Women's Rights Fireside Chat Black and White TV Ground Zero New York Eisenhower Marines Washington Monument Closed Due To Economy Berlin Wall Recession Internet
Keefe 100 year Anniversary Logo

1913 - Think of the many ways that life today is so different from 100 years ago, technology, life styles, our modes of transportation and communication. Over the past century so many good and bad things have happened in our country and our own community.

One thing that existed then and now, is risk and the absolute need for a sound insurance program for when bad things happen in our lives. Over the last 100 years, Keefe Insurance has been there for our clients and our community when they need us the most.

So why not take advantage of the expertise and experience we have built over the past century, for all your insurance needs?

Keefe Insurance, here for you then, here for you now, and here for you in the future.

Read More

A Brief History of Keefe Insurance

KEEFE INSURANCE AGENCY, INC- AN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE For a small business to survive and thrive, in the same Town over the course of a century, requires a commitment by many people from various generations to be the very best they can be at their trade. In 2013, Keefe Insurance Agency, Inc. proudly celebrated our One Hundred Year Anniversary with a profound appreciation for those who came before and those who are here now for their hard work, professionalism and absolute commitment to customer service.

Back in 1913, Thomas F. Keefe, (1884-1968) the proprietor of the Keefe Funeral Home, located at 33 Cottage Street. (the current site of the Oteri Funeral Home) decided to augment his business by selling insurance. The Agency still has records dating back to 1919 of insuring a home for the vast sum of $400 for an annual premium of $5.48. For 33 years, Mr. Keefe gradually built the business until one of his sons, Edmund J. “Ned” Keefe (1918-1990) joined the agency in 1946.

Ned Keefe, a University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School graduate, was a highly decorated World War II veteran, having served under General George Patton’s 3rd Army Corps. Mr. Keefe had the vision and desire to expand and grow the agency and set about the task by moving the office to 5-9 East Street (the current site of H&R Block). For the next twenty years he continued to grow the size of the business and compete with the other bigger insurance agencies in town, which no longer exist today.

In 1966 Mr. Keefe purchased the property at 51 West Central St., tore down the home which stood there, and built the front portion of the office that exists today. He would subsequently add on to the building twice, in 1978 and 1983 to accommodate the need for more space. The 1978 addition featured the first commercial solar panel system in Franklin. As the building and business got bigger, so did the number of staff and the production operation.

In 1968, Mr. Keefe hired Henry M. Strok, his son-in-law and a claims representative for Aetna Casualty and Surety Co. for several years in Albany, N. Y. Hank was a graduate of Providence College and brought with him not only insurance claims experience, but also the skill set of having been a social worker. Both jobs provided a valuable background for a career as an insurance producer. He would later become Agency President in 1988. Henry retired on April 1, 2007 after a successful 39 year career.

Robert J. Rappa was the Town of Franklin’s Treasurer-Collector from the time shortly after his graduation from Clark University in 1957 until Mr. Keefe hired him in 1973. Bob, an FHS class of 1953 Alumnus was well known in the town and quickly learned the insurance business and promoted the growth of the agency through his numerous contacts. In 1988 Bob became the Treasurer of the Agency. After another successful career of 34 years, Bob retired on October 1, 2007.

As the Town of Franklin began to experience an unprecedented growth in population, Mr. Keefe saw the potential for more Agency expansion. In 1979 Ned hired Robert F. Keras, another Franklin native and 1974 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Bob was a school teacher and coach in the town of Ashland and Franklin and was also employed as a personal lines producer by Insurance Concepts of North Smithfield, RI. In 1988 Bob was designated Vice President of Keefe Insurance. He has been an active volunteer in many town organizations. Bob is the President of the Keefe Insurance Agency, Inc. and continues to service and produce Commercial and Personal Lines insurance for the agency.

