Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
A descendant of early Gold Rush families, John F. “Jack” Keefe ’48 was born in Folsom, California, in 1924 to Robert and Margaret Keefe. He graduated from Folsom High School in 1942 and served as a Naval officer in the Pacific Theater during WWII. He was with the Navy fleet that occupied Tokyo Bay immediately after the war ended. Returning to college after his tour of duty ended, John graduated from SCU. He and Susan Carmichael were married in 1960. John used his detailed memory to tell vivid stories of his childhood during the horse-and-buggy era, his work in gold dredgers and sawmills, and his deep knowledge of the history of California. After several years in sales he decided that his true vocation was teaching, where he enjoyed a 30-year career. Former students and colleagues at Mills Jr. High in Rancho Cordova, California, have recalled his humor, his even temperament, and his early leadership in what became the mentor teacher movement. John’s last career was in real estate in Sacramento. He and Susan’s extensive travel created a love for new experiences in their succeeding generations. A lifelong learner, he read extensively and frequently took up new interests, most recently pencil drawing. John passed away in Sacramento on Feb. 19, 2019, at age 94, after a brief illness. A was preceded in death by Susan and siblings Robert, Helen, and Carol. He is survived by his three sons,:Angus; Malcolm and his wife, Liv; Duncan and his husband, Cesar; and by his two granddaughters, Fiona and Olivia.