Professor Ruth O’Keefe Passes Away

Posted November 30, 2009

On November 25, 2009, with her family at her side, Ruth Lagow O'Keefe passed away after a brief but valiant fight with cancer. Professor O ??Keefe recently celebrated her 25th year of teaching at Kendall College of Art and Design, where she was chair of the Liberal Arts and Sciences Department. Teaching was her passion, and she always looked for ways to bring current events into her classroom. She always felt she could contribute something to young minds, she learned as much from her students as they learned from her.

??None of us who had the opportunity to work with Ruth will forget her spirit, her kindness, and her commitment to Kendall. During her twenty-five year association with Kendall, Ruth touched the lives of many students, as well as the many staff and faculty who had the pleasure and privilege of working with her. We are thankful that she was a part of our lives, ? said Dr. Oliver H. Evans, Kendall President/Vice Chancellor.

Professor O ??Keefe was also a Master Gardener, and much of her free time was spent at Frederik Meijer Gardens where she was a member of the Sculpture Society. She loved the Gardens and would often take her grandchildren there to see the exhibits, the butterflies in the spring, and the Sculpture Park. She traveled extensively with the Garden Society, always appreciating the beauty of the world and the camaraderie of those who shared in her interests.

Professor O ??Keefe was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Edmund O'Keefe; sister, Louise Lagow; and brother, Earl Lagow. Surviving are her children, Daniel (Mary Ellen), Donald (Amy), Nan Byl (Dave), Ann Hage (Dean) and nine grandchildren. She earned her Bachelor's Degree from Washington University and a Masters Degree from Webster College, both in St. Louis, Missouri.