Valley High School and set off to make his way in the world. His first stop was working at Menard's until later he started his own business, Keefe Transfer. Ambitious and bright, he also held a vast array of other jobs over the years. He worked as a heavy equipment operator at Griffin Construction, drove a semi- truck with Bill Funk Trucking touring more than forty-seven states, enjoyed time at Chatfield Elementary School, and most recently held a position as Seafood Chief at J.W.'s Silver Grill in Chatfield. No matter where he landed, he was well-liked by his co-workers and clients. Much like his dad, Norb he could easily carry on a conversation and had a real knack for remembering people's names as well as the stories they shared.
By 1980 he married his high school sweetheart, Donnel Buss. They shared many commonalities and memorable moments. Happily married for twelve years before their marriage ended in divorce, they remained close over the years. Dave always felt close with her loving family and felt blessed to be included in their special events and holidays.
Without a family of his own, he treasured the time he spent with his many special nieces and nephews as well as his brotherhood of the Heaven's Devils, a motorcycle group that he started and was active as the club President for many years. Nothing brought him greater joy than surrounding himself with people. Dave frequented the Silver Grill daily for his morning breakfast right up until the last week of his life. He enjoyed starting his day out with the company of good friends and good coffee and eating his share of food with little cost to him!!! After breakfast he would make his way down to CBS (Chatfield body shop) for the latest news. He always said that was better then the today show. Way more news!!!
Blessed beyond measure with so many to support him, more than three hundred friends and family gathered to celebrate his final birthday with a pizza party. Dave visited with friends sharing stories and laughter and felt grateful for the opportunity to make such a lasting memory.
Dave enjoyed the simple pleasures in life. Known as a pack rat he loved attending auctions to add to his collection of antique John Deere tractors. With more than twenty of them, he had plenty to show off when people came out to the farm! Another treasure in his collection was a special 1978 Black and Red (Smokey and the Bandit) Camaro that he bought new for $7,500. A nature lover, Dave loved to plant trees on his property and tend to their every need. His small forest was gaining momentum and he felt blessed to add to the natural beauty of the farm he cherished throughout his lifetime. Dave truly had no enemies. Kind and compassionate, he modeled a lifetime of commitment and service to others. Although Dave will be deeply missed, he leaves behind many wonderful memories to be savored by all who knew and loved him.
David Edward Keefe, 63, of Chatfield, MN passed peacefully on the Keefe family farm where he grew up, on his birthday, Saturday, February 9, 2019. David is survived by his mother, Mary, siblings; Thomas (Julie), Daniel (Sue) and Mary "Betts" (Bill) Funk, and many special nieces, nephews, and friends who loved him dearly. Dave was a stranger to none and a friend to many. He was preceded in death by his father, Norbert and his favorite dog, Mabel. A Funeral Mass for David will be 11 a.m. Friday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Chatfield, with the Reverend Edward McGrath officiating. Visitation will be at St. Mary's Catholic Church from 4-7 p.m. Thursday and 10 11 a.m. Friday. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in the spring. Pallbearers will be Dan Burk, Bill Burk, John Goldsmith, Paul Tuohy, Randy Griffin & Jeff Mickelson. honorary pallbearers will be the Heaven's Devils motorcycle club. Please share a memory of David at his online guestbook and view his video tribute when it becomes available at www.hofffuneral.com. Hoff Funeral Service of St. Charles is assisting the family with arrangements.
"Our sympathies to Mary and family. So sorry to see of Dave?s passing. We always had a lot of fun when being with him. We won?t forget his limo at Cody Fleischfresser?s wedding. We are in Florida and happened to see this notice on-line. Our prayers are with you, Darrel and Rose"
"What a beautiful remembrance of Dave. He truly had a beautiful soul and heart and will be missed and remembered for his kindness and friendship. What a blessing he was. "
"Crossed paths with David in JTVariety Store in Plainview approx 2 yrs ago - when I heard a bellow or moo!!! When I turned around, I recognized David, learned the sound was the ring tone on his cell phone!!! My connections to David include: my maiden name being Nigon/brother, Jim, being married to Sherry Buss; my mother, Natalie (Tracy) Nigon's brother & my uncle, Harlan Tracy, was married to Phyllis Keefe (David's aunt/Norbert's sister). Thinking of David. May he rest in peace. "
"hold tight to memories for comfort, lean on your friends for support, and always remember how much you are cared about it was always nice to see Dave at the Buss family parties. Dave will be misses by all. God Bless,Laurie Jorgenson cousin of the Buss family"
"As you grieve know that we are remembering you and honoring the memory of your son and sibling aunt of Donnel Buss "
"Our deepest sympathy, Mary, Tom, Dan & Mary Beth & families, in the loss of your dear so,
n brother & Uncle
Our deepest sympathy to you all in the death of your dear son, brother,& uncle David. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Mary, Tom, Dan & Mary Beth, & families. Love & prayers, Tom & Olivia
"Dave was a great friend to all. Our deepest sympathies to the Keefe families and the Buss families. Ride with the God's angels Dave."
