In loving memory of

Mary Keefe
August 6, 1932 - April 17, 2020

A LIFE CELEBRATION - KEGGER AT THE FARM for Mary will be from 4-7 p.m. Saturday, September 18, 2021, at the family farm, 10405 170th Ave. SE, Chatfield, MN.

Mary Patricia Keefe, 87, of Chatfield, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 17, 2020 at the Chosen Valley Care Center. Mary's loving family was at her bedside and outside her window at the time of her passing.
Mary was born August 6, 1932 to Ralph and Lilah Peters in St. Charles, MN., shortly after Mary was born the family moved to Chatfield. She graduated from Chatfield High School in 1950 and was Homecoming Queen.
On August 22, 1953, she married local farmer, Norbert Keefe, who she met at church. The couple moved to the Keefe family farm where they raised their four children. The couple were blessed to share 64 years together until Norbert's death in 2017. Although raised in the city, she loved the farm life!
Faith, family, and food were Mary's passions. She loved spending time with her family, enjoyed baking and tending to her garden. Her family looked forward to her Saturday meals at the farm. Her excellent cooking and baking will be greatly missed by her family and friends. Mary was a homemaker, farm wife, local volunteer, and a bookkeeper for local businesses. Mary was also deeply involved in the development of the Chosen Valley Care Center (CVCC) and a founding member of the CVCC Founders Committee.
Mary was one of a kind. The Keefe family was touched to witness the impact she had on the staff at CVCC. We know they will miss her spunk and sassy personality. The love and care they gave her was evident. The 'old gray mare' has moved on to greener pastures.
Mary is survived by her children, Tom (Julie), Dan (Sue), and Mary "Betts" (Bill) Funk, her sister Carol Vehrenkamp of Rochester, brother Bob (Pam) Peters of Savage, seven grandchildren; Teresa (Dave) Adamson, Brad Funk, Dan (Laura) Funk, Meredith (Lee) Johnson, Tera (Nate) Thomas, Kaitlyn (Tyler) Ellringer, and Kirsten Keefe, eight great grandchildren and a ninth on the way, and several nieces and nephews. Mary is proceeded in death by her parents, Ralph and Lilah Peters, her loving husband Norb, and her son David.
A private family funeral service will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Church, followed by burial in Calvary Cemetery. Per Mary's request a "keg party" will be scheduled for family and friends later.
Memorials can be mailed in her honor to Hoff Funeral Home, P.O. Box 576, St. Charles, MN 55972. Hoff Funeral Service is assisting the family with arrangements. Please leave message for the family or a memory of Mary at her online guestbook and view her video tribute when it becomes available at


Rory and Cooper wrote on May 1, 2020:

"Cooper and I so loved to stop and see Mary and brighten her day, she and Cooper had quite a conversation with each visit. We will miss those visits, Mary is in a good place, Our sympathy goes out to All in Mary\'s Family, she shared so much and loved every bit of the time she spent with all of you."

Julie Zalky wrote on Apr 27, 2020:

"I\'ve only met Mary a couple of times and Dave more. They were both very kind, caring people willing to talk to others needing help. Prayers to the family."

Gary and Linda Vehrenkamp wrote on Apr 25, 2020:

"My aunt Mary with her zest for life and sense of humor will be missed. Much love to the Keefe family and looking forward to celebrating her life at the keg party. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Gary and Linda Vehrenkamp"

Darce Ovel wrote on Apr 24, 2020:

"I so enjoyed getting to know Mary when we worked in the church office together. She was fun to spend time with. Sending thoughts of peace to you all."

Vicki Cramer wrote on Apr 22, 2020:

"A beautiful tribute to Mary and her beautiful family as you grieve and celebrate her life in these most difficult times of Social Distancing. May you find peace and comfort the best way you can for now. Hugssssss! "

Marletta Larimer wrote on Apr 22, 2020:

"Mary was a beautiful lady inside and out, she was so wonderful to work with at the Care Center and lived what she did and just so much fun, ?what is loved remains in the heart?, she will never be forgotten R.I.P., you will be missed ????"

Maggie Barth wrote on Apr 21, 2020:

"A great memory of Mary is when Pat Tuohy got Mary to deliver baby chicks for my 50 th to clothing store in St. Charles. Of course Mary loved it ."

Matt and Elena Keefe wrote on Apr 21, 2020:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Keefe and Peters families during this difficult time. May God continue to help you through this and may Mary rest in peace. She will be missed. God bless you all! Warmly, Matt and Elena Keefe"

Garnet R. Grove wrote on Apr 20, 2020:

"I became friends with Mary just a couple years ago but in that short time we became very good friends. She was a beautiful sole I will never forget. I cherish the time i did have with her. Gog Bless her Family. Garnet Grove"

Marletta Cyphers wrote on Apr 20, 2020:

"Sending hugs and prayers to the whole family! She will be greatly missed. We always knew of Mary, but didn\'t really get to know her until meeting her personally at the Care Center! She always had a smile and loads of spunk! We feel very blessed to have met Mary! Mike and Marletta Cyphers"

Deb bren wrote on Apr 20, 2020:

"Conversations with Mary were always fun. And I truly understood her fun side many years ago when she told me that she prank called our priest on April Fools. I said ?no you didn?t!? But yup, she did. We loved her spunk and fun spirit. She will be missed. Love and prayers to you all. Mike and Deb"

Jenny Brannan (Henry) wrote on Apr 20, 2020:

"Sorry to hear about Mary. Will always remember her smile along with her fun loving spunk."

