Sperry & McHoul Funeral Home Obituaries

Barbara A. O'Keefe, 92, on May 11, 2023

Barbara Anne O’Keefe passed away on May 11, 2023 after a period of declining health. She was the wife of Peter Peters, who passed away on February 7, 2011.

Born in Attleboro, Massachusetts on November 10, 1930, Barbara was the daughter of the late Max Oscar Miller, a polisher for the Watson Company in Attleboro, and Alice Whipple Allen Miller, a homemaker. She grew up on Parker Street on Attleboro’s East Side. An only child, she was a direct descendent of The Green Mountain Boys of Vermont as well as Ethan Allen.

Barbara was very proud of her education. She was a graduate of Attleboro High School, Sturdy Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, and Roger Williams College. Over time, she continually took courses to advance her nursing skills. Barbara was also passionate about mentoring young nurses and welcoming them into the profession.

Nursing and helping others were two things that defined Barbara. She was a nurse and eventually head nurse in the Attleboro School Department for 35 years. She constantly went above and beyond, helping so many students, and especially young women, through difficult times. Some of her students even stayed in touch until her passing. Upon retiring, Barbara came to miss the interaction with her colleagues so she went back to nursing for the Bi-County Collaborative. After several years, however, full time work became a little too much, so she began working part time at Long’s Jewelers in Emerald Square Mall. She loved jewelry and would sometimes have ten rings on her fingers! In fact, she was always dressed to the nines with beautiful clothing and jewelry to match.

In her earlier years, Barbara was happiest planning a dinner party and conversing, dining, and vacationing with her dear friends. Barbara loved having her nine “Attleboro High School Sorority Sisters” over to her home once each month. To no one’s surprise, Barbara was designated the Queen Bee. She was also a member of the Theta Beta Sorority. In her later years, Barbara had a small group of loyal friends who looked out for her best interests, brought her meals, did her shopping, and visited often. She was invited to many Sunday family dinners and holiday meals. When she became housebound, homemade meals were brought to her. The response was always the same: “This is the best meal ever. You should open a restaurant!”

Barbara was always a lover of history, and it was this love that led her to purchase her home on South Washington Street, in the historical district. Originally built in 1850, the home was soon owned by a prominent dry goods merchant, George Colton, in 1906. As a history buff, Barbara was a natural fit for the North Attleboro Historical Commission that helped local home and business owners preserve their historical assets. Among her favorite books were those on Egyptian history and art. She collected many and often reread her favorites.

When Barbara’s health began to decline, she moved into Brookdale Assisted Living. She was welcomed by a loving, social, and supportive group that became like family. She was treated with love, kindness, and compassion at Brookdale.

At Barbara’s request, services are omitted. If you would like to make a memorial contribution in her name, you may send it to the North Attleboro Animal Shelter.