Regina Marie O'Connor

1932 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Regina Marie O'Connor Obituary
Regina Marie O'Connor August 2, 1932 - November 10, 2012 Regina Marie was born on August 2, 1932, in Bakersfield, CA, as the only child to George and Annaglyn Haddican of Delano, CA. She was happily raised in Delano and attended Cecil Avenue Elementary School. Among her two best friends growing up were her cousins Diane and Patricia Haddican. They were quite the adventurous trio with Diane being blonde, Pat being a redhead, and Regina being the brunette. She maintained close friendships throughout her life with a group of six girlfriends from her kindergarten class, quite the testimony to her appreciation of friendship and loyalty. Regina graduated from Delano High School in 1950, being active in student-speaking and music activities. She soon began attending UC Berkeley, where she excelled and lived part of the time in Stern Hall, an all female residency hall on the UC Berkeley campus. One of many notable and fun events was attending a Halloween party and getting better acquainted with a young civil engineering student named Tom O'Connor, who was dressed as a pirate. In 1954 she graduated from Cal with her bachelor's degree in Education. She and Tom married on October 16, 1954, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Delano before a large group of family and friends. They moved to Bakersfield in 1961. She would later go on to acquire her teaching credential, followed by many years of fulfilling teaching, substitute teaching, and being a reading tutor for elementary school children. Regina's life was filled by her love of Jesus. She was among the most prayerful and thoughtful people anyone could hope to know. She lived to give to others and was almost always thinking of how to even slightly uplift the spirit or day of others. When once asked who she was, she defined herself as simply "A Child of God." In 1968 she was key in founding the Golden Fellowship program at St. Joseph's Church on Baker St., providing lunches and Christian fellowship to parish seniors. She taught 4th grade CCD classes at St. Lawrence School and at St. Joseph's. Among her most fulfilling times were later in life when she became a Eucharistic minister, passing out communion to the patients at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital. She and Tom, who celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary just last month, created a full life, including lots of fun experiences with longtime family and friends, playing dominos, square dancing, camping, raising their family, church activities, and building a business. They also had many special moments through the Marriage Encounter ministry and occasional trips to St. Anthony's Retreat. She discovered a knack in setting the most beautiful seasonal dinner tables when having family and friends over. She will also be remembered for her generosity, freely giving small gifts, notes, and gifts of learning and opportunities. She also had a love of birds and of all animals she encountered. She thoroughly enjoyed attending musical events and productions and rarely missed a performance of the Bakersfield Symphony. More recently, she always looked forward to a great workout with those in the Silver Sneakers exercise class. She and Tom delighted in traveling all over the world: Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, China, Denmark, and France were among the places they marveled at God's, and man's, creations. Most of these trips were organized and sponsored by the California Council of Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors. She was always up for a good engineering technical tour if a little shopping and a nice restaurant could be squeezed in, too. She was preceded in death by an infant son; her parents, George and Annaglyn Haddican; her mother-in-law, Agatha O'Connor; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Russ and Helen Ketchum. She so looked forward to one day having a joyous reunion with them in Heaven. She is survived by her loving husband, Thomas O'Connor; treasured son, Steven O'Connor; beloved daughter and best friend, Cathleen Terry; cherished grandson, Brandon Terry, as well as Mary and Doug White, Tim and Dorothy Rickey, and other extended family and friends. A person who was blessed to know Regina has been enriched by having her in their life. A memorial service will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 124 Columbus Street, at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, followed by a reception at Marie Callender's, 3801 California Avenue. For condolences please visit www.greenlawnmortuaryandcemetery.com. Greenlawn Mortuary www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Nov. 20, 2012
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