James T. Keefe, Jr. Print E-mail

James T. Keefe, Jr.


well known local businessman

James T. Keefe Jr., 86, a former longtime and well known Lowell resident, died Thursday, January 21, 2016 at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua, NH.

He was the husband of the late Blanche A. (Deveau) (Donovan) Keefe and was predeceased by his first wife, Therese (Bourgeois) Keefe who died in 1989.

 Born in Hartford, CT on February 20th, 1929, the only child of the late James T. and the late Catherine (Cogger) Keefe, he spent his early childhood with his parents in the Highlands section of Lowell on Pine Street where he attended St. Margaret's School before moving later on to the Pawtucketville section of Lowell, MA and went on to graduate from Lowell High School in 1946.

 An Eagle Scout Commendation from the Boy Scouts of America, Jim went on to attend Bowdoin College where he graduated in 3 years with a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Chemistry in 1949.  At Bowdoin he was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity.

 A veteran of the Korean War, he proudly served his country as a member of the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953.
 Jim then went to work at Upjohn through 1956, Grace Chemical until 1961 before starting the James T. Keefe Company in 1961, a Graphic Arts dealership located first on Jackson Street and then moved to Perkins Street in Lowell.  He later merged his company with DM Products of Rockland, MA where he was President from 1979 to 1995.  He continued in Sales for several Graphic Arts Dealerships,  and shared office space with his son Ray since 1986, until stricken with Parkinson's Disease in 2010.

He spent his winters with his second wife, Blanche in Highland Beach, FL to whom he was married for thirty years until she passed away in 2007.

Jim was on the Board of Directors for the Boston Litho Club from 1962 through 1966 and was President of the D'Youville Manor from 1969 to 1970.  He was also on the Board of Directors of the Lowell Chamber of Commerce from 1966 to 1969 and a member of the Catholic Charities Bureau in 1970. Jim was a member of the AA Fellowship for 39 years and helped hundreds of members along the way by sponsoring new members and speaking at meetings all over the region.  He was truly loved in that Fellowship. He was a past Patriot and Bruins Season ticket holder and attended the Masters Golf Tournament as a guest of his dear friend Jim Cook of Concord, NH for over ten years.  He loved all sports and was a member of Vesper Country Club for sixty-seven years. 

Jim is survived by a daughter Ellen M. Johnston and her husband Scott of Lowell, MA; two sons James T. Keefe III of Honolulu, HI and Raymond C. Keefe and his wife Lisa of Hollis, NH; eight grandchildren Gregory Keefe of Dracut, MA, Jackie Keefe of Montana, James, Casey and Lainey Johnston all of Lowell, MA; Tanner Keefe of Silver Spring, MD and Isabel and Miles Keefe both of Hollis, NH; three stepdaughters Jane McInerny of Beaufort, NC, Betsy Noyes and her husband Peter of Lynn, MA and Kathey Donovan of Concord, NH; and his nieces Martha Otterbeck and Janet Bourgeois. Five step grandchildren, Kelly and Sean Noyes, Raymund Casieri, Michelle Sayani   & pre-deceased by Ali Sayani.
 He also leaves eaves a dear friend, Joan Hackett of Highland Beach, FL.        

Friends may call at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST. at Fletcher from 4 to 8 P.M. Friday. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday at the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH (Upper Church) at 12 o’clock noon. Burial will follow at St. Patrick Cemetery in Lowell. E-condolences/directions at www.odonnellfuneralhome.com. Those wishing may make contributions in his memory to the Parkinson’s Research Foundation, 5969 Cattleridge Blvd, Suite 100, Sarasota, FL 34232. Arrangements by Funeral Directors James F. O’Donnell, Jr. and John W. Crane (978 or 866) 458-8768.

Condolences (2)
  • Mary Harrington
    Jim and Blanche were the greatest couple! They helped so many, many people over the years. RIP, Jim.
  • Paul Hackett  - Sorry for your families loss
    Jim was a very special friend to my family and my Mother, Joan Hackett. We shared many and good times over the last few years - his unfailingly positive outlook and inherent good nature is what I remember most about Jim. Always a cheerful attitude, despite his increasing health challenges , always encouragement and genuine interest in the people in his life. He will be truly missed and I'm grateful to have known him and his enthusiasm for life. God bless him. Respectfully, Paul Hackett & family
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