O’Connor Mortuary Heart and Soul Award Winner

Happy New Year! We are proud to announce our Heart and Soul Award Winner for December 2011, Megan Wood of San Clemente.

A blackjack tournament is scheduled for Sunday and yoga practice begins Tuesday morning prior to a scenic trip to the beach. While this sounds like the event calendar for a five-star resort, these are just a few of the activities San Clemente’s Megan Wood is planning for a thriving community of active senior citizens.

Megan is the activities director for The Regency, a Laguna Woods-based senior living community offering both independent and assisted living options to a diverse community of residents. Her creative and enthusiastic approach to event planning has earned her the December 2011 O’Connor Mortuary Heart & Soul Award.

Created by O’Connor Mortuary, the Heart & Soul Awards program is designed to recognize Orange County citizens for their passion for life and their dedication to making a difference. Honorees are recognized for either a lifetime of endeavors or for a one-time inspirational achievement. One Orange County citizen is presented the award each month.

“Megan coordinates events for the seniors at The Regency, but she does so much more than that. She is a friend and confidant, ensuring residents enjoy every moment and lead thriving lives regardless of their age and varying degrees of independence,” said Neil O’Connor, president and CEO of O’Connor Mortuary. “Her ability and complete dedication to providing seniors with vibrant, fulfilling lives is what sets her apart and makes her a deserving recipient of the Heart & Soul Award.”

The extensive schedule of activities Wood creates and oversees includes everything from birthday parties and card games to Tai Chi, art classes and dances. Wood also takes individual requests into consideration and aims to offer something each day that piques the interest of each resident.

 “Megan is the hardest working, most self-sacrificing person I have ever met,” says The Regency’s marketing director, Dee Vallendorff. “She plans, coordinates and executes a very impressive schedule of events for our residents, and after working side-by-side with her for more than two years, I’ve honestly never been more impressed with anyone.”

As a winner of the Heart & Soul Award, O’Connor Mortuary will present Wood with an official plaque, and a donation will be made in her name to a charity of her choice.

Do you know someone who would make a great candidate for our Heart and Soul Award? If so, please let us know. Happy 2012!


Created by O’Connor Mortuary in 2010, the Heart & Soul Award honors Orange County individuals each month for their exemplary and inspiring roles within the community. In celebrating the human spirit, the award recognizes OC residents for pouring their heart and soul into making a difference, whether for a life filled with dedicated endeavors or for a one-time inspirational achievement.  One recipient is honored each month with an award plaque, a one-time donation to a local nonprofit organization in his/her name and recognition at a quarterly award reception. To nominate an outstanding Orange County citizen, email Patricia Kolstad at patricia@oconnormortuary.com.

Molly Keating
Molly Keating
Hello! I'm Molly and I run & manage the Blog here at O'Connor. I grew up in a mortuary with a mortician for a father who's deep respect for the profession inspired me to give working at a mortuary a try. Work at O'Connor has brought together two of my deep passions, writing & grief awareness. In 2016 I earned Certification in the field of Thanatology, the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement. I am honored to be able to speak on these taboo topics with knowledge, compassion, and a unique perspective. I want to sincerely thank you for following & reading the blog, I hope that this is a healing place for you.


  1. Kari Leslie says:

    I attended the Heart & Soul Awards dinner, and it was magical. Such a great opportunity for recognition to those folks who really go above and beyond for the service and care of others.
    Well done!!

    • neil.oconnor says:

      Kari – It was so great having you at the Heart & Soul Award dinner! I am glad you could be part of that special night.

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