PORT ORFORD — The Women’s Guild of St. John Parish recently named Nancy O’Donnell as the Woman of the Year. She is the first member of the church to be honored with this title, which now will be given out annually.

When Nancy and her husband Bob retired to Port Orford several years ago, she started attending Mass at the parish. Soon, she began volunteering for “any and all jobs that she noticed needing doing or needed a helping hand,” guild leadership said.

Now, along with another parishioner, Carol Hart, she works in the church kitchen early every Sunday morning, preparing coffee and homemade goodies for the social gathering that follows the 8:30 a.m. service. After a year at the parish, she agreed to serve as co-chair of St. John’s active Outreach Committee, which involves answering the church cell phone at home and responding to requests for assistance.

Guild leadership also say O’Donnell is a one-woman “Sunshine Brigade,” sending out cheerful cards to church members who are sick or in need of words of encouragement.
“Nancy O'Donnell is always there for everyone, with a big heartfelt hug and her charming Irish smile,” said another parishioner, Sherry Johnson.