Maynard Keefe was born in Shady and remained a life-long resident until his passing on Thursday, January 17, 2013. Born on July 10, 1920, he was the son of the late Beatrice Howland Keefe and Herbert Keefe. Maynard was married to his life partner, Shirley A. Keefe, for 57 years.
Maynard’s life-long endeavors had been working the land on the family farm in Keefe Hollow in Shady. He knew the lay of the land and worked very hard at maintaining his family homestead. He spent his years, logging, raising cattle and sheep, and haying the fields. He passed this tradition over to his sons. Maynard was also sought out quite often for years by local authors and town historians to reminisce and talk about his knowledge of Woodstock during the earlier decades.
In his 1992 book Catskill Rambles, author Kenneth Wapner wrote of Keefe:
“At sixty-eight, Keefe is remarkably sturdy and carries heavy loads without complaint. His hair is more black than gray. Clean-shaven and barrel-chested, he walks with a lumbering, bearish gate. He’s friendly, confiding and elusive by turns and likes to gab. But his most outstanding characteristic [is] his hands which are large and etched with furrows. They are chartacous, like sheets of parchment that have been crushed and imperfectly smoothed. Cracked and caked, they’re always dirty — the dirt worked in, a part of the skin’s pigment and texture. Sometimes they look huge, swollen, and bruised…they appear as both antithesis and akin to those of a concert pianist’s, in that they express a practice unflinchingly pursued, although Keefe’s have served no higher purpose than working the land, husbandry, and upkeep of the homestead. They are a living ledger of what it takes to farm the higher regions of the Catskills…”
Maynard is predeceased by his wife Shirley Ann Keefe who predeceased him in November 2012. He is survived by their six children: three sons Kenneth and Lisa Bush, Timothy and his wife Kimberly, Clayton and his wife Dawn, all of Shady. Three daughters Mary and her husband Richard Zimmermann of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Donna and Jim O’Neill of Boiceville, and Barbara and her husband David Fairbanks of Polk City, Florida; a sister, Blanche Schmidt of Shady and 15 amazing grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Maynard is predeceased by two sisters, Jeanette Keefe of Kingston, Pauline Wilber of Lake Hill and a great-great grandson, Evan J. Eagens of California.
Arrangements were under the direction of Lasher Funeral Home. Calling hours for friends and family were Sunday, January 20, at Lasher Funeral Home, Woodstock, and funeral services were held on Monday, January 21 at the Shady United Methodist Church on Church Road in Shady to celebrate Maynard’s life. Burial followed at the Willow Cemetery.
Memorial Contributions in his name may be made to Woodstock Rescue Squad, PO Box 222, Woodstock, NY 12498.