"I wouldn't be the person I am without her," the former Girls Next Door star says of Mary O'Connor

By Tim Nudd
January 31, 2013 08:30 AM
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Inset: Elayne Lodge

A friend, a confidante, a shoulder to cry on. Someone who brought a welcome dose of levity when things got heavy.

Mary O’Connor was many things to Kendra Wilkinson.

Now, the former star of The Girls Next Door has written down her fond memories of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s longtime secretary – who died last weekend – in a heartfelt post on her website.

“I’m devastated to hear about the passing of Mary O’Connor,” she writes. “She was almost like a therapist because we could talk to her about anything. When I lived at the mansion I was very close with her. Over the years, she helped me through a lot and was always there for me.”

Wilkinson, 27, was particularly touched when O’Connor invited her along to her favorite place far from Los Angeles – Branson, Mo. “I felt so special that she invited me to her getaway with her and it was so nice to see where she went away to,” Wilkinson says.

PHOTOS: Mary O’Connor’s Life Inside the Playboy Mansion

One of Wilkinson’s favorite memories shows O’Connor’s fun-loving side. “She showed up at my bridal shower wearing a shower cap, while all of my friends were in risqué outfits,” Wilkinson recalls. “She also held my baby shower for [now 3-year-old son] Lil’ Hank which is something I will always be thankful for.”

Wilkinson adds: “She was a wonderful person and I wouldn’t be the person I am without her.”