"Working with Dave at Menards in Chester was always good. Dave was smart and always asked the right questions and always delivered. It seems to me that Dave was very proud of a really red firebird or trans am vehicle, it was always bright and sparkley clean"
"Dave was a great guy. No matter where you were you seen him he always had a smile and a little chuckle-even when he wasn't feeling that great. Your day got better when you seen him because you knew he was suffering but never showed it. He was a great janitor and Kathy loved seeing and talking to him. Always did his work with pride"
"I worked with Dave at Menards many years ago. He was kind and very helpful to many and a very hard worker. I am so sorry for your loss, You all are in my thoughts and prayers. Deb Crary"
"Dear Mary and Keefe Family,
"Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit." J.C. said this a long time ago. This is the entire gospel message in a nutshell and Dave lived it! The hard part about the Christian life is the dying we need to do while we live. Dave did this!
While I was pastor at St. Mary's in Chatfield, I got to know Dave. he would always bring me chewing tobacco when he went out west trucking as it was cheaper out there. I always p[aid him but he never cashed the checks. When I moved out to Windom, he would call and tell me he was stopping by at about "3 am in the morning" and that he would "leave my stash of chewing tobacco hanging on the rectory door knob..." Cool!
Dave was good shit and I know he will be watching over us just as much as he did while driving his sober limo for others. God bless him!
Fr. Russell Scepaniak"
"My sympathy to each and every one of the family and friends of Dave. I had the privilege of getting to know him better after celebrating the Funeral of his Dad, Norbert. Although not a member of our parish in St. Charles, he attended Mass every single weekend. In fact, one of my parish members shared that the last weekend before he passed away, he was seen holding the door for others as they entered the Church. What a beautiful witness in the faith. He received the Eucharist with the utmost respect. He impressed me. I had only wished I had gotten to know him better. He will certainly be missed. Sadly, I am unable to be present for his Funeral, but I hope someone can be in touch with me when you have the burial. I would like to be present. May he rest in the peace of Christ. "
"Our deepest condolences to Mary and her family. Dave was quite a guy! Loved by many."
"I send my condolences to the family and to Dave's dearest friends. I was fortunate to get to know Dave more closely as a friend through our mutual friend Larry L. I was blessed to call both of them friends and to have shared some of the open road on both of their bikes. (They felt sorry for me when I sold mine. ) I will miss him and his hugs and his true love of life, God and people. Blessings be with you, Dave, and may you test in peace. Blessings for a life well lived and celebrated."
"Mary, Betts, Dan and Tom and families, I am sad to read of Dave's passing ~~ he was such a nice man and always greeted me with a smile ... May God bless his soul ~~~ sending hugs to all !!"
"Dave you will be remembered as the kindest man who ever walked. Always going the extra mile for anyone. You and Mom are probably having a few up in there. Ethan said he was one of the nicest janitors.
Deepest sympathies to you all.
Jodie (Irish) Bosma"
"The greatest guy i was proud to call a friend.To many good times to put here some best left unsaid haha. Their will never be a guy as thoughtful and caring as Dave.Sure gonna miss visits while you were wiping your bike down getting ready for next adventure. Chatfield lost a true icon in Dave. RIP deaf friend.See you on the other side. Ride on brother.S
"I only met David once but, visit his mother Mary often at the care center. I would like to express my sympathy to Mary and her family.
Sandi ( Narveson ) Millard"
"I remember the first I meet Dave was when I was a waitress @ Jr's now know as JW Silver Grille then . he was amazing person he was loved by many . I remember my mother in law was up @ St. Mary's my husband (Dave) called me @ work and told me they were in to pull the plug so I need to get up there as soon as I could I told I would do my best, just walked out of the old kwik trip and he came a God sent Dave Keefe he asked me what was wrong I told him into between the tears he told give him couple mins. he just has to ran inside to pay for his gas then he ran me up there, he wouldn't take anything for gas just told glad he could a friend out. My thoughts and prayers are with u all, so sorry for your loss. Rip Dave you will never be forgotten. watch over all us has u did when u here on earth now and now here from the heavens. love and god be with us all we put this amazing person to rest, Kim Lawson"