Carolyn Morris O’Connor came to work with Cook & Wiley in 1989 after completing court reporting school. She had met the love of her life, Paul O’Connor, at James Madison University where they were both students. When Carolyn graduated from JMU, her father, the senior partner at a large and well-respected firm in Richmond, suggested she might consider court reporting as a career. Since Paul was moving to San Diego after they graduated in 1985, Carolyn enrolled at the Court Reporting Academy in San Diego to be near him. She completed her studies in 1988 and Carolyn and Paul moved to her native Richmond.
Although Virginia is not a state that requires certification, Carolyn attained her RPR and then went on to get her RMR and CRR certificates. She was the most requested reporter ever in the history of Cook & Wiley, and was much in demand for the most difficult cases. As one leading trial lawyer and friend wrote, “You really are at the top of your profession…I have dealt with tons of court reporters from many different companies…so I know firsthand that your 100 percent persistent diligence to be accurate and exemplary work product were truly unique.”
Yet it was her personality that truly distinguished her as everyone’s favorite. She was blessed with a great capacity to love, a generous spirit, a welcoming warmth and an unmatched sense of the ridiculous which endeared her to all she met. Along with all these wonderful qualities, she was also as cute as they come.
On January 17, 2011 we lost Carolyn after a six-year battle with cancer. She was 47. She left behind not only her parents, husband and countless friends, but two beautiful teenage daughters, Janie and Katie. Everyone who knew her grieved this incredible loss. This was certainly demonstrated by the service in celebration of her life on January 24. The church seats 800 and there was standing room only. As one of our colleagues said, it feels like there’s a hole in the universe. We are only consoled by the fact she let us live in her orbit for a short while. Carolyn is gone from our sight but will be forever missed.