Obituary for James Keefer
Jim Keefer, 76, died peacefully at home on June 15, 2017. Jim lived and appreciated life fully. He was born in New Jersey, grew up in Chatham, and studied art at Monmouth College. He was a member of the Mantoloking Fire Department and the Bay Head Yacht Club. In his youth he “borrowed” a Sneakbox in the dark of nights to teach himself to sail. His wife Sue was from Bay Head, NJ; they were married 51 years. Jim and Sue raised their two daughters on a farm in Woodstock, Vermont.
Jim appreciated the beauty in nature and birds. He carved his first decoy at age 13. His hand carved, traditional decoys grace homes and galleries around the world. His love of birds and wildlife were passed on to his daughters and grandchildren.
Community involvement was a big part of Jim’s life, and through his hard work he made a difference in so many ways. He was an active founder, member and/or leader of several clubs and was described as the sparkplug who got things done. He was instrumental in starting the Gridiron club for the football program in Woodstock and was on the board of Woodstock Recreation Center. He was a dedicated fan of many sports, including his daughters’ teams in swimming, hockey, and lacrosse. He was notable for a booming voice to be heard over the rest of the crowd.
He was an active member of snowmobile clubs and flying clubs in Vermont and Maine. Jim served on the Rockport Harbor Committee, Rockport Boat Club and was President of the Maine Ericson Owners Association for the better part of 30 years. Sailing was Jim’s greatest passion, starting with his father and brother on their family boat. Many of his best friends were fellow sailors and he cherished cruising the Maine coast with Sue aboard their beloved sloop, Cat Problem.
Jim loved the outdoors and introduced friends and family to the joys of farming, skiing, sailing, hunting, and snowmobiling in Vermont. He was quite a story teller. He entertained the kids he drove on school buses in recent years and he got a kick out of their stories too. Though he appeared as a big, tough man, Jim had a soft heart for animals and he even loved teddy bears.
Jim was predeceased by his parents Fred and Olivia Keefer and his older brother Ted. He will be dearly missed by his wife Sue; daughter Stacey Keefer of Rockport, ME; daughter Sally Ober and her husband Dan of Lincoln, VT; granddaughters Emma and Casey Ober; step grandchildren Larz and Petra Palmer of Cincinnati; his kitty Maddie; plus the many friends and extended family whose lives he touched.
No formal service is planned. Jim’s ashes will be scattered at sea this summer.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516 or a local animal shelter or rescue of your choice.
Hall's of Waldoboro has care of the arrangements. To extend online condolences to the family please visit www.hallfuneralhomes.com.