Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Pinellas prosecutor and FBI agent Stephen O'Keefe dies in Pasco skydiving accident

Stephen O'Keefe — an FBI agent, Pinellas prosecutor, soldier and all-around adventurer — was killed from injuries he received over the weekend in a Pasco County skydiving accident.

"Most folks think their parents were superheroes," said his son Joseph O'Keefe, 38, of Maryland. "I got to grow up with a real-life superhero."

Family members said O'Keefe, 70, was skydiving in Pasco County when a gust of wind caught his parachute and caused him to land badly. The Medical Examiner's Office in Polk County said the accident occurred Saturday and that he died Sunday at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Additional details were not available Tuesday.

An autopsy is scheduled for today.

Family members said O'Keefe served in both the Marines Corps and the Army Special Forces. He was a career man with the FBI, including time in the Tampa office, and spent 19 years with the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office on felony cases — including murder trials.

"He was an amazing guy. Very athletic for his age, and he was an avid skydiver," said Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett. "Everyone's in shock."

His wife, Mary, said she met him in Fort Myers through mutual friends and fell in love at first sight. They were married in 1966 after a four-month courtship.

"He loved God, country and family, that just puts it in a nutshell," she said.

In his FBI days, he often left home before his children awoke and worked until 10 p.m. or later. But even when he came home late at night, "I would have the children up and he would say prayers with them," his wife said.

His daughter, Katie O'Keefe Nolte, said "he was both sides of the coin. He was tough on one hand and a very soft, religious, family man on the other. He was just everything."

"With the FBI he did mostly, from what I know, undercover work and spoke different languages," she said.

A service is being arranged for Saturday.

Former Pinellas prosecutor and FBI agent Stephen O'Keefe dies in Pasco skydiving accident 01/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 9:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Clearwater officer fired after investigation reveals use of unnecessary force on teen

    Public Safety

    A Clearwater police officer was fired after an internal investigation found he used unnecessary force on a teenager in custody, the agency said Wednesday.

  2. Meadowlawn Middle School teacher arrested on molestation charges

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — A Meadowlawn Middle School teacher was arrested Wednesday morning on charges that he molested three underage girls, police said.

    Joseph Zavalnak, 41, a Meadowlawn Middle School teacher, was arrested May 24, 2017on charges that he molested three underage girls, police said. He faces  five counts of lewd and lascivious molestation. The victims were between the ages of 12 and 18, police said. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Letter from 'many' St. Petersburg High faculty, staff to Pinellas School Board pushes for assistant principal to be next principal

    Blogs

    A St. Petersburg High teacher sent a letter on the behalf of "many" school faculty and staff to the Pinellas County School Board and school district superintendent Mike Grego in support of appointing their assistant principal, Darlene Lebo, as principal.

    Darlene Lebo, an assistant principal at St. Petersburg High, is supported by "many" school faculty and staff to be the school's next principal, according to a letter sent to the Pinellas County School Board.
  4. 2017 Florida Theme Park Guide: A look at this summer's top attractions

    Attractions

    Florida's theme parks are getting ready for their busiest season with new rides, shows and perks, and we have rounded up a guide to the best new things to see.

    The newest fireworks presentation at Magic Kingdom uses lasers, lights, projections and pyrotechnics showing characters and scenes from more than 25 Disney films. [Walt Disney World]
  5. Meet 'rave pops,' the EDM-loving, hard-dancing 72-year-old who went viral via the Sunset Music Festival (w/video)

    Music & Concerts

    Alan Grofé is a 72-year-old, semi-retired entrepreneur and former tech executive with frost-white hair, two grown children and five grandchildren.

    Alan Grofe dances at the Electric Daisy Carnival festival in Orlando in 2016. [aLIVE Coverage for Insomniac]