Obituary for Nina Sammons O’Keefe
January 27, 1925 to November 17, 2019
On November 17, 2019, the world lost another member of the very exclusive and celebrated group of US citizens, “The Greatest Generation.” Nina Lou Sammons O’Keefe, born in 1925 lived during pivotal points in history and witnessed the explosion of technology and modern inventions that provided a sharp contrast to the way those in her generation were raised.
She was born in Soperton, Georgia, and was the last surviving sibling to five brothers and one sister. She was proud of her humble beginnings but always had a vision of excellence and action. She was the Salutatorian of her high school graduating class but chose to volunteer as a civilian employee with the US Army Air Corps at Hunter Field, near Savannah, Ga., rather than attend college.
She worked at the staging airfield that was used to send planes and crews to the European theater of war. She worked as a staff driver in the motor pool driving everything from Jeep’s to 2.5 ton trucks and officer staff vehicles.
At the end of WWII, she married Dan, a pilot in the Army Air Corps, and together they raised four children, Tim, Tom, Nina and Dan. She was a committed and loving mom and made it a life goal to share her faith in Christ with her children, and their children, Crista (Kirk), Ryan (Kristina), Jennie, Kevin, Amanda (John), Will (Jenna), Stephanie (Brandon), Parke and Katie. She was blessed to have eight great grandchildren, Carter Brandt, Kennedy O'Keefe, Clarke O'Keefe, Harper O'Keefe, Caton Avery Alderman, Hutchison Alderman, Summerlin O'Keefe and Elizabeth O’Keefe.
Nina was the consummate professional and successfully balanced her career with the complexities of running a home. She began her career in banking as a teller and rose to management levels with Barnett Bank, as a Vice President. She was always involved in the community in various capacities and loved teaching Sunday School and being involved with all her church activities.
Nina would always provide a voice of wisdom and diplomacy but also did not suffer fools lightly. She was always kind in her responses to people but there was no ambiguity about what her position on any issue was. She knew her mind and spoke it freely and would always add humor to cut any perceived sting.
She was dearly loved, not only by her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, but her son and daughters-in-law who all saw her as a second mom to them. Colby May, Dana Michaels, Dana Seykora and Barbara Oliver were all knitted perfectly into the O’Keefe family and were welcomed with open and loving arms by their cherished mother-in-law, Nina S. O’Keefe.
She was the heart and soul of the family and her impact on 30 lives is evident in the successes and accomplishments that are revealed daily in their personal lives. The three elements of her life, that so perfectly wove into the unbreakable chord of life’s purpose were her faith, her family and her love of country. She was consistent in her commitment to all three and the world was made better through the life of Nina Sammons O’Keefe and she will be dearly missed by many.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday November 23, 2019 at 2:00 PM in the chapel of Lankford Funeral Home. The family will receive friends starting at 1:00 PM. Interment will follow at the Deland Memorial Gardens.