Mary E. Keef Remembered
By Mary Jane Winquest
Described by her friends as classy and by her daughter as her best friend, the late Mary E. Keef of Lincoln loved to read, travel and generously support those organizations close to her heart.
"She wanted other people to enjoy NET. She loved the station," says daughter Denise Emery, of Lincoln, about her mother's decision to name NET Radio and NET Television beneficiaries of her annuity.
"She was a huge Husker fan and watched Nebraska Volleyball. She also loved Antiques Roadshow and Masterpiece Classic. We watched every episode of Downton Abbey together," Emery adds.
Born in Hallam and raised in Lincoln, Keef was also a businesswoman. She opened a clothing store with two friends during the early days of the Haymarket development and was a founder, with first husband Harley Varga, of Gas N Shops. She married Jack Keef after Varga died, and the two owned and operated Jack Keef Motors in Crete. Both Emery and her brother Dan Varga worked with their parents.
Emery says her mother was smart and liked to be involved. She served on numerous boards including City Bank and Trust, Crete, Doane College and Crete Hospital. She was a volunteer for Matt Talbot Kitchen and was active in St. Peter's Catholic Church in Lincoln.
"She was a very giving person," Emery says of her mother, and fun to be around. "She enjoyed meeting new people and loved seeing movies, plays and musicals." She says she also chose adventurous travel destinations like Vietnam and Croatia.
Emery stopped working to spend more time with her mother the past three years which included winters with friends in Scottsdale, Arizona. "Mom loved to golf," Emery says. They also took family trips with Keef's grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
"We're very grateful that she remembered NET in her estate plans," says Director of Major & Planned Giving Michele Peón-Casanova. "The family's financial support is vital to sustaining the arts, sports and cultural programming as we rely on private gifts for 27 percent of our funding. This will go a long way."
Learn How You Can Help
If you would like to plan a gift to support NET programming, contact The NET Planned Giving Office at 800.634.6788 or plannedgiving@netNebraska.org today, at no obligation.
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