Rita Rose Keefe, Ph.D, 90 years, passed away Saturday, June 11, 2016 at the Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice Center in Defiance, Ohio. She was born in Latty, OH on October 23, 1925 to Edward and Gladys Rulman. She graduated from Bryan High School in 1943.
Rita married Jack L. Brace in 1946 in Bryan. She then married Edward Keefe in 1981. Ed and Rita lived in Bowling Green and Perrysburg, OH, Savannah, GA, and at Independence Village in Petoskey, MI. Rita returned to Bryan in 2015, living at the Heritage of Hillside Country Living. She was preceded in death by Jack L. Brace, her stepson Kevin Keefe and husband Edward Keefe.
She is survived by her children Jack E. Brace (Amy) and JoEllen Rudolph (James); stepchildren James Keefe (Carol), MaryAnn Roos, Daniel Keefe, Margaret “Peggy” Schroering; Daughter-in-law, Denise Keefe; grandchildren Rob Brace (Nicole), Bethany Brace Ritter (Tim); eleven step grandchildren, six great grandchildren and three step great grandchildren.
Rita worked as a rate clerk for her father’s company, the Bryan Truck Line, and as executive secretary at Challenge-Cook Brothers in Bryan. While working at Challenge-Cook Brothers, she began taking classes at the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) extension. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from BGSU and was a member of the education honor society Phi Kappa Phi. She taught fifth grade at St. Patrick’s School and 7th grade math at the Bryan Junior High School.
In 1969 she joined the faculty of the College of Education at BGSU, teaching both undergraduate and graduate level courses. She completed her school psychologist certification from the University of Toledo in 1971 and worked as an adjunct school psychologist for Wood County Schools. In 1975 she received her Ph.D in Educational Psychology. She retired in 1988 from BGSU as an Associate Professor in the College of Education serving in the Assistant Dean position. In Savannah, Rita worked as Crisis Psychologist, dealing with specialized cases for the Chatham County Schools.
After returning to Bryan from Savannah in 1996, she was member of Literary Forum, Progress Club and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
Rita was a dedicated teacher who loved working with children. She did her best to help the children and families she served. She was very proud of her children and grandchildren and thought her great grandchildren were the brightest and most advanced children ever.
A Memorial Mass for Rita Rose Keefe, Ph.D will be held Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 610 South Portland Street, Bryan, Ohio with Father Jim Halleron officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the Memorial Mass. Private interment will be held in Brown Cemetery, Bryan.
Her family thanks the wonderful caring staff at Hillside Country Living and the Defiance Area Inpatient Hospice Center for their sweet loving care of Rita. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to the Edward F. and Rita R. Keefe Community Fund at the Bryan Area Foundation, PO Box 651, Bryan, Ohio or to Hillside Country Living, 09786 County Road 16, Bryan, Oh.