Former Federal Court justice, Islander Jack O'Keefe, dies

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Jack O'Keefe was a justice of the Ottawa-based Federal Court of Canada for 16 years before he retired in 2015.  (Hennessey Cutcliffe Charlottetown Funeral Home - image credit)
Jack O'Keefe was a justice of the Ottawa-based Federal Court of Canada for 16 years before he retired in 2015. (Hennessey Cutcliffe Charlottetown Funeral Home - image credit)

A former justice of the Federal Court of Canada, Jack O'Keefe of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, has died.

According to his obituary, O'Keefe died at home Wednesday surrounded by his family.

O'Keefe was born in 1945 in Bear River, P.E.I., where he attended a one-room schoolhouse before heading to high school in Souris. He graduated with a business degree from UPEI and then from Dalhousie Law School in 1974.

He joined the law firm of Foster, MacDonald and Carruthers, which later became Foster O'Keefe.

In 1999 he was appointed to the Federal Court of Canada, trial division, based in Ottawa, where he remained until he retired in 2015.

O'Keefe was a former head of the Law Society of P.E.I. as well as the P.E.I. division of the Canadian Bar Association. He also chaired the UPEI board of governors, and volunteered with Boy Scouts and the Diabetes Association.

O'Keefe was married for 53 years to his wife Beverly. He is also survived by two children and two grandchildren. He loved dogs, and boating — his boat was called The Litigator.

A private invitation-only funeral mass will be held this weekend at the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer and will be available for viewing via live stream on Saturday, March 27 at noon, via a link in his online obituary.

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