In Memoriam: Former Longtime Shrewsbury Resident, Red Bank Teacher, Kathy O’Keefe Stanley, 71

Former longtime Shrewsbury resident and Red Bank teacher, Kathy O’Keefe Stanley, passed peacefully at United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen, surrounded by family, on June 3. She was 71.

“Kathy started her career in education in New Rochelle, NY and then went on to teach at Red Bank Primary School for several years and lastly St. James Elementary School in Red Bank for 10 years. Kathy poured her heart and soul into whatever came here way whether it was for her students, or her loving family. She was a charismatic advocate and leader. She was fearless in all her endeavors, and it showed in all she did. She loved books, talk radio and music. Her love of music and talk radio was evident throughout her life and it was rare for a day to go by without music or WCBS 880 playing in the background.

“To know Kathy was to know that she lived for her husband and daughters … her home was lively and she always valued a sense of family and loyalty to those around her. As a child, she loved the Beatles, Elvis Presley and dancing. Whether it was driving her girls to Kathryn Barnett Dance School, sports activities, school dances, Loyola College or Fairfield University, Kathy was at the center of it all. She loved spending time with them at one of the various beach clubs in Sea Bright, where they spent every day of their summer breaks. Kathy loved shopping with her daughters at the Monmouth Mall, watching a good Hallmark movie or Dancing with the Stars and was ecstatic when it was time to plan their weddings and enjoyed every moment. Kathy also enjoyed spending time with her college friends (the Mounties) and her fellow teacher friends from St. James.

“Kathy was blessed to become “Nana” to Mila, Mary Kate and Lorelai and loved teaching them how to read, talk and love life. Kathy loved spending time with Jim on one of their yearly trips to Cape May and daily walks along the boardwalk in Sea Bright and Pier Village in West Long Branch, NJ, and, along the lakefront at Wickham Woodlands in Warwick, NY.”

Loved ones of Kathy

Born to Edward and Katherine (Kay) (Sullivan) O’Keefe, grew up in New Rochelle, NY. Kathy was a graduate of Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY where she earned her bachelor’s degree and she also received her master’s in Education from New Rochelle College, in New Rochelle, NY.

She married her husband, James (Jim) Stanley, in 1975, and after having their daughters, Elizabeth and Jennifer, the family moved to Shrewsbury, where they spent 36 years before moving to Warwick, NY in 2021 and finally Bristol Glen in Newton, NJ in 2023.

Kathy was predeceased by her parents.

She is survived by: her husband of 49 years, James (Jim); two daughters, Elizabeth (Radim) Horak and Jennifer (James) Rustwick; three granddaughters, Mila and Mary Kate Horak and Lorelai Rustwick; her sibling, Edward (Eddie) O’Keefe; many nieces and nephews; her extended family, including many cousins.

Visitation will be held on Monday, June 10, from 4 to 7 p.m. at John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Ave., Red Bank. A mass of christian burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, June 11, 10 a.m., at St. James Roman Catholic Church, 94 Broad St, Red Bank. Burial will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Middletown. Donations can be made in memory of Kathy to the Alzheimer’s Association, United Methodist Communities at Bristol Glen, or the charity of your choice.

— Edited obituary prepared by family via John E. Day Funeral Home