Cover photo for MaryAnn Hayward's Obituary
MaryAnn Hayward Profile Photo

MaryAnn Hayward

December 20, 1942 — October 21, 2022

Vicksburg

MaryAnn Hayward

MaryAnn (Linton) Hayward went to be with her Lord and Savior on October 21, 2022. She is survived by her steadfast husband of 54 years, Robert “Bob” Neil Hayward, a daughter, Darcy Ann (Stephen) Staley, a son, Trenton Robert (Cindy) Hayward, seven grandchildren, Darby Rae (Andy) Disselkoen, Emma Quinn Walhout, Alexander Peter (Sabrina) Walhout, Megan (Levi) Unema, Macy Kristina Hayward, Samuel Roman Staley, and Isaac Joseph Staley, and one great-grandson, Elias Drew Disselkoen. While she didn’t have any natural siblings, she considered her cousins, JoAnn Wells, Fran Bruni, and Pete Matz her much-loved sisters and brother. She is preceded by her father, Clayton "Whitey" Linton, and mother, Ann (Matz) Linton.

As a teacher in the Portage Public School System, she brought innovation and excitement to her classes, establishing the first computer curriculum after bringing home an Apple IIe and teaching herself with countless thick manuals. She wrote a successful grant to collaborate through a remote learning opportunity with a wildlife naturalist traveling through the Amazon to bring to life the peoples, culture, traditions, flora, and fauna of that land to her students. She loved her students almost as much as her own children; and her family recalls many occasions when traveling outside Michigan, hearing from a distance, “Mrs. Hayward!!” called out as a former student recognized her and wanted to catch up. She always had time.

A lifelong learner herself, MaryAnn enjoyed traveling and learning about the people, languages, cultures, and places she taught in school before and after retirement. She and Bob globetrotted back and forth to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, the Galapagos Islands, South America, throughout Central America and Canada, and criss-crossed the USA, from Hawaii to Alaska, Maine, and the Florida Keys, often covering the miles in their RVs in the company of their beloved Schnauzers, Fritz, Schatzy, and Teddy. Some of her favorite trips were special ones with each of their oldest grandchildren, where they made memories and had time to bond over shared experiences. MaryAnn and Bob made lifelong friends and spent time with extended family as they traveled. Sometimes, she would share her slides and later, her albums, in shows at the Vicksburg Community Center or at church.

A woman of faith, and a member of two congregations, MaryAnn was always ready to volunteer. She found inspiration singing with the choirs at Lakeland Reformed Church in Vicksburg, Michigan, and at Union Church in Avon Park, Florida. She was among the first groups of Lakeland’s Stephen Ministers, trained to provide support to those in need. She helped out with Vacation Bible Schools, nursery, creating slideshows, greeting, and even running the soundboard on recent occasions. She studied the Bible through Bible Study Fellowship and many classes and enjoyed her daily devotions. While she also enjoyed the Sunday message, her favorite part was probably seeing and catching up with all her friends in the narthex!

MaryAnn and her friends at the Vicksburg Library spent time Tuesdays sorting books and solving world problems, chatting the hours away to prepare for the annual fundraiser. She also loved getting together with family and former teachers and maintained those friendships despite years and distance. She also loved playing bridge and spending time with the amazing partners and friends she met over the years, planning reunions with her classmates, and hosting occasional get togethers for family and friends at home on Sunset Lake.

MaryAnn was extremely creative and explored foreign languages, art, and music, and enjoyed sharing her gift of language, writing poetry, letters, articles, and had even started a book about her family as she pursued an interesting hobby in genealogy. She was equally comfortable with pen and paper as with tiling the backsplash or wallpapering the walls of her house. She was regularly recognized with honors and awards, yet humbly treasured each acknowledgement.

She was always supportive of her children and grandchildren, traveling to home and away games, scorekeeping, and volunteering as a den mother for Cub Scouts and as a Girl Scout leader. Along the way, she acquired new “kids” in her children’s friends (and her friends’ children) and liked hearing about their families and activities on Facebook. She got a kick out of all the kids who called her “Mom”.

With all her activities and friendships, her heart was still set firmly in her family. She soaked in the happiness they shared and empathized with and supported them if they struggled. She would have taken their difficulties away if she could. She was an intelligent, gifted, confident, and capable woman, yet her rock was her husband, Bob. She relied on his steadfastness and love over the decades and looked forward to their trips and family celebrations together.

If we asked for parting words, she might remind us to “never stop learning, practice forgiveness, and treasure your relationships”. MaryAnn found value in people, in relationships. Her legacy of learning and teaching lives on. She was beloved.

In accordance with the family’s wishes cremation has taken place and a public time of visitation will be held at Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, 409 South Main Street, Vicksburg, MI 49097 on Sunday, November 13, from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held at Lakeland Reformed Church, 10442 S Sprinkle Rd, Vicksburg, MI 49097 on Monday, November 14, 2022, at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to South County Community Services. www.southcountycs.com/donate Envelopes are available at the funeral home.

While at www.amsfuneralhomes.com please take time to sign MaryAnn’s guestbook and/or share a memory with her family.

The Hayward family is being cared for by the Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes and Cremation Society, 409 South Main Street, Vicksburg, MI 49097. 269-649-1697.

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, November 13, 2022

5:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)

Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Home and Cremation Society, Vicksburg

409 South Main Street, Vicksburg, MI 49097

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Celebration of Life

Monday, November 14, 2022

11:00am - 12:00pm (Eastern time)

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