Jan wrote on Apr 20, 2020:

"So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers too all the family. What a beautiful, fun loving gal Mary was. ?????"

Vicki Volker wrote on Apr 20, 2020:

"Sorry for your loss! Sending hugs and prayers! "

Karen Carr wrote on Apr 20, 2020:

"My daughter, Jaime, delivered Mary and Norb?s newspaper at the Care Center. We loved her very much."

The kammers wrote on Apr 20, 2020:

"Hugs and prayers to all. Will all was remember her has a member of the biggest fan party of 3 grandma cheer section? "

Dave and Amy Zincke wrote on Apr 20, 2020:

"Dave and I are sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed visiting with your Mom at the Care Center. If it was a nice day, you could always find her outside the main entrance enjoying the sunshine. She would sit there for hours at a time playing her hand-held games, working on her tan. I remember one particular day last summer when Dolly and I were sitting outside the Care Center visiting with your Mom and Marion Erickson (just a week before Marion\'s unexpected death) and the three ladies were complaining about their hair. Your Mom whipped off the scarf she was wearing to share with us what she called \"no hair\". I assured her there was plenty of hair there and told her that she shouldn\'t keep it covered up. She was such a fun person to visit with. And while she made the best of having to be in the Care Center, it definitely was not where she wanted to be and she always made that clear. She always looked forward to going back out to the farm for visits. May she rest in peace. Sincerely, Dave and Amy Zincke "

Carol Vehrenkamp wrote on Apr 20, 2020:

"I lost my sister and best friend and life will never be the same. One of the best gifts she gave me was Tom, David, Dan, Betts and their families. I extend my sympathy to them. Mary Rest In Peace and thank you for being you. I will always love you. Carol"

Juanita and Larry Palmby wrote on Apr 20, 2020:

"Our deepest sympathies to the Keefe families."

Rev. Alixe Mae Applequist wrote on Apr 19, 2020:

"Previous post was from my 92 year old mom, Betty Lou Balcome. It did not allow me to type in her name or email of Mom struggles each time one of the old members of our neighborhood passes. Also, I missed that I must have missed typed my first name...or autocorrect got me. Rev. Alice Mae (Balcome) Applequist . Our thoughts and prayers are with you all."

Rev. Alixe Mae Applequist wrote on Apr 19, 2020:

"Mary and Norbert were great neighbors. Mary was fast to whip up a tasty treat for a neighbor, if they were ill or hurt or celebrating a birthday or anniversary. She was a fun living mom that never missed a parent/teacher conference with me, when her kids were in my classroom. Deepest sympathy is extended to her family. I am sure Norb was glad to have her back home with him."

Rev. Alixe Mae Applequist wrote on Apr 19, 2020:

"It was always fun to swing through the CVCC to see different ones. If Mary were our and about, she would always greet you with a smile, ask you who you were there to see, and then tell you where the person was. Mary was strong lady of qick wit but had a heart of gold. Condolences to her extended family."

Pam wrote on Apr 19, 2020:

"My dear sister and friend. You will be forever in my heart. Your secret is safe with me?and make sure you save me a good seat. Love you. My condolences to the family. Love you all. ???? "

Brenda A Anderson wrote on Apr 19, 2020:

"About a year ago as I was entering CVCC, Mary called out to me to ask what I had been doing. So I pulled up a chair and sat beside her and explained that I had been filling my husband?s bird feeder. Thus began the first of our many visits together. Although Mary was not a part of my life for very long, it is a time I will always be thankful for. I have such happy memories of a great lady that I will truly miss. The Anderson?s, Bill and Brenda "

Heath and Jeanie Mensink wrote on Apr 19, 2020:

"The Keefe\'s are like our family. Norb, David, and Mary are together ? again. I know they are having a fantastic gathering with my mom and all their friends. Surely going to miss her. She certainly had a special place in my Heart! My heart ? goes out to all of you. Love you all! "

Barbara Nolan wrote on Apr 19, 2020:

"I am sure going to miss her. She was one sweet lady, whom I enjoying knowing. Our counting money days were over, but she always managed to make me laugh.I love her lots and going to miss her giving me a hard time."

Sandi Millard wrote on Apr 19, 2020:

"I didn\'t really get to know Mary until she was in the assisted living, even though I was raised in Chatfield. I did her nails while she was there. In fact, we did her nails green one year for St Patrick\'s and it stained her nails green....she didn\'t care. I also visited her at the care center and she always made a person feel welcome. I will truly miss her, she was a great lady. Sandi (Narveson) Millard"

Madison Wright wrote on Apr 19, 2020:

"She will be missed, she was such an amazing women. We all loved her at the Carecenter. We would go in and just have conversations with her while she told us about her life. "