It is with great sadness that I write this note in memory of Nancy Keefe who passed away peacefully last week. Over my many years as Administrator for the Municipality of Midland, I came to know Nancy quite well as she was there for pretty well all of them.
Nancy was first elected in 1977 the first of 8 successful election campaigns. Missing one term, Nancy finally completed her 23 years of public service in 2006. Over those years Nancy held the positions of Councillor, Deputy Reeve, Reeve, and Deputy Mayor. While Reeve and Deputy Mayor, Nancy was also a member of Simcoe County Council. During that time she was elected by her peers as Warden of the County for a one year term. I remember quite well her inauguration that day as Nancy beamed while receiving a bouquet of flowers as she assumed the highest office of the County. As well, Nancy served on and chaired numerous committees as part of her civic life.
To describe Nancy in her political life is not too difficult as she was always quite forthright, never at a loss for words to bring a matter to its rightful conclusion. Nancy always expressed a compassion for Midland residents, particularly senior citizens, knowing for some life was not so easy. At the same time; Nancy did not suffer fools or bleeding hearts and had no problem telling one to shape up. Nancy could certainly stand her ground with the best of them when it came to political debate. Her years at Town Hall were delightful for the staff as she had time for everyone and you could trust her support. Feisty as ever, she was quick to warn “don’t ever cross me”. No one ever did.
A team player with her peers, Nancy recognized the value of pulling together to build the Town, to set aside differences and build relationships throughout the community. Midland citizens felt truly represented and a part of their local government as evidenced by her many public appearances and simply aligning herself with the residents.
Well, another of Midland’s past generation of leaders has passed away and the torch gets passed on. It must, of course. Nancy would not have it any other way.
Nancy was truly a benefit to me in being in my position over the years. It became the building of a lasting relationship with a wonderful person. And, I can hear her now, “hey, we all gotta go sometime”!
Rest in peace with your beloved Neville, my good friend.