About Us

Our Staff

We are united as a team in our Core Purpose: Healing Hearts, Inspiring Trust, and Comforting the Soul. We work here because of our deep desire to give each family an experience that uniquely helps them tell the story of their loved one.

Our Departments


Owners

  • Neil P. O'Connor

    Neil O'Connor

    Visionary | Gregarious | Progressive

    Neil O’Connor was born into a large Irish Catholic family in 1967 as the youngest of seven children. His parents, Jane and Joseph O’Connor had met through their families, both of which owned funeral homes. Jane's father, John Cox, owned a funeral home in Oakland, California, while Joseph's father, Joseph A. O'Connor, owned a funeral home in Los Angeles, California. John Cox and Joseph A. O'Connor were close friends, so close in fact that Joseph O’Connor was the best man at Johnny Cox’s wedding...

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  • Joseph G. Fitzgerald

    Joseph G. Fitzgerald, CFO

    Trustworthy | Playful | Reliable

    Joe Fitzgerald grew up in Joliet, Illinois, then moved to California in 1984 after graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Communications from Depauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. While at Depauw, Joe was a two-sport athlete, playing football and baseball. He started his business career in sales with the Gallo Wine Company in Los Angeles and in the commercial real estate business as a broker. In 1992, Joe joined O'Connor Mortuary after spending seven years in the commercial real estate business...

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  • Charles A. Ricciardi

    Charles A. Ricciardi, COO

    Calming | Encouraging | Big Heart

    Chuck Riccairdi was born and raised in Pacific Beach, a (used to be) small town near San Diego, California. He graduated from Mission Bay High School in 1983, where he played on the school baseball team. In addition to playing sports, Charles grew up as an avid woodworker, building cedar chests, tables, dressers, and a 14-foot boat among other projects, several of which won awards at the Del Mar Fair. His father instilled in him a strong work ethic, which was apparent in the series of jobs...

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  • Jeff E. Turner, CAO

    Mentor | Safe-Harbor | Dependable

    Jeff Turner was born in Garden Grove, California and raised in Westminster, California, with the exception of two years, 1964 to 1966, when his family lived in the village of Ollei in the Palau Islands. He graduated from Westminster High School in 1976, where he played the trombone in the jazz band, orchestra, symphonic band, and marching band, and was the drum major his senior year...

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Management Team

  • Joanna

    Dedicated | Leader | Adventurous

    Joanna started working in our Care Center in 2006. She now manages the Care Center and staff as well as serves in the role of General Manager. An absolutely critical part of our day-to-day, Joanna is a focused leader who always finds a way to say, “yes, we can do that.” Her attitude makes her approachable, trustworthy, and dependable...

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  • Amy

    Mom | Driven | Excellence

    Amy came to O’Connor in 2010 after working at several other mortuaries and has at last found where she belongs. Her incredible drive, clarity of mind and ability to multi-task make her the ideal manager of our Administrative Department. Amy oversees the filing of all Death Certificates and other important documentation with a precision and efficiency that ...

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  • Kegan

    Kegan

    Genuine | Connecting | Driven

    After graduating from Arizona State University, Kegan knew he would be pursuing a career in the healthcare field, but wasn’t sure what that would look like. End-of-life care had always been of interest to him, with a hospice clinician in the family, and when he saw the unique position we had available, he knew it would be fit. Kegan is usually the first person to answer our phone when it rings, he is a major part of our first impression and we have been blown away by the progressive thought, logic & connection he has brought to his position...

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Funeral Arrangers

  • Erica 

    Erica

    Inquisitive | Resourceful | Detailed

    Erica has been interested by the death-care profession since a young age. She responded to the call by enrolling in the Mortuary Science department at Cypress College and touring as many mortuaries as she could. Here’s what she said about meeting us for the first time, “I felt differently from the moment I was greeted at O’Connor. I felt such a sincere and welcoming attitude from everyone” – it was meant to be. Erica’s passion for embalming is fueled by her belief that when we care for the dead, we are also caring for the living....

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  • Terese

    Terese

    Social | Bright | Inquisitive

    Terese came to us as our Aflac Representative, and definitively not looking for a career change. But after spending time with our staff as our rep, she began to feel a pull not only into funeral service, but specifically to the team at O’Connor. In her own words, “I could tell there was a great team at O’Connor… people who really care about what they do and the families they serve“ ....

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  • Lauren

    Sweet Spirit | Compassionate | Detailed

    We had the pleasure of hiring Lauren in 2013 as a Service Assistant and quickly realized what a wonderful funeral arranger she would be. The youngest of our arranger team, Lauren’s compassion, drive for excellence and personable nature make her a perfect fit for her role...

