Brian B. O’Keefe (1969 – 2020)
On Thursday, September 17, 2020, Brian B. O’Keefe (“Beaker”), son, brother, uncle, and friend died at the age of 51. He is survived by his parents Bernard E. and Jeannette S. (Harrison) O’Keefe of Bristol, his two sisters; Shelley Audet and her husband Daniel of East Granby, and Paula O’Keefe and her husband Michael Cavallari of Bristol. He also leaves behind nephews and a niece; Zachary and Jacob Audet, and Colin and Emma Cavallari.
He was born on May 6, 1969, in Bristol, CT where he remained a lifelong resident. Brian achieved the rank of Eagle Scout from Boy Scout Troop 6. He graduated from Bristol Central High School (’88) and then from New England Technical Institute. He earned a degree in Criminal Justice from Tunxis Community College, while serving four years in the National Guard Military Police. Brain went on to work as a Corrections Officer for the State of CT, from which he recently retired.
Brian was a mischievous thrill seeker. As a young child he gave his parents many gray hairs; swinging from backyard treetops, and even attempting to rappel from the second story rooftop when he was 12 years old. He mastered the art of being a brother; repeatedly jumping out of random closets at the right moment, holding cherished stuffed animals for ransom until money changed hands, or shutting off the electricity to the house while his sister was home alone.
In high school, he acquired the nickname “Beaker” while on the wrestling team and enjoyed having a good time with friends. He was fortunate enough to meet a few friends at an early age that he cherished until the day he died; among them Glen Gaski and Jim Blaschke, who were two of his closest.
Above all else, Brian was loyal. He firmly believed in right and wrong and had no trouble letting anyone know how he felt about something. Behind his imposing exterior, he was a generous, kind man. If you had a project, Brian would help. If something needed to be fixed, he had every tool imaginable and showed impressive knowledge and skill in his ability to repair things. And as his friends and family know, he would have your back no matter what the circumstance.
Brian appreciated the outdoors. He loved hiking, biking, camping, and rappelling with friends and his dog Magic when he was younger. One of his most memorable hikes was up to Machu Picchu in Peru. He loved his Harley-Davidson Road King and was a member of the BWB riding club out of Waterbury when it was active. Those that rode with him or spent time with him have legendary tales to tell.
At times he was larger than life, with a devilish twinkle in his eye, a sheepish grin and an infectious laugh. Brian surely had nine lives and his family and friends are saddened that his last one was taken much too soon. Although he had more plans to make, more rides to take, and more fun to be had, those that love him will cling on to their own legendary Beaker stories to help them smile and laugh through the tears. RIP Brian, you were one of a kind.
Due to COVID restrictions, service will be held privately. Memorial donations can be made in his name to: Correctional Peace Officers Foundation, PO Box 34890, Sacramento, CA 95834-8390 or a charity of your choice.
Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave., Bristol is honored to serve the family. Please visit Brian’s memorial web-site at www.FunkFuneralHome.com