MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A ceremony designating a section of Old Fort Parkway (Hwy. 96) in Rutherford County for Vietnam War Veteran William O'Kieff took place on Friday in Murfreesboro honoring the hometown hero. The action to name the highway after Technical Sergeant O'Kieff was at the request of Rutherford County lawmakers Senator Dawn White, Senator Shane Reeves, Representative Charlie Baum, Representative Bryan Terry, Representative Tim Rudd and Representative Mike Sparks.
O'Kieff died at age 38 in November 1970 when his plane crashed in Vietnam on what was scheduled to be his last flight. He joined the U.S. Air Force after graduating from Central High School in Murfreesboro where he played on the football team and was a member of the Glee Club. He was stationed at several bases across the U.S., Scotland, Japan and the Philippines, before serving in Vietnam, where he received numerous awards and commendations for his military service.
"Today we honored a hero with the naming of this section of Old Fort Parkway," said Senator White. "Sergeant O'Kieff's exemplary service is only surpassed by his love of family, his fellow airmen and country. This is a fitting tribute to his ultimate sacrifice for our community, state and nation."
The section of Old Fort Parkway named for O'Kieff begins at Thompson Lane and extends to New Salem Highway. O'Kieff was also memorialized by a proclamation from Lt. Governor Randy McNally and members of the Rutherford County legislative delegation.
O'Kieff was the son of Raymond and Myrtle O'Kieff and the brother of Cornelia "Jo" Johnson and Jane Arnold. He was married to Margaret Adair and is survived by his children, Alexander O'Kieff and Dawn O'Kieff, and a granddaughter, Aislin O'Kieff.