Richard F. Keefer
February 14, 1925 ‒ March 07, 2019
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 www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.