Mr Patrick O'Keeffe was born in Waterford City, Co Waterford, Ireland on 15 July 1890.
He was the son of John O'Keeffe (b. 1870), a quarry labourer, and Catherine Fitzgerald (b. 1873). He had two known siblings: James (b. 1893) and Ellen (b. 1898).
He and his family appear on the 1901 census living at house 6, Little Michael Street in Waterford. He later emigrated to the USA in 1910 (1), settling in New York and working as a porter but returned to Ireland for a month's holiday in 1912. His family are then believed to have lived at 2 Spring Garden Alley in Waterford.
For his return to the USA Patrick boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger (ticket number 368402 which cost £7, 15s). Before boarding he sent a postcard to his father where he expressed his sorrow that he was leaving Ireland again. He later said that his distress at leaving was so great that he had a premonition that the ship would sink and tried in vain to sell his ticket in Queenstown before he eventually embarked. He was travelling alone.
On the night of the sinking Patrick ascended to the upper decks and presumably remained board the ship during her final throes. Finding himself in the water he managed to pull himself aboard the capsized collapsible B and later assisted two other men aboard, describing them as a Southampton-man and a Guernsey Islander.
Upon reaching New York aboard Carpathia O'Keeffe spent time in St Vincent's Hospital for convalescence having sustained heavy bruising, rendering him unable to work for several weeks. He later received a grant from the American Red Cross for $102.
In New York Patrick later worked as a window dresser in a department store and later as an elevator operator in an office building.
He began a relationship with Anna Nolan (b. 25 May 1905), a native New Yorker born to Irish parents. The couple were wed on 19 September 1923 and had two children: Margaret (b. 1924) and Edward (b. 1926) but they later divorced. The separation was short-lived and they were wed again on 8 February 1936. The family later lived at 120 West 109th Street, Manhattan.
Patrick died on 16 December 1939 aged 49. He was buried in God of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.
His widow Anna later remarried to Andrew Vincent Bartlett (1896-1978) before her death in October 1968. His daughter Margaret never married and was later an executive with the Revlon Corporation; she died in 1988. His son later married and had two daughters.
- As per 1930 census.
Noel Ray (1999) List of Passengers who Boarded RMS Titanic at Queenstown, April 11, 1912. The Irish Titanic Historical Society
Articles and Stories
New York Times (1912)