Who We Are



Dr. Megory Anderson – Founder and Executive Director
Megory Anderson founded the Sacred Dying Foundation in 1996. She is a theologian, educator, liturgist, and author of the books Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life and Attending the Dying. Megory has a rich personal history in religion and theology, formerly as an Anglican monastic in New York and then as a comparative religion scholar. She is well known internationally for her writings and extensive work in death and dying, especially at bedside vigil during the last hours. Megory is a vibrant presence as a speaker, celebrated for her ability to share her knowledge and skills: to connect with, educate, and train end-of-life caregivers and professionals from diverse medical, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Megory received her PhD in Theology from Canterbury Christ Church, Canterbury, England, with work titled “Listening to the Dying: Towards an Anglican Theological Comprehension via Convergence with the Death Awareness Movement”. She is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Winchester in the UK, where they offer an MA program in Death, Religion and Culture.

Chris Bennett – Program and Training Coordinator
Chris Bennett serves as coordinator of programs and training for the Sacred Dying Foundation. Chris brings more than 15 years experience in training, consulting and curriculum development to her work at Sacred Dying, and is the author of two published career books. She believes passionately in facilitating a change in our society’s approach to the end of life. Together with Mary Matthiesen, Chris developed the Sacred Dying Vigil Program training materials and process, which was piloted in 2004.


Marc Libarle, Esq. – Legal Counsel
Marc Libarle is Legal Counsel to the Foundation. His general law practice is in San Francisco. Marc is also a faculty member of New York University, where he specializes in Privacy Law and Intellectual Property.




Denise Etchart Cooper – Associate Director
Denise Etchart Cooper began her nonprofit career in 1989 with The Kevin Collins Foundation for Missing Children, serving first as Executive Director and later as a member of the board of directors. Denise consistently supports many nonprofit organizations, currently including Rocket Dog Rescue and Pacific Rowing Club. She has finished coursework at USF toward her Master of Nonprofit Administration and has worked with Sacred Dying Foundation since 2007.


Linda Giglio – Vigiling Associate
Linda Giglio has been a volunteer with hospice organizations for over fifteen years. Through her work with the dying on behalf of the Hospice of Napa Valley, Sacred Dying Foundation and Lake County Hospice, Linda has become well known in her small community as an indispensable resource who is frequently called upon when someone faces the end of life. Among other things, Linda is working with Megory Anderson to establish a Sacred Dying Center in Napa Valley. In addition to her work with the dying, she works with others to save the lives of fragile animals: she is a board member of We Care Animal Rescue, the only no-kill animal shelter in Napa Valley. Currently an on-line bookkeeper, Linda’s professional background includes a ten year stint as co-owner of the Catahoula Restaurant & Saloon in Calistoga, CA, law firm administrator, and dance school owner.


John Santoro — Photographer
John Santoro is responsible for most of the still shots on this website. His work speaks for itself: John Santoro Photogaphy .






Archbishop Desmond Tutu – Patron
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is an Anglican Archbishop and one of the world’s most visible human rights activists. He was recipient of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. He was the chairman of that country’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee. He continues today to speak out on many concerns of peace and justice, as well as issues of spiritual and social importance. Archbishop Tutu is Sacred Dying Foundation’s official Patron.



Tim Smith – Interim President of the Board of Directors

Tim Smith is a civil engineer with nearly twenty years experience working on non-profit boards. Most recently, Tim served on the Diocesan/Executive Council of the Episcopal Diocese of California. For almost half of his five years with the Council, Tim stepped up to Chair during a governance transition.




Tom Klein – President Emeritus of the Board of Directors
Tom Klein is Chairman and CEO of Rodney Strong Vineyards in Sonoma County, California, and a Trustee at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Tom served as Chairman of the board of directors of Sacred Dying Foundation for six years.



The Rt. Rev. C. Shannon Mallory, M.Div, STD, DD
Shannon Mallory is the retired Anglican Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real (California) and of the Anglican Diocese of Botswana (Central Africa). A bishop since the age of 35, he has an extensive history in church leadership and administration, and in numerous board memberships and task forces. His longtime interests and specializations have been in global affairs, and in multi cultural and multi religious practices. More recently he is developing and teaching on ministry to the dying.