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  • Stephanie

    Wise | Invested | Creative

    Stephanie had a successful career as a Product Marketing Manager in high tech and healthcare fields, but when her father died in 2010 she felt a dear calling to help people who were grieving. She has a tender spot for the life stories that she gets to hear as a funeral arranger. She says that so many of these stories “are an inspiration” to her and we love this about Stephanie, she takes the families she serves to heart...

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  • Christopher

    Father | Musician | Dedicated

    Since 2002, Chris has been an invaluable part of the O’Connor team. His wealth of knowledge, abundant experience, and endless positivity are qualities that he shares easily with his coworkers. Known to make breakfast on the weekends for our crew, Chris is always finding ways to bring energy and enthusiasm to the people around him. He is truly a joyful spirit that encourages and motivates...

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  • John

    Gentle | Humble | Strong

    John settled upon the funeral profession after a search for a place where he could make a meaningful difference and positively impact others. While many people would shy away from the difficulty of a position like this, John finds that there is even greater fulfillment for him when he is able to connect with people who are in true need. He is passionate about educating and guiding families through the unknown to a place of understanding and trust...

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  • Monique

    Vibrant | Compassionate | Inviting

    Monique has a passion for being with people in their hardest moments. Before she came to O’Connor, she was an on-call hospital chaplain who found purpose in comforting families by presenting options for them as they started their journey through grief and into healing. Monique has carried this purpose into her work here and loves having a deeply integrated role in shaping the ceremonies for the families she cares for...

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Service Staff

  • Christine

    Hospitable | Fun-Loving | Kind

    Christine has been an EMT, worked in Law Enforcement with the Orange County Sheriff Crime Lab coordinating examinations with the Coroners office all before deciding to go to school to become a licensed Embalmer. Her interests and abilities opened up many opportunities to her, but as she considered her personal experiences of loss, she realized the funeral profession felt like the right place. Having planned beautiful funerals for each of her parents, Christine is passionate about “paying it forward” to the families she serves...

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  • Mitch

    Musician | Mindful | Warm Hearted

    Mitch has been a Service Director at O’Connor Mortuary since 2010. He finds purpose in helping families through what he believes is often the biggest and most emotional event in their lives. Mitch strives to deliver flawless and thoughtful service to everyone he serves and is truly someone we are proud to have on our team...

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  • Paulette

    Paulette

    Generous | Thoughtful | Servant

    Paulette learned about our mortuary while serving as a Bereavement Minister at St. Edward’s Catholic Church. She found tremendous purpose in being present for people in their grief and recognized the importance that this comfort was. Of all the mortuaries she worked with, she found O’Connor to be the most impressive and found her way into a Service Director position. Paulette is known around the office for her baking, generosity and thoughtfulness. She never needs a reason to stop by with a pumpkin log or giant cookie cake to share with everyone...

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  • Sarah

    Sarah

    Down-to-Earth | Focused | Strong

    Sarah joined O’Connor in 2015 as a Part-Time Service Assistant with the desire to give whatever extra time she could to families in need. With a background in mortuary science, Sarah’s comfort, interest and passion are met when she can assist on a service, hand out a prayer card, and just BE present for our families...

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Administration

  • Seema

    Harmonious | Sympathetic | Ready to Help

    Seema came to O’Connor after 5 years of working as a hospice social worker. Her time spent with patients and families going through end-of-life situations brought her into contact with many local mortuaries and when she saw an opportunity to join the O’Connor team, she jumped at it. Joining our Clerical Administrative team in 2015, Seema loves getting to be, in her words, “an advocate for our families,” serving them with her attention to detail, efficiency and expertise ...

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  • Jennie

    Jennie

    Hospitable | Thoughtful | Peaceful

    Jennie is perhaps one of the most naturally gifted and beautifully qualified people to work in the funeral profession. For 10 years she worked in emergency room administration management and helped families through illness, injury, and sometimes death. Her professionalism, calming demeanor, and organizational strengths have added tremendously to the strength of our team...

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  • Andrea

    Andrea

    Cheerful | Poised | Radiant

    Andrea is one of the most driven, quick-to-learn, and positive people we have brought onto the team. Andrea felt drawn to the mortuary profession believing that “I would be learning so much about life, not just death” – a rather profound insight for our youngest staff member. Working in Administration is a grueling and deadline driven department but Andrea loves the quick pace and insists that it keeps her work steady and efficient ...

