Saturday, April 06, 2013

Obituary: Norbert O’Keefe (Bismarck, North Dakota)

Norbert O’Keefe M.D., 84, Bismarck, died April 3, 2013, at St. Alexius Medical Center, Bismarck, after a long illness. Like he did with his five strokes, he fought for life the past month and worked hard at therapy to recover. 

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 12:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Bismarck, with Monsignor Thomas Richter celebrating the Mass. A graveside service will be held at approximately 3 p.m. at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, with the vigil service beginning at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue on Monday one hour prior to the service at the church.

Norb was born on Oct. 6, 1928, in Williston, the son of John and Marian (Myers) O’Keefe. He was raised and educated in Williston where he graduated in 1946 from Williston High School where he was active in football and basketball.

He was a depression-era child, gained his pilot license the day he turned 16, and was a GI who served in Tokyo right after World War II.

Norb married Angela O’Neill on Aug. 1, 1953, in Williston. He put himself through medical school, built a clinic in a small town in Minnesota, and went back to school at the age of 40 to become a radiologist. As a radiologist, he worked at St. Alexius Medical Center, starting in 1970 until his retirement. He helped build the University of North Dakota Radiology Department, serving as its chairman.

He belonged to numerous professional associations including the North Dakota Medical Association, the AMA, and was a fellow of the American College of Radiology. Throughout his life, Norb had a passion for aviation. Although he flew many types of aircraft, he particularly enjoyed his years flying his DeHavilland Beaver floatplane. He was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and was recognized as an outstanding aviator in the Bismarck flying community. Norb was presented the Wright Brothers “Master Pilot” Award for 50 years of dedicated service in aviation safety by the
Federal Aviation Administration.

Read more here:

Go to to share memories of Norb and to sign the online guest book.

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