The Rev. Dr. David C. Robinson, SJ
David Robinson has served as Associate Academic Dean and acting Dean of the College of Professional Studies at the University of San Francisco. He is the founder and director of the College’s Office of Educational Mission and Spirituality of Learning, as well as director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. He brings to the Foundation his expertise in integrative organizational planning and educational spirituality, as well as his standing in the religious and academic communities.


Mileva Saulo Lewis, EdD, RN
Mileva Saulo Lewis is Associate Professor and Managing Director of the San Mateo Learning Center, School of Nursing, Samuel Merritt University, and she is President of Saulo Associates. Mileva has an extensive history in nursing and education.






SDFDarleenDarleen Pryds, Ph.D.

Darleen Pryds, Ph.D., is trained as a historian and has a long-standing interest in spiritual practices surrounding dying and death. She is Associate Professor of Spirituality and History at the Franciscan School of Theology in Oceanside, CA. There she teaches a popular course entitled “The Spirituality of Dying and Death” and has a lecture series with the same title offered by Now You Know Media.  She served as a caregiver at San Francisco’s Zen Hospice Project for over 5 years and for two years on the training team for new volunteers. Currently, she serves at Elizabeth Hospice in                                                   San Diego County.


Megan YipMegan Yip, Esq.

Megan Yip started her legal career as a fellow with the Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging working with Legal Aid of Marin (California) to expand legal services provided to low-income older adults in Marin County. Her interest in helping Sacred Dying is in developing models to help families and communities plan and walk through the practical and legal details of death and dying.



Dr. Ronda Macchello

Dr. Ronda Macchello is Sacred Dying’s adjunct faculty medical advisor.





Marisa Nelson, Esq.

Marisa is the principal attorney at the Law Office of Marisa Catherine Nelson, Marisa Nelsona virtual law office. Her practice offers a personalized approach to estate planning (wills, trusts, health care directives, and powers of attorney), LGBT legal issues, and contracts drafting and review. She provides advice to the Foundation and the people it serves on the legal aspects of death and dying on an as-needed basis. You can find more information about Marisa, as well as information and resources on estate planning, at www.catherinelaw.net.



Lyn M. Fraser, M.F.A., D. Min.
Lyn currently serves as chaplain for the Hospice and Palliative Care Program at the V.A. Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colorado, and has also worked as a staff chaplain for Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado. She is the author of two books on the psalms: PRAYERS FROM THE DARKNESS, THE DIFFICULT PSALMS (Church Publishing) about the psalms of lament and pastoral care; and WATER FROM THE ROCK, FINDING GRACE IN TIME OF GRIEF (Paulist Press), a collection of open-ended reflections on the psalms for persons who are grieving. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from the University of the South and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Bennington College.


Steven Overman
Steven Overman designs and leads global marketing and brand communications programs that align the whole organization with its brand promise. Brands he has worked with include Nokia, Microsoft, IBM Global Services, Amgen, Mercer Delta Consulting, UPS and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. A founding partner of The Idea Factory, Steven co-created and facilitated cross-departmental strategic summits with executives and management at FedEx, Nissan, American Century Investments and Royal Dutch Shell. In 2001, he founded Brandism, an online community of strategy, communications, technology and design professionals. A business and design commentator, he has been quoted in Wired, New York Magazine, The Industry Standard, Business 2.0, and Fast Company, and he has presented at The Conference Board.



Aline O’Brien
Aline O’Brien, known as M. Macha NightMare, P&W, is an internationally published author, ritualist and interfaith activist. Co-author with Starhawk of The Pagan Book of Living and Dying, she currently serves on the Board of Cherry Hill Seminary, the first and only seminary serving the Neopagan community.




Ann Wright, LCSW
Ann Wright, LCSW, who is retired, was an honored clinical social worker, who worked in the field of AIDS/HIV from the early 1980s. She was on the staff of the Owen Clinic at the University of California Medical Center in San Diego, a clinic that exclusively treats AIDS patients, and also provides psychotherapy and supportive services to patients who are homebound. She was instrumental in her work helping the AIDS community and families deal with issues of the healthcare system and of death and dying.

RIP. Our long time friend and advisor died on November 21, 2013. Ann was a pioneer in care for the dying, especially during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. She was an extraordinary person and we will miss her presence among us. God be with you, Annie.




Steven F. Glotzbach – Science and Medicine Advisor
Steve died on March 28, 2007. We are forever grateful for his help and support. May he rest in peace.