Rev. Joseph Lloyd Keefe, the youngest in a family with two older brothers and two older sisters, was born July 17, 1946, in Caledonia, Minn., to F. Lloyd and Vernice (Corcoran) Keefe. He attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona, Minn. from 1964 to 1968. His theological studies were completed at Gregorian University in Rome from 1968 to 1972, and he was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood on Dec. 17, 1971 at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City by the Most Rev. James Hickey, Rector of the North American College.
Father Keefe’s first assignment was as Parochial Vicar for Queen of Angels, in Austin, Minn. as well as an instructor for Pacelli High School in Austin. He then served as Chaplain for Saint Mary’s Hospital, Rochester; Chaplain for Methodist Hospital, Rochester; Chaplain for the Sisters of Saint Francis of Assisi, Rochester; Parochial Vicar for Saints Stanislaus Parish and Saint John Parish, Winona; Pastor for Saint Joseph Parish, Rushford, Saint Mary Parish, Houston, and Immaculate Conception Parish, Wilson; Pastor for Saint Mary Parish, Winona; Pastor for Pax Christi Parish, Rochester, and Saints Peter and Paul Parish, Mazeppa. During his years of ministry in conjunction with Sisters of St. Francis of Rochester, Father Keefe became a cojourner in Franciscan Way of Life.
In addition to the above assignments, Father Keefe served as the Diocesan Liaison to Charismatic Prayer Groups for two years; Dean of the Winona Deanery for three years; Cotter High School and Cotter Schools, Inc. Board of Directors; Presbyteral Council for ten years; College of Consultors for twelve years; and Diocesan Review Board. He has been chaplain for Teams of Our of Our Lady since 1977. Father Keefe retired from active ministry in 2011 due to illness.
He is survived by brother David Keefe of Mokena, Ill., two sisters, Sharon Ormsby of rural Winona and Sister Patricia Keefe, OSF of rural Cambridge, Minn., seven nieces and nephews, Kevin (Brenda) Keefe and Michael (Sarah) Keefe and Katherine (John) Noone, Mary Pat (Andy) Wallace, Dan (Claudia) and Dave R. (Nikki) Keefe, Peter (Angie) Ormsby and Rebecca (Michael) Charles and 15 great nieces and nephews.
One brother, F. Don Keefe, predeceased Fr. Keefe.
The funeral Mass for Reverend Keefe will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 17 at Pax Christi Catholic Church in Rochester with Bishop John Quinn officiating. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Vigil on Friday, March 16 at Pax Christi Catholic Church and one hour prior to the Mass on Saturday. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Rochester.
Donations rather than plants or flowers may be made to Catholic Relief Services, Mayo Hospice Program or the St. Marys Poverello Fund.