God must have had a need for a very special angel in His heaven. That need was met when Mom passed away at Bobby’s Hospice on Sunday, May 29, 2022 in the presence of her very loving family. Born on June 29, 1932, she was the daughter of the late Leonard and Jean (Marsh) Smythe.
Mom graduated from St. Vincent’s Girls High School and secretarial training at Saint John Vocational School. She entered the workforce in 1951, working in a number of secretarial positions. Mom retired after 27 years as a medical secretary for several Saint John doctors, most notably Dr. Michael Keating, Dr. Donald McDonah and Dr. Andrea Canty. She was much loved by her employers and fellow employees. Patients looked forward to being met by her because of her friendliness and genuine caring.
Mom contributed time, talent and energy to every group or organization she joined. She was very active with the Saint John Vocational Alumni, the original “Friends of Hospice” and the Royal Canadian Legion. Mom belonged to a bridge club for over forty years, a euchre club and a ladies bingo club at her legion. You would often hear people say when they met Mom “you gotta love Doe” or “what a sweet lady.”
Mom had a great love for travelling, regardless of the destination. In the summers she enjoyed her gardening and had such a green thumb with her indoor plants.
Mom welcomed everyone to her home. She befriended neighbours and accepted her children’s friends especially on Douglas Avenue. She was a great cook and baker. Sunday meals were always a family affair. There was the after-church brunch, a big, cooked dinner and several homemade desserts to finish off the weekends.
Mom was predeceased by her first husband, Roy O’Keefe; son, Michael O’Keefe; baby, Robert O’Keefe; brother, Donald Smythe (the late Irene) and sister, Lorraine Isbill (Herb). She leaves behind a deeply saddened family including her sister, Linda Quinn (John); husband, Ed Tracy; daughters, Catherine Floyd (Kim), Ellen Fleming (Mike) and Pamela O’Brien (Mike); son, John O’Keefe (Lori); daughter-in-law, Christine O’Keefe; sisters-in-law, Mary O’Keefe (the late Bev), Valerie Morand (the late Michael) and Evelyn Watters (the late Paul); many nieces and nephews; step-son, Donald Tracy; step-daughters, Joanne Tracy, Cathy Tracy and Carol Ramsay; grandchildren, who loved to be around her, Keith Floyd (Lyndsay), Kevin Floyd (Shaunacy), Melissa Martin (the late Brad), Andrew Fleming (Lauren), Thomas Fleming, Megan Cote (Jeff), Thomas O’Brien (Amy), Sean O’Keefe, Shannon O’Keefe and Kathleen O’Keefe; step-grandchildren, Greg Tracy (Cheryl), Susan Garrett, Tracy Nelson (Kirk), Spencer Martin (Brittany), Nancy Turnbull (John), Sandra Tracy, Janet Tracy (Dan Dawson) and Bill Tracy; as well as 16 much loved great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.
Mom was the mother of all mothers, a true gift to everyone, our angel and the best Nan to all of the grandchildren. Her passing will leave a huge void in all of our lives.
Heartfelt family appreciation goes to the doctors and staff of Palliative Care at the SJRH and Bobby’s Hospice for their outstanding care and compassion. They are very special people.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Brenan’s Funeral Home, 111 Paradise Row, Saint John, NB (634-7424). Visitation will be on Thursday, June 2, 2022 from 2PM - 8PM with a Legion Tribute beginning at 7PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 360 Dufferin Row, Saint John, on Friday, June 3, 2022 at 12PM. For those unable to attend, the service will be livestreamed and can be viewed by visiting Doreen’s obituary on the Brenan’s website. A private family interment will take place in St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
Donations in Mom’s memory may be made to Bobby’s Hospice or a charity of the donor’s choice.