Leah Rowe O’Keefe

Sept. 13, 1951 – June 9, 2019

Leah Rowe O’Keefe, 67, passed away June 9, 2019. Leah was born Sept. 13, 1951, in Corpus Christi, Texas, to Earl LeRoy Rowe and Billye Frances Hayley. She married William James O’Keefe on May 29, 1972, in Provo, Utah.

Leah Rowe O’Keefe was raised in a military family that spent time on assignments in Corpus Christi, Texas, Vienna, Virginia, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She graduated from Putnam High School in Oklahoma City, where she participated in cheerleading, was the homecoming queen and had exceptional academic achievement.

She went on to attend Brigham Young University, majoring in education. While at BYU she met and married Bill in 1972. Upon graduating, they relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada, where they began their life together and welcomed three of their four children.

After several job changes and moves across the country, they finally settled in Barrington, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, for 34 years. It was in Barrington that the miracle baby arrived to complete their family. Her four wonderful children, whom she raised, nurtured and loved, became her entire life’s focus. She was the ultimate supportive mom who spent countless hours transporting her incredibly active kids to all of their dance, baseball, hockey, cheerleading and church activities. She loved being a mother and relished the time she had with her children, and later grandchildren. Because her life was shortened, her ultimate unfulfilled desire was to watch her grandchildren grow into adulthood and begin families of their own.

In 2001 Bill and Leah built a second home in St. George, Utah, which eventually evolved into their primary residence. She met and bonded with many friends here in St. George that developed into very special relationships. She enjoyed golfing, playing bridge, traveling and associating with so many wonderful people. Leah loved the adventures that came with their motor home, taking many trips throughout the western United States. She very much looked forward to more travels before becoming ill.

Leah was always the brightest light in the room. She was quick to laugh, dance and sing, and enjoyed her family, friends and anyone she came in contact with. Her bright smile and infectious personality will be sorely missed by all who knew her. Her family will remember her loving spirit and commitment to being the best mother possible. She fought a valiant fight and endured much more pain and suffering than she deserved. She was strong and determined and accepted that she would be in a better place in the end. She was fortunate to pass peacefully with her husband and son at her side.

Leah is survived by her loving husband, William James O’Keefe of St. George, Utah; Kevin (Holly) O’Keefe of St. George, Utah, Jennifer (Jesse) Wolf of Rifle, Colorado, Kyle O’Keefe of Chanhassen, Minnesota, Courtney (Filippe) Heinz of Barrington, Illinois; grandchildren Madalyn, Kaden, Ethan, Ella, Connor, Greyson, Anna, William, Jocelyn, Isabelle, Bennett and Jackson; siblings Deborah Edmonds of Vacaville, California, Kathleen Gammell of St. George, Utah, Ellen Sigety of Dallas, Texas, and Leroy Rowe of Draper, Utah. She was preceded in death by Earl LeRoy Rowe and Billye Frances Hayley.

Funeral services

  • A viewing will be held Friday, June 14, from 6-8 p.m. The funeral service will be held Saturday, June 15 at 10 a.m. Both will take place at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George, Utah.
  • Interment will take place in Tonaquint Cemetery.
  • Family and friends who are unable to attend may watch the services live hereenter the event number: 22746 and the password: OKEE2019.

Our heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Haslem and Deb Christensen of Dixie Regional Medical Center, all the nurses at the chemo center, and Allison Hurst of Dixie Home Hospice for the exceptional care rendered.

Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at Spilsbury Mortuary online.

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