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In Memory Of Our
Deceased Members
Donald Keefer
Full Name
Donald Keefer
Date of Death
7 / 20 / 2023
Veteran of...
  • World War II
Born in Oakland, CA on July 13, 1925 to Neil Sr. & Florence Pierpont Bradley Keefer, Don grew up with his older sister, Janet, and younger brother, Neil, in Paso Robles. He graduated from Paso Robles High School in 1942 and attended Pasadena City College before enlisting in the Army in 1944 during WWII. He served in the European Campaign in Company B, 5th Infantry Regiment, 71st Infantry Division, as a sniper, under General Patton. Don experienced an intense battle near Auberg, Germany, holding some 40 enemy soldiers under guard in the village street, coming under German mortar fire. His effort to keep the group together until he could march them to the rear, earned him the honor of a Bronze Star. In 1945 the 5th Infantry Chorus became his duty assignment, which he remembered fondly. They performed 92 concerts for fellow GI’s and German citizens throughout Austria and Germany to bring positive morale. Following his service in the war, in Spring of 1946, Don returned home to the States and attended San Jose State College for business administration classes. On a blind date in San Bernardino, Don met Guyneth Putney, in 1947. They married in August of 1947 and they were blessed with three children, Pamela (Denni), Shelley and Guy. Don returned to Paso Robles, working several jobs and raising a family. From 1958 - 1983, he served the City of Paso Robles in various positions, including City Manager for 12 years. Don continued to be of service to the City of Paso Robles and the County of San Luis Obispo. He was on the County Planning Commission, served in Rotary (including being the 51st President), Masons and Shriners. For pleasure, he golfed, sang in the Plymouth Congregational Church Choir and took part in productions presented by Pioneer Players. In 1981, Don lost his beloved Guyneth. In 1990, he married Patricia Ottoson and spent the next 27 years happily blending two families, traveling to Europe and other exotic locations, and enjoying life and each other to the fullest. In 2010, Don served honorably as Paso Robles Pioneer Day Grand Marshall. In 2013 he was sponsored by Paso Robles Rotary and enjoyed an amazing trip to Washington, D.C. for Honor Flight, with grandson, Zach Taylor, as his handler. In 2016, Don and Pat sold their home in Quail Run and moved into Annette Lodge, enjoying the staff and owner, Kathy Tucker, as well as weekly singing from Joy. In 2017 Don lost his daughter, Shelley, as well as his love, Patricia. In July 2020, Don’s 95th birthday was celebrated with friends and family doing drive-by wishes, shout-outs and horn honking. It was a wonderful way to honor Don without masked contact during a dark time in our community and world. It made us forget about the pandemic for a while. Then, in December 2020, Don survived Coronavirus. In May 2022, Don was interviewed by the Central Coast Veterans Representative for the Oral History Project, a copy of which is now in the National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C. Don’s final breath on earth was witnessed by Shelley’s daughter Morgan Taylor, who spent special times with him, including Martini time on his 98th birthday on July 13. Don was preceded in death by his parents, brother and sister and their spouses, his spouses and daughter. Don is survived by his remaining children - Pamela/Denni (David) Hudgens, Guy (Laura) Keefer, Wade Taylor, Heidi (Sandros) Vanoli (exchange student), Pat’s children - Mark (Wendi) Ottoson, Jill (Frank) Costa and Kathi (Jim) Calhoun; Grandchildren - Julie (John) Bell, Treavor (Michelle) Hudgens, Morgan Taylor, Kristen (James) Herzbrun, Michael (Holli) Peel, Jaime (Lauren) Calhoun, Zach (Brittany) Taylor, Jennifer Calhoun, Carli Bell, Allison (Adam) Keif, Madeline (Crawford) Ifland, Isaac (fiance Emily) Keefer, and so many great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, that meant so much to him.