Harrison County

It’s the end of an era as the O’Keefe home hits the market

The Jerry O’Keefe house in Biloxi has been listed for sale. The home was rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina and has many amenities and custom features.
The Jerry O’Keefe house in Biloxi has been listed for sale. The home was rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina and has many amenities and custom features.

The O’Keefe home that has hosted countless family celebrations, political gatherings and private parties is for sale on the beach in East Biloxi.

Long before former Biloxi Mayor Jerry O’Keefe died in August, he and his wife, Martha, had bought a condominium next door, his family said.

The 3,889-square-foot home with three bedrooms and six bathrooms is listed for $1,299,000.

The home has views of the beach and Deer Island, a wide front porch, Brazilian cherry floors and a custom kitchen.

“It’s gorgeous,” said Shannon Cavanaugh, listing agent for the home.

She visited the O’Keefe home at 510 Beach Blvd. on many occasions and describes what it is like to come through the front door.

The ceilings are 12 feet. The dining room is to the left, the living room with a fireplace to the right.

A grand piano sits in a nook of the music room.

The tall windows are decorated with custom draperies.

The gourmet chef’s kitchen has granite countertops, hardwood floors and top-of-the-line appliances along with a spacious breakfast room and a built-in china cabinet.

The master suite — with two full bathrooms, a sitting area and a walk-in closet with custom built-ins — is “quite magnificent,” Cavanaugh said.

“Everything in the house is top of the line,” she said, adding the home comes with every amenity — a swimming pool and gazebo in the front yard, a three-car garage, security system with cameras and an elevator that goes all the way to the third-floor, unfinished attic — on a double lot a mile from downtown.

The home was designed by local architect Frank Genzer and built by local contractor Weldon Starks in 2007 after Katrina destroyed the original O’Keefe home, which had withstood Hurricane Camille. This new house has an elevation of 23 feet and a foundation of concrete and steel pilings.

Jeffrey O’Keefe said the land has been in the family for 58 years and his father loved that spot near the beach.

“There’s been a lot of memories made there for sure over the years,” he said.

Like the time the water was coming over Beach Boulevard toward the house during Camille and the family stayed, waiting for the Kentucky butter cake his sister Virginia had in the oven to finish baking.

“That particular cake would fall if disturbed,” he said.

It did kind of cave as the family evacuated to his grandmother’s house with the cake, O’Keefe said, but “it was still good.”

The house is for sale, but the memories stay with those who spent time at the O’Keefe home over the years. The home has hosted weddings, including one attended by celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, and provided family and friends with front-row seats to the Fourth of July fireworks, the Blessing of the Fleet and Christmas on the Water.

Cavanaugh said showings are by appointment only and can be made by calling Shannon White Cavanaugh Real Estate at 365-5626.