Richard F. Keefer

February 14, 1925 ‒ March 07, 2019

Marion, Ohio

Richard F. Keefer, 94, longtime owner of Keefer’s Clothiers in downtown Marion, died peacefully the morning of March 7, 2019 at Primrose Retirement Community, following a period of declining health.

Born Feb. 14, 1925, in Marion, he was the son of George and Elsie (Flenar) Keefer. He graduated from Marion Harding High School in 1943 and served with the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. Stationed in Baltimore and then in New York City, Seaman Second Class Keefer made more than a dozen trips on transport ships ferrying American soldiers to and from Europe.

Mr. Keefer married his beloved wife, the former Marilyn A. Denton, on Sept. 24, 1943, in Greenup, Ky. She passed away on Dec. 1, 1996. The couple were the parents of a son, Louis Rick Keefer, who survives with his wife, Donna Louis, in Lewis Center. He is also survived by two grandchildren, Corinne (Steven) Matyas of Columbus, and Andrew (Jessica) Keefer of Golden, CO.; and great-grandchildren William Matyas, and Griffin and Evelyn Keefer. Mr. Keefer’s life was enriched by the dogs he owned, especially his most recent Welsh Corgi, Rocky. He was preceded in death by brothers Louis and William, and sister Ruth (Keefer) Wheeler.

Mr. Keefer’s career revolved around retail businesses. He worked at Sears, Roebuck & Co. in the 1940s; managed the “Mr. J Shop” at the popular downtown Marion store, Sutton & Lightner, for many years; and also worked at Groll’s Furniture in Waldo. He and his wife founded Keefer’s women’s apparel store on South Main Street in 1970, then relocated the business to East Center Street, renaming it Keefer’s Boutique. The store specialized in women’s designer and high fashion clothing, and Mr. Keefer often chuckled that he knew the dress sizes of most of Marion’s upperclass women.

In 1977, Mr. Keefer added an adjoining men’s clothing store when he bought the former Markert and Lewis men’s store and renamed the store Keefer’s Clothiers. When he made the purchase, Mr. Keefer vowed to keep a decades-long tradition alive – the socializing which revolved around three pool tables in the back room. “That pool room is like an institution,” Mr. Keefer firmly told The Marion Star. “It just stays the same, and it’s going to stay the same.”

Mr. Keefer was a member of Prospect Street United Methodist Church, where he served on the board for two terms. He also belonged to Marion Elks Lodge 32, Aladdin Shriners, Marion Lodge No. 70 of the Grand Lodge F & AM, Marion VFW Post 7201 and Gyro Club of Marion.

The funeral service will take place at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at Prospect Street United Methodist, with the Pastors Therese Lehman and Joe Miller officiating.  Interment will follow in Marion Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Mr. Keefer’s name to Prospect Street United Methodist Church, 185 S. Prospect St., Marion, OH.

Snyder Funeral Homes, Denzer & Gunder/Hall Chapels, are honored to assist with Mr. Keefer’s services and your condolences may be expressed via

  • My deepest sympathy to you, Rick, and to your family. May your father’s love and his life well-lived fill you with happy memories that bring you peace and a feeling of being blessed at having had him in your life.

  • So sorry for your loss. I knew your dad to be a kind loving man . He was a friend of my aunt Rita and often looked in on My grandma Lessig and she thought he was so nice and caring .

  • So sorry to hear that Dick has passed. My deepest sympathies to his family. Loved shopping the store for many years. RIP

  • Marion Lodge was saddened to learn of the passing of our dear brother He has laid down the working tools of life to live in peace and joy with his father in heaven

  • I have many fond memories seeing both Marilyn and Dick while shopping at Keefer’s –loved seeing them walk their Husky’s, too. They were both just so delightful and so, so nice. Now, after all of these years, they are together again. Dick, what a “gentleman” you were, rest in peace.
    Melissa Rowley (Jo and Warren Rowley’s daughter)

  • Bob was a great friend and I do enjoyed our card games and coming to the store. I am so sorry to lose this friend.

  • I’m sorry for the loss of your dear loved one. May you find comfort during this difficult time with family and friends. May God’s love and tender mercy give you comfort during this difficult time. (2 Corinthians 1:3,4).