May 28, 1962 - August 10, 2020
Celeste “Elizabeth” O’Keeffe lived a full and too short life. The most important things to her were family, hard work, and education. She was a dedicated mother and attorney and a loyal friend; we could always depend on her to advocate for our family and defend the little guy. She loved dogs, and we could also always depend on her to want to adopt any stray dog that she saw. Born at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton, MA, where her father and grandfather both had been surgeons, she grew up in Weston, Massachusetts. She was the grandniece of Francis Cardinal Spellman, the Archbishop of New York, who is buried in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. After earning a Bachelor of Arts at George Washington University, she obtained a Juris Doctor degree at Case Western University School of Law (Magna Cum Laude, Order of the Coif, Articles Editor for Law Review). Subsequently, she served a clerkship with the Chief Judge of the Connecticut Court of Appeals. She completed a Masters in Public Health with Health Policy concentration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters in Health Law (LL. M.) from Concord University. In addition, she was certified in Health Care Compliance as well as in Privacy and served on multiple committees in many professional organizations. Elizabeth worked for a number of organizations (both not-for-profit and for profit) in a variety of roles, including General Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs for Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, General Counsel and Vice President for Legal Affairs for Carolinas Medical Center Northeast (Atrium Health), and General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Advanced Infusions Solutions. She served as either Associate or Assistant General Counsel at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Fresenius Medical Care, and The Medical College of Wisconsin. She was admitted to the Federal Bar, as well as to the bars of Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Texas and was most recently working for Tenet Health. She was very proud of her children and husband, and through her example, taught all three children the importance of and reward associated with, hard work and dedication. In her work life, she was always dedicated to doing the right thing for her organization and never sought personal gain. She was a life-long learner, a voracious reader, and a wonderful mother and wife. We will always remember her quirky sense of humor (particularly the self- deprecating kind), and her love of yoga and exercise; especially walking the dog(s). We will think of her whenever we see a flamingo, her all-time favorite, and will never forget her fierce loyalty to her family. She played lacrosse in high school and college, described her main skill as aggression on the field, and she brought this same passion to everything that she did. We will miss her forever. Elizabeth was pre-deceased by her parents, Dr. Philip and Marie Spellman Gallagher, as well as her brother in law Dave Doss. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Richard O’Keeffe of Laurel MS, daughter Katie O’Keeffe (fiancé Mike Fallon) of Boston, MA, daughter Alison Zebrowski of Bronxville, NY (husband Michael) and son R. Michael O’Keeffe of Boston, MA. She is also survived by her siblings: Ellen Gallagher Parsons, Karen Grant and husband Rob, Phil Gallagher and fiancé June Lohmer, Mark Gallagher and wife Patty Mayfield, and sister Diane. She leaves behind one granddaughter, Isabelle Kate Zebrowski, and numerous nieces and nephews. Because of the public health crisis, there will be no memorial services in the near future, but we will plan a celebration of life at a time in the future when gatherings are once again safe. If you wish to remember her, in lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History, 241 Wellesley St, Weston, MA 02493. To sign the online guest book, visit www.memorychapellaurel.com.
Celeste “Elizabeth” O’Keeffe lived a full and too short life. The most important things to her were family, hard work, and education. She was a dedicated mother and attorney and a loyal friend; we could always depend on her... View Obituary & Service Information
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