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1950's Tampico High School Teachers
The Tampico Area Historical Society encompasses parts of Whiteside County and Bureau County in Illinois. Focus is on Tampico, Hume Twp., Hahnaman/Deer Grove, & Prophetstown in Whiteside County & Yorktown & Thomas in Bureau County.
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2 posts
Nov 16, 2009
10:32 AM
Does anyone remember Coach Bob Specht; Bob O'Keefe and Miss Ormsby and where they may be 50 years later?

Last Edited by on Nov 16, 2009 10:34 AM
489 posts
Nov 18, 2009
5:15 PM
There are several Robt. Spechts listed throughout the area. Here is one in Geneseo that is listed as 65+:
Robert G Specht
13695 N 2250th Ave
Geneseo, IL 61254-8309
(309) 944-6197Age:65+
2 posts
Dec 05, 2009
11:47 AM
Mr. O'Keefe was at Tampico High for the same four years that I was. (51-52 through 54-55) It seems to me that he went somewhere in Central Illinois. I have a vague remembrance that later he was appointed to a fairly high up job in Springfield. Social Security Administration maybe? Don't accept that as absolute fact, my memory certainly could be faulty on this.

Coach Specht came to us in my Sophomore year and I'm fairly certain that my Senior year was also his last year in Tampico, so that would be a stay of three years. I know that he was from Chicago originally. He told us that enough times! Plus there was the Chicago Ball/16 inch Softball games in PE. That's something I eventually carried over to my own years as a PE teacher.

Somehow I had a remembrance of him leaving the state, perhaps for California? The Illinois High School Association site gives his coaching records for both basketball and football for those three years, but more importantly, there are no records listed for him at any other Illinois school. That could mean that he got out of coaching (I think that unlikely) or that he went to another state. Pure conjecture there.

Last Edited by on Dec 05, 2009 8:50 PM
3 posts
Dec 05, 2009
12:29 PM
From the Gazette, September 19, 1951

Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. O'Keefe moved Sunday into the William Strike house recently vacated by Gordon Garland in the northeast section of town. Mr. O'Keefe is the new English teacher and assistant coach at the Tampico high school. Their furniture is coming from Los Altos, Calif., where he was attending Stanford U.They have been visiting her parents Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Calnan of Clinton, Iowa.

Last Edited by on Dec 05, 2009 8:52 PM
1 post
Mar 22, 2010
6:44 PM
Hi! I'm Mike O'Keefe, and I'm actually Mr. O'Keefe's grandson. He's enjoying his retirement in Springfield surrounded by his increasingly large family... six children, sixteen grandchildren, and one great-grandchild at last count.

I'll see if I can point him this way, he's not the greatest around the Internet, but I'm sure one of his aforementioned grandchildren would love to help him out!
3 posts
Apr 15, 2010
5:16 PM
Fellow 1956 grads:
I spent 2 1/2 hrs today visiting with our HS English teacher Bob O'Keefe In Springfield, IL. What an enjoyable and interesting visit! Bob truly represents and characterizes the "Greatest Generation"! Bob was not only in the Marine Corps but was in the thickest of the Pacific campaigns on Guadalcanal and Guam,to name a couple of the islands, as a BAR riflemen. He suffered from malaria and jaundice before being pulled out of the jungle to recuperate. He then was sent to Guam where he was shot twice, once in his left arm and then in the head thru his helmet. If you are currently watching the series on HBO called "Pacific" you have a good idea of what he and other Marines endured. He spent 2 years in the hospital as a result of his wounds before going on to college and getting his degrees and becoming a teacher, superintendent and eventually in special positions with the State of Illinois. He is not in the best of health but is doing OK at 85. He still has that wonderful sense of humor! After he was shot, his Sargent told him the Japanese should have known to shoot an Irishman in the head is just a waste of ammunition!
If anyone would like to write to him his address is
2324 S State St
Springfield, IL 62704

Last Edited by on May 17, 2010 11:59 AM
547 posts
Apr 18, 2010
8:31 AM
Thanks MPOKeefe, Ron56, & Dale 55,
I have passed the info on to JoanJ. I hope more folks will respond. It is wonderful to hear about them - Thank you for sharing.

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