The Abusua (Clan)   






Mary Emily O'Keefe Dwyer

Mary Emily O'Keefe was born in Leadville, Colorado, July 9, 1908. Her actual birth date may have been June 9 unless her baptismal certificate is in error.

  Ida's grave in Leadville.    

Mary was the second child of Henry and Ida O'Keefe. Her father was 48 and her mother 30 at the time of Mary's birth. The above photograph shows baby Mary with her parents and elder sister, Helen. Mary was six years old when her mother died. Below is a photograph of (l to r) Helen, Charles and Mary O'Keefe, following the death of their mother.

Her father, widowed with four children, at the age of 54 gave the children considerable freedom, since he continued in his paint and wallpaper business in Leadville. There were few but strict rules in the household. Playing near old mine shafts and playing baseball while standing on boats were forbidden. The cabin and the children within had be cleaned daily. Mary never lost her free spirit.

The above photograph was taken about 1920. On the left back row is Mary, ~ 12 years old; Henry, ~60; Helen, ~14. In the front row are Ida, ~ 6, and Charles,~ 9.

Mary attended Greeley (Colorado State Teachers' ) College. She taught at Twin Lakes in a one-room school house, in 1927-28. Click here to read Mary's writing of "An Unforgettable Year."

Mary met John (Jack) Dwyer. Mary was 20 and Jack 22 when they married. First (and last) came love. Then came marriage. And a year later came Jackie, followed eventually by his brother, Billie, and two sisters, Joanie and Tooge.

Mary was a flapper and had the enormous O'Keefe eyes.( Brian once commented we may be a family of aliens.) Mary was a woman, who well before her time, was free of constraints. She was creative, a talented artist, the family carpenter and a crack shot, thus the one-woman squirrel patrol on South Pennsylvania Street. Because she grew up without a mother, she invested all her energy and talents in raising her own family. Mary died in 1967 at the age of 59.