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Mary Ellen Keef

June 8, 1959 April 9, 2021
Mary Ellen Keef
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Obituary for Mary Ellen Keef
Mary Ellen Keef, age 61 of Rochester NY, passed away on April 9th after a brief episode of cancer. She was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Sarah, and leaves behind sisters Susan Sekelsky of Warwick RI, and Julie Keef of Clinton Corners NY and her husband; also a brother, Timothy Keef of Fairport NY and his family, and much-loved friends, some of whom granted her honorary Italian status.

Mary Ellen was a passionate lover of animals and never met a dog or cat who didn’t need petting or a treat. She provided caring and compassionate child-care, nanny and elder-care services to many people, some of whom remained as special people in her life until now. Mary Ellen was a talented artist with specialized art therapy training, who also added color to the lives of others in her life (while sometimes also raising their blood pressure). She took great pleasure in her colorful flower garden and also enjoyed spending time at the beach and at her favorite summer vacation spot in the Thousand Islands, although she was haunted by memories of painful Scrabble games played there. As reported by her family, no leftovers were safe from Mary Ellen’s night-time refrigerator raids. We hope that there are Triscuits, liverwurst and dill pickles where she has gone. And because Mary Ellen lived in a special time zone known only to her (she was often late and seemed to have had no concept of actual time), her family speculated that she might also be late for her own death.

Mary Ellen will be missed, although she expressed a desire to return as an owl, so her days of hooting at us may not be over yet.

In closing, a thought from John W. Gardner “Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”

The family has requested No Flowers. Donations in remembrance can be made to: Save the River 409 Riverside Dr., Clayton, NY 13624 ( or Rochester Animal Services,184 Verona St., Rochester, NY 14608 (
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