In Memory of Katie O'Keefe

Dear, sweet Katie, our hearts are broken and you will be missed more than words can say. You were always so full of life, love and adventure. I will always cherish our times biking, kayaking, hiking, relaxing, and exploring in Washington, Wyoming and beyond. It was nice to have someone who went the same speed as me, similar in strength and endurance, and we made a great team. You were always up for anything, no matter what it was, and were happy just being together. You accepted me instantly into your family and welcomed me as a sister. You just had a way of making people feel good and loved. You were more to me than a sister-in-law, you were my sister, my friend, my family. You were the best person to team up against Bill with, and the fiercest pincher I ever knew with your tiny fingers. Who is going to help me keep Bill in line now? I can't say this about a lot of people, but I always felt extremely comfortable around you. Maybe it is because I did not have to worry about saying too much because you always took care of the talking, or maybe it was because you were such a genuine person that one couldn't help but be at ease around you. You always appreciated the little things in life and never took anything for granted. I cherished all of your perfect sweet gifts and handmade cards that you gave with so much thought and love. I will miss wearing our matching outfits together, receiving your "paintings" in the mail, getting texts from you of your dog Owsley not really doing much of anything but enjoying life, your amazing hugs that made me feel so special and cared for, even your silly nicknames for me...It's at times like these where I really appreciate the art of photography and all the memories I've captured over the years. Even though you are no longer here I can still look at your beautiful, smiling face and see the love you had for baby William, and hope that one day he will understand just how much you loved him. I will continue to capture these memories and do my best to live as you did, appreciating every moment, every hug, every smile, and every breath. Every time I take an awesome photo of baby William, or Luna, or our family, (or really just anything silly) I think of how much I wish you were still here so I could send it to you. I know how much you loved getting those pictures. I know how much you loved us. I hope that you knew how much we loved you too.  


From Katie's brother, Bill: " When I think of my little sister, I think of a poofy white cloud floating across a blue Wyoming sky. One never quite knows where that cloud is headed and sometimes -but not always- that cloud takes an awfully long time to get where it's going, but neither the pace nor the place are of any concern because it's just a damned fine thing to sit back and enjoy. So many memories of my sister fill me with joy that I can hardly think where would be best to begin recounting them. I'll tell you a quick one from our childhood growing up in Cody. When we were really little, I used to put her inside a storage bin with a bunch of stuffed animals and pull her all over the basement carpet. She always had such a big smile on her face. When she used to annoy me -as little sisters always do- I sometimes considered putting her in that same storage bin, then permanently locking her in the closet under the basement stairs, afterwards disavowing all knowledge of my actions. To the best of my recollection, I never attempted execution of that plan. Katie was a tiny person, but a tiny person with a wonderfully ever-growing presence. As we grew into adulthood, we formed an incredibly strong bond that I really cannot put into words. I will say Katie was one of the very, very few people that fully understood my offbeat sense of humour. Really, to me, that which best exemplifies my perception of Katie is this: when I graduated from college and decided to move to Washington, she essentially commandeered my friendship with several of my closest hometown friends and then henceforth proceeded to become a better friend to them and with them than I ever was or ever will be capable of being. Katie was so unimaginably excited at being an aunt, that I can't help but worry about my son, Billy Shenanigans (as she called him), because the rest of his life has now been so unknowingly and tragically altered. I know Katie will be here forever in spirit and with her help I will continually do my damnedest to instill her amazing outlook on life into all those around me, especially little Shenanigans."

From Katie's father, Bill: "Katie, With your kind and loving way of life, I always told my family and friends I wanted to go to your special world...a very loving, happy, content world. With your special soul, you never saw the faults of your family and friends...just their strengths and because of this you will always be a part of my soul. Remember two peas in a pod! For you, every relationship was truly lived an incredible life which will inspire me until we're united again. I see a little bit of Katie in everyone she touched. That's because she put it there. She called it love!"




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