Jan and Terry Keefe are shown at the summit of Wheeler Peak, Great Basin National Park, Nevada, elevation 13,065 ft.
Jan grew up in Salt Lake, attending Granite High School. She says she lived a very average life, and some of her favorite childhood memories include spending time with her family, going hunting or camping, and getting a chance to grow closer. She and her siblings – three brothers and two sisters – had everything they needed and their parents treated them well. Her father was a police officer for the Salt Lake City Police Department, and Terry teased her saying she was her father’s favorite, to which she readily admitted and laughed about. Her mother, 87, still lives in the Salt Lake area. Her father sadly passed away in December 2010.
Terry grew up in San Dimas, California, about 30 miles east of Los Angeles where he attended high school. His mother worked early in the morning as an executive with Pacific Telephone in downtown Los Angeles and his father worked in the afternoon for Safeway as the manager of their warehouse. He and his siblings – two sisters and one brother – also lived a fairly average life. Terry’s father served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, and passes away at the relatively young age of 65. His mother passed away at 92.
After high school, Jan attended LDS Business College. She moved to California for a few years but eventually moved home to be closer to family, where she found a job as the deputy court clerk for the Salt Lake City District Court. At first, the purpose of the job was to fill her time and pay the bills, but it became a career that she loved and spent 30 years in. The best part was that she was able to work part-time and could also be at home for her young kids and raise them while still working. When speaking of her career, said it could be stressful seeing the same people passing through the court system, but she learned a lot and worked with some amazing people.
Taking the opposite path, Terry moved from California to Cedar City to attend Southern Utah State College, now Southern Utah University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. The move itself was a culture shock for him, as he learned everything was closed on Sundays and he had to learn how to drive in the snow. During his time at college, he explored the outdoors and fell in love with Utah. He began his career in law enforcement in Farmington, stationed at Lagoon Amusement Park, but the majority of his career was spent in West Valley and Layton. He spent 20 years working for West Valley City and worked his way up from patrolman to Chief of Police. The 45-minute commute from their home in Layton was tiresome, so when the position of Chief of Police opened up in Layton, he applied right away, cutting his commute down to five minutes. In regards to his career in law enforcement, Terry said he loved not being tied to a desk and having the opportunity to work both inside and outside. He worked with a diverse group of people, and chose this career path because he wanted to serve people and make a difference in his community.
The couple met at work and have been married for 32 years, a memory which they both cherish above all others. Both agreed the best part of marriage is having that companionship and being able to spend time together. Terry said that he knows others are so happy to travel the world, but he’s content just staying home as long as he gets to spend time with Jan or their children. Terry has two children from a previous marriage, and he and Jan have two daughters together. Jan never thought she’d have children but says their kids are her pride and joy. They also have five grandchildren – three girls and two boys.
They retired only months apart, Jan in December of 2014 and Terry in March 2015. They are filling their time in retirement with leisure activities. They love spending time outdoors – bike riding, hiking, kayaking and just enjoying life to the fullest. They love Southern Utah and are happy to live in Washington City, where they can enjoy so many outdoor adventures. Now empty nesters, they share their home with Callie, a dog whom they adopted from a rescue shelter two years ago. When asked about their choice to adopt from a shelter, they shared that there are so many animals in shelters that need love and a home, so it was the only choice for them. Callie is lightning fast and so lovable. Terry says when they return home, even from a short walk to get the mail, Callie is so excited to see them again.
The Keefe’s are a couple dedicated to serving others and enjoying their simple yet adventurous life together, and truly are wonderful people.