Sybil O’Keefe, age 97, of Napa, CA, passed away surrounded by her loving family on July 31, 2019 at the Queen of the Valley Medical Center. Sybil was born July 21, 1922 in Northfield, MA. She was the eldest of 4 children born to Irwin and Vivian Severance. She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Donald and three siblings. Sybil is survived by her three children, Daniel (Margaret), Sheila, and David (Sandy); five grand children, Jennifer McGill, Abigail (Chris) Edwards, Shelly (Rick) VanZant, Stacy (Clay) Parker, Kevin O’Keefe and nine great grand children, Marci Rutz, Liam McGill, Madison VanZant, Jake VanZant, Logan VanZant, Avery Edwards, Iris Edwards, Wyatt Parker and Delaney Parker.
After graduating from the Northfield School for Girls, in Northfield, MA, she studied nursing at the New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston,becoming a Registered Nurse of which she was very proud. Don and Sybil married in 1945. After Don’s discharge from the Navy they packed up and drove across country to Crockett,CA where Don found employment at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. In 1950 they moved to Napa, purchasing a house that would be the family home for 70 years.
Not one to be idle, Sybil was active in Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and many clubs and organizations. She also loved camping, joining a Trailer Club in Napa which led to many trips to the mountains near Truckee, Davis Lake and Lake Almanor. Liking the Lake Almanor area, she and Don spent many summers camping at Fire Mountain Lodge Campground. Sybil was also active in Garden Club and First Presbyterian Church where she became a Deacon. In the early 70’s Sybil became a Charter Member of the Vineyard Trails Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution holding many State, District, and Chapter offices, including several times as Chapter Regent. She also enjoyed raising orchids, joining the Orchid Society, where her beautiful orchids received many blue ribbons.
For 25 years she volunteered at the Queen of the Valley Hospital knitting hats for new born babies, layettes for Navy Relief, and decorating the hospital for Christmas. Her knitting prowess ended up getting her a non credit enrichment teaching job at Napa College. In her later years she enjoyed cribbage every Thursday at the Senior Center. While at the Berkshire Assisted Living she made many friends. Sybil especially loved spending time with her children, grand children, great grand children and the family pets. Sybil will be missed by all who loved her.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, August 10, 2019, 1:00 pm, at the First Presbyterian Church, 1333 Third Street, Napa, CA. Private interment will be at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery. Tribute donations can be made in Sybil’s name to the Queen of the Valley Foundation at www.queensfoundation.org
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