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Rye Lifer: Angela O’Keefe

(PHOTO: Rye Lifer Angela O’Keefe outside of her home in Rye.)
(PHOTO: Rye Lifer Angela O’Keefe outside of her home in Rye.)

Rye Lifers is a MyRye.com series that introduces you to people that have spent their lives in Rye – people who have grown up in Rye, worked in Rye, come back to raise their family in Rye. Do you know someone we should profile for Rye Lifers? Tell us.

Today, meet Angela O’Keefe.

MyRye.com: Why are you a Rye “Lifer”? 

O’Keefe: My name is Angela Consoli O’Keefe and my family moved to Rye when  I was one year old. My father was a pharmacist, who owned pharmacies in the surrounding area, and my mother was a teacher at  Resurrection Grammar School who taught there for over thirty years. I was the second born of four siblings and we all attended Rye schools.

I met my husband, Dennis, in Rye and we married at Resurrection Church followed by a reception at The Rye Golf Club. We lived and raised our two children in this town. They also attended the Rye  School system. I am a second generation Rye  resident and my husband is a fifth generation Rye resident. This beautiful, small town located on the water and the great school system is what attracted our family to this area. It seemed to be the perfect area to raise children. 

(PHOTO: Rye Lifer Angela O’Keefe (second from right) with her husband Dennis and two children, Anna and John.)
(PHOTO: Rye Lifer Angela O’Keefe (second from right) with her husband Dennis and two children, Anna and John.)

Tell us about the street in Rye you grew-up on.

O’Keefe: I grew up on a cul-de-sac on Barbara Court. Our yard backed up to the path which ran parallel with the Blind Brook. We had a wonderful neighborhood which had over sixty kids living there. We played outside all day long until dark, each family having their own signals to return home. We played neighborhood games, basketball, ultimate frisbee, tag, you name it ,we played it! We had this beautiful town on the water plus the great schools were what attracted Trick or Treating, summer block parties and summer sleep outs in tents, where we would always rotate the backyard. The families we grew with included the Piccolis, Kennys, Ramspachers, Marmelsteins, Risos, Scileppis and the LaRoses.  

Where in Rye do you live now?

O’Keefe: I now reside on Central Avenue, which is down the street from where I grew up. We love the neighborhood and the families that are all around us. We picked this particular neighborhood because you can walk to town, our schools and to Resurrection Church and to our train station which brings us to NYC quickly. We also enjoy the Road House, which is in our own backyard, for great food and drinks. 

Who was your favorite teacher at Rye High School and what year did you graduate? 

O’Keefe: I attended Resurrection Grammar School from K-8th grade and the Academy of the Resurrection from 9-12th grade. I graduated in 1985. My favorite teacher was Mr. Strolla. He taught language arts and humanities. He was a great teacher with a sense of humor that made learning fun!  

Where do you work in Rye and what do you do? 

O’Keefe: I have been a preschool teacher at Rye Presbyterian Nursery School for fifteen years. I have a dual Masters Degree in Early Childhood and Special Education from Manhattanville College and I am New York  Certified in Special Education. I have taught both three and four year old classes. I enjoy working with the young children and connecting with the families. I enjoy building challenging curriculums.  

What in your view are the two or three greatest Rye traditions—current or past? 

O’Keefe: One of the greatest traditions in Rye is the Halloween painting contest. I was fortunate enough to have participated in this wonderful experience when I was a little girl and am thrilled to have been able to introduce this special event to my two children.  

The other tradition is the Rye Little League Parade. My husband was a  coach of the Rye Little League and we were thrilled to watch our son march proudly down Purchase Street.  

What about the great Rye institutions—community organizations, shops, restaurants. Which ones are or have been part of the Rye fabric? 

O’Keefe: There are many great institutions in the Rye community that have been a part of the Rye fabric. One store that sticks out in my mind is Jerry’s Post Road Market. Growing up around the corner from the store, my mom would shop daily for our family. She would take the path in our backyard to the store to buy bread, milk, cold cuts, as well as anything you could think of. At times, she would even call our orders in advance and they would be ready as soon as we arrived! Today, my husband and I still frequent the store, running in to get last minute sandwiches or groceries. Another place that we enjoyed as a family was the Rye Library, The Rye YMCA, and endless summers at Rye Golf Club.

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