2010 Grand Marshal - Robert O'Keefe
Robert O’Keefe was born in Griffin Hospital in Derby and grew up in Ansonia. He graduated from Assumption School in Ansonia (Class of 1947), Fairfield Prep (Class of 1951) and Fairfield University (Class of 1955).
A science background came almost by accident. As part of the curriculum at Fairfield Prep, Bob took multiple foreign languages, including four years of Latin. Upon enrolling at Fairfield University, he thought of majoring in Mathematics…that is, until he found out he’d have to take Latin again! A couple of meetings later, Bob became a Physics major. This change would lead him to the University of Detroit, where Bob received his Masters degree in Physics (Class of 1957).
After Detroit, Bob came back east for work, first with United Technologies in East Hartford (working in research), then with American Bosch Arma
in Long Island. He then moved to Pitney Bowes, followed by Asco Valves. It was at his stop with Asco Valves that Bob realized that he could go into business for himself. This led to the creation of O’Keefe Controls in 1975.
From a humble start in their basement, first operating as a distributor of valves, controls, pneumatics and fluid measurement to the engineering community, O’Keefe Controls has become a world-class manufacturer of precision orifices and fluid control products with 20 employees.
Bob married his wife Maureen (neé Corcoran, who grew up in New Haven) in 1959. They have three children—Patrick, Mary and Joseph—as well as nine (9) grandchildren. They are active parishioners of St. Stephen R.C. Church, Trumbull and members of the G.A.C. in Fairfield. In addition, Bob is a member of Charters Hose, Ansonia (since 1954), the Instrument Society of America/Fairfield County Chapter, A.O.H. J.F.K., Div. #1 and R.O.M.E.O.’s (Retired Old Men Eating Out—consisting of several of Bob’s classmates from Fairfield University).
Bob & Maureen have dedicated themselves to numerous charitable activities, specifically Catholic education, which is very important to them. Some recipients of their generosity have been Fairfield Prep, Fairfield University, Lauralton Hall/Milford, St. Joseph’s High School/Trumbull, Sacred Heart Academy/Hamden and Assumption Parish & School/Ansonia. In 2009, Bob’s consistent generosity was recognized by the Archdiocese of Hartford as they awarded him their St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, given to a volunteer who has made an outstanding contribution to a Catholic school in the Archdiocese. Because of his indefatigable spirit and commitment to the community, we are honored to have Bob O’Keefe as Grand Marshal 2010. Please feel free to march with him in the 2010 St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 17th, 2010 in Downtown Bridgeport.