Mary O’Connor, 86, died Sunday after working for more than 40 years as Hugh Hefner’s personal secretary.
Hefner announced the sad news on Twitter, saying: “Mary passed away today. We loved her more than words can say.”
And Hefner’s 26-year-old wife, Crystal Hefner, also shared the news:
Hef’s long time secretary & my dear friend Mary O’Connor has passed away. It’s a very sad day here at the Playboy Mansion. We love you Mary.
— Crystal Hefner (@CrystalHarris) January 28, 2013
Hefner had credited O’Connor with helping to reunite him with Crystal after the two broke off their engagement in June. Crystal married Hefner at a ceremony on New Year’s Eve.
Besides being secretary to Hefner, O’Connor was a regular on the Playboy Mansion reality television show The Girls Next Door.
An obituary posted on O’Connor’s Facebook page says she was “serving on a board for a hospitality magazine when a colleague invited her to look into the open position as manager of the Playboy Mansion.” At that time, the Playboy Mansion was in Chicago. O’Connor was hired and began working for Hefner in 1969.
The obituary also describes O’Connor as a woman who stayed out the the spotlight: “Camera shy, modest, her whole life was given over to serving her friends and colleagues to whom she was fiercely loyal.”