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  • Rosemary

    Rosemary

    Comprehensive | Efficient | Dependable

    In 2007 Rosemary joined the team in the unique & supporting role of Director’s Assistant. Her position requires a detailed, editorial focus as she oversees all obituaries and all of our printing. She ensures that our memorial folders and prayer cards are typo-free and customized to illustrate the story of your loved one. She loves how pictures truly tell a story and takes delight in restoring old photos to their original vibrancy ...

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  • Patricia

    Patricia

    Mom | Courageous | Compassionate

    Pat started working at O’Connor in 1993 doing administrative work before being given with the monumental task of pioneering our community outreach program. Over her 20 years at O’Connor Mortuary Pat has touched and connected with thousands of the professionals and volunteers in our community and shared valuable resources and educational programs with them ...


Care Center

  • Leah

    Leah

    Diligent | Focused | Compassionate

    After years of working in the restaurant industry, Leah made the brave decision to change up her life and made a rather unusual switch to the field and study of Mortuary Science. Leah received her degree from Cypress college in 2015, the same year she began her apprenticeship here at O’Connor as an embalmer working in our Care Center...

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  • Katie

    Katie

    Creative | Calm | Deliberate

    Katie found her way into the funeral profession when the time to plan her grandmother’s ceremony fell largely upon her. While this wasn’t the ideal way to discover her calling, it awakened her to the meaning and purpose that lies within caring for the dead and bereaved. Katie says that she treats everyone she cares for “like they are my Nana” – it’s her life commitment to give others a treasured experience, memory, and ceremony...

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  • Melissa

    Melissa

    Relatable | Contemplative | Cheerful

    Melissa’s first exposure to the funeral profession was through a close friend of hers whose family owned and operated the mortuary in their hometown of Camarillo. Melissa recalls the time spent in and around the funeral home as the time when her interest in death, both physically and spiritually began. When Melissa got to O’Connor, the family-owned atmosphere felt very personal and familiar to her. Melissa says it is “an unexplainable satisfaction to be able to cross paths with so many people dead or alive and be able to be a part of their story.” ...

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  • Angela

    Angela

    Reliable | Relaxed | Proactive

    Angela completed her degree in Mortuary Science at Cypress College in 2015 and began her apprenticeship with us the same year. Angela brings a calming but active presence to our team as she is eager to learn but careful to not rush the process. She has the dream of owning her own funeral home some day and thought O’Connor would be the perfect place to start...

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  • Bridget

    Bridget

    Bright | Committed | Reliable

    From an early age Bridget knew she wanted to carve a place for herself in the world of healthcare. With the goal of becoming an RN she started out as a Certified Nurse Assistant in several different hospitals. Her position gave her exposure to death, and surprisingly, clarified for her that her interests in caring for people lay on the other side of life. Bridget started at the Cypress College Mortuary Science program in 2015 and graduated in 2016 with the degree and training to serve families in a way that she is passionate about...

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Community Development

  • Becky

    Becky

    Creative | Pioneer | Joyful

    Becky signed on as the Director of Community Development in 2013 with a determined passion to bring education, encouragement, and validation to the professional and volunteer communities we interact with. Becky believes that “Education is our most powerful tool in our efforts to help the community learn more about how to cope with death and the journey of grief after loss.” Through our quarterly workshops, seminars ...

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  • Molly

    Molly

    Passionate | Enthusiastic | Progressive

    Molly joined the O’Connor team in 2009 as a weekend receptionist without plans of a mortuary career. In a short time, she discovered a deep passion for grieving people and was able to use her background in English Literature to begin the O’Connor Mortuary Blog. In 2015 Molly received her Certification in Thanatology (CT) ...

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Advance Planning

  • Luis Garcia

    Luis

    Believer | Patriot | Sportsman

    Luis came to O’Connor with 15 years of insurance experience and a desire to care for and assist the families in his community. Pre-planning quickly became a new passion for Luis who find great purpose in helping families plan ahead for the most difficult days in a person’s life: dealing with the loss of a loved one. In his time at O’Connor, Luis has helped hundreds of families create memorable and meaningful funeral ceremonies tailored ...

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  • Angel

    Angel

    Charitable | Trustworthy | Detail-Oriented

    Angel loves people, plain and simple. Her deep drive to be with, learn from, and serve people makes her a wonderful Advance Planner. Joining the team in 2015, Angel made a splash as our first Korean speaking employee and has been invaluable to us and the Korean community. When Angel was 27 she lost her 51 year old mother to stomach cancer. Her experience showed her the importance of preparing and pre-planning...

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