Mr. Keefe’s final hire in 1984 was another life long resident of Franklin, Peter L. Brunelli. Peter, a 1976 graduate of Franklin High School and a 1980 graduate of Brown University, came to the agency with a vast insurance background having been employed as a claims specialist with Liberty Mutual Insurance and as a commercial insurance underwriter for New Hampshire Insurance Group. Both aspects of these positions were a perfect background for a career in the agency. Also very involved in the community, Peter has served in a leadership position in many local organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Charles River Bank and as a commissioner of the Franklin Housing Authority. He achieved the Certified Insurance Counselor designation in 1992. Peter is the Vice President and Treasurer of the Keefe Insurance Agency, Inc. and continues to service and produce Commercial and Personal insurance for the agency.

In 1988, Edmund J. Keefe sold the agency to Henry Strok, Bob Rappa and Bob Keras, who assumed the positions of President, Treasurer and Vice President respectively. Peter Brunelli became a full partner and owner in 1994. Unfortunately, Ned Keefe passed away on January 16, 1990, but his vision of growth and perpetuation of the agency continued. The Keefe Insurance Agency grew in great leaps and bounds in the 1990’s past the turn of the new century. The advent of computerization and the use of the Internet allowed the agency to provide faster and better service for our clients, and to better communicate with our insurance carriers.

Wanting to provide for all our client’s insurance needs, Keefe Insurance expanded its ability to provide financial services by partnering with Kevin L. Demeritt in 1990. Kevin established an in-house office to provide Life Insurance, Health Insurance, Disability and investment products for our customers. Upon Kevin’s retirement in 2009, his son Timothy, who had worked with Kevin for several years, took over that operation. Tim Demeritt, a 1996 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is now also a Commercial Insurance Producer, in addition to expanding upon the financial services and products afforded to all Keefe clients.

Our Commercial Insurance department welcomed the addition of Matthew R. Keras in 2007, who had previously worked in both the insurance claims and underwriting departments for Safety Insurance, and in the field of corporate public relations. Matt, a 2001 graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication graduate continues to meet the insurance needs of existing and new commercial clients. He is currently pursuing his Certified Insurance Counselor designation.

In 2013 the agency not only celebrated a birthday, but we expanded our family of clients, by acquiring the C.E. King Insurance Agency in Medway MA. The King Agency was founder in 1932 by Cecil E. King who was also a business friend of both Tom and Ned Keefe. His successor, Bruce Sooy likewise has been a good friend to all the Keefe team for many years, and upon his decision to retire, King Insurance became Keefe Insurance. The operation was moved to Franklin along with Karen Pratt, a long time King employee, who continues to be of service to her loyal clients.

As sole owners of Keefe Insurance since 2007, Bob Keras and Peter Brunelli, sole have dedicated themselves and their agency staff members to continue to expand the agency, while at the same time paying great attention to the individual needs of all our loyal clientele. We have been fortunate over these may years to have employees who are well versed and educated in the insurance field, and truly care for the people they deal with each day. Our current staff, much like their predecessors, have had long and valued relationships with the agency and our customers. As we begin our second century, we are proud of their years of dedicated service: Roberta Rochelau (34 yrs.) Pat Crehan (31 yrs.) Lisa Ross (29 yrs.) Liz Chadwick (17 yrs.) Leslie Joyce, (15 yrs.) Donna Lovenbury (14 yrs) Julie Hutchinson (10 yrs.) Lynne Abucevith (6 yrs.)

After looking back over the last one hundred years and how the Keefe Agency evolved from a small one man operation to the comprehensive and modern independent insurance agency of today, we realize that there is another very important aspect to our survival and success: OUR CUSTOMERS. The agency has been a member of the downtown Franklin community since there were horse and buggies tied up on Main St. and the trolley to Lake Pearl whizzed by at 5 mph. Although the world and our community have changed dramatically since 1913, our customers’ basic need to protect their homes, their businesses, their vehicles and their lives has not. Their insurance concerns are ours as well, and they will continue to be so.

Keefe Insurance Agency, Inc. Here for you then, here for you now, here for you in the future.

Show Less

Office Hours:

Monday thru Friday, 8:30 AM - 5 PM
Phone: 508-528-3310
Toll-free: 888-528-3310
Fax: 508-528-3887

We are located at:

51 West Central Street (Route 140)
Franklin, MA 02038