Shannon Marie (O’Connor) Hayward, 41, of Salem died at home early Thursday morning, March 15, 2012, surrounded by her family, following an 18-month battle with cancer. She is the wife of Scott Hayward and mother of Ella Ryan Hayward and Madelyn Rhys Hayward.
Shannon was born in Lynn and raised in Peabody, the daughter of Patrick and Cynthia (Coletti) O’Connor. She attended Our Lady of Assumption Elementary School in Lynnfield, and graduated from Bishop Fenwick High School in 1988. A 1992 graduate of Providence College, with a master’s degree in business administration from UMass Amherst, Shannon was the Learning and Development Fellow at Waltham-based software company Brainshark.
Dedicated to her family, she was a loving wife who adored her children and was loved by all whose lives she touched. Shannon was a longtime cancer advocate prior to and throughout her illness, participating in charity walks as well as frequently donating blood to the American Red Cross while her health allowed. A generous philanthropist, she and her family participated over the years in local “elf” efforts to help needy families through the holiday season. Her ability to inspire others was boundless, full of love and dedication to make every endeavor the best it could be. Shannon felt there was no limits to what could be accomplished, and she made the most of every moment and day, always making someone’s day better. This passion and spirit were a constant inner voice for her husband, children and family. Her courage remains a beacon for all who knew her.
Shannon loved being with her husband, taking their children ice skating, sailing with her father, sunshine on the beach, and listening to music.
In addition to her husband, daughters and parents, she is survived by her brother, Patrick O’Connor and his wife Stephanie of Beverly; many nieces and nephews; and a large extended family.
ARRANGEMENTS: Visiting hours will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, 2012, at Murphy Funeral Home, 85 Federal St. (corner of North Street (one block west of the Salem Commuter Rail Station), Salem. Her funeral Mass will be said Wednesday, March 21, 2012, at 11 a.m. in the Immaculate Conception Church, 15 Hawthorne Blvd., Salem. Shannon will be laid to rest in Greenlawn Cemetery, Salem. Although Shannon loved flowers, her family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made in her name to Catholic Charities, 55 Lynn Shore Drive, Lynn, MA 01901; or to an education fund that will be established for her children. Her family also encourages you to consider donating blood to the American Red Cross in Shannon’s honor. For online guest book or additional information, please call 978-744-0497 or visit www.MurphyFuneralHome.com.