Loretta Mary OConnor, 66, passed away at the Olathe Medical Center on January 9, 2021. Loretta was born on May 31, 1954, in Kansas City, MO to John Joseph and Loretta (Fetters) OConnor. She attended St. Peters Grade School, Loretto High School, Loretto Heights College and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Education from Avila College. Loretta taught school in Kansas City and Nevada, MO for 13 years.
Loretta was preceded in death by her parents, John and Loretta OConnor, her sisters, Kathleen Tangeman and Mary Ann OConnor, and her brothers, James Peter OConnor and John Joseph OConnor. She is survived by her sister, Julie Nelson (Robert), brothers, Pat OConnor and Bill OConnor (Elaine), and sister-in-law Marsha OConnor. Aunt "Loret" will be missed by her nieces and nephews: Anne Tangeman, Joe Nelson (Anne), Rob Nelson (Stephanie), Tricia Baska (Brad), Chris OConnor, Anna Wolf (Erik), Caitlin OConnor, Claire Battle (Scott), Jack OConnor (Katie). Loretta missed not being able to frequently visit her grandnieces and grandnephews: Connor Nelson, Janna Nelson, Mia Nelson, Ted Nelson, Will Baska, Stella Baska, Nora Battle, Molly Battle, John OConnor V, Noah Wolf, and Robert Joseph Wolf.
Loretta loved her family first and foremost. She would write poems, she called them Love Touches, to family members or friends on a birthday or other memorable occasion. Loretta would call you on your birthday and serenade you with "Happy Birthday to You!"
At the age of four Loretta developed Type 1 diabetes which over time took away her vision in one eye and then the other. She could no longer teach 1st and 2nd graders; the students and the job she loved. Loretta did not let her blindness define her. After she was unable to teach, she sought other ways to help people. She went to work for the Rehabilitation Services for the Blind (RSB). In this position she visited visually impaired clients and tried to help them qualify for state services. After she left RSB she continued to be active in the visually impaired community. She helped First Steps for the Blind, a non-profit that raised money for adaptive technologies for the visually impaired. She sought donations from Walmart, Target, and other companies for items for the annual fundraiser which provided a good deal of the groups yearly budget.
She lived at the Plaza Apartments for 14 years. As always, Loretta made lifelong friendships with her fellow residents. She was an unofficial social worker helping fill out forms, making phone calls, typing letters, dispensing food and advice. She often drafted her brothers for the physical work. There was no problem that she was afraid to tackle.
In 2014, after six months in Saint Lukes and Kendrid hospitals, Loretta moved into Villa Saint Francis, a skilled nursing facility. After living on her own, it was a tough adjustment. But she came to love the staff and fellow patients. She wrote: "God has been so very, very good to me and my best blessing ever is to land at Villa St. Francis! I thank each and every one of you for making the Villa such a fantastico place to reside."
Her family wishes to thank Sister Celine, Sister Anne, Sister C, Sister Maureen Kelly, Nurse Debbie, Care Attendants Sabrina and Angie, Drivers Cofi and Mike, Receptionist Debbie, Activities Director Verna and many others too numerous to mention. The family would appreciate donations to Villa Saint Francis in Lorettas name.
Cremation was completed and a funeral mass will be held at Saint Peters Catholic Church (6415 Holmes) at 10 a.m. on May 31, 2021.
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SERVICES Memorial Mass
Monday, May 31, 2021 10:00 AM
St. Peter's Catholic Church 701 E Meyer Blvd Kansas City, Missouri 64131