Music 04

Shirley B. Hayward

September 21, 1925 ~ December 30, 2018 (age 93)


Shirley B. Hayward, 93, of Oberlin passed away Sunday, December 30, 2018 at Kendal at Oberlin. 

She was born September 21, 1925 in Detroit, Michigan to the late Alfred and Myrtle (Davies) Bobier. 

In 1947, while a student at Oberlin College, Shirley married Robert James Rodger, who died in 1948 while they were expecting their first child, Robert Jr.  After the birth of her son, she returned to Oberlin College and graduated with a double major in harp and piano. 

In 1950, she married William Donald Hayward and in 1954 they moved to Ewing, New Jersey where she was a homemaker and taught piano.  Shirley was active in the Covenant Presbyterian Church and sang in the choir.  While serving as the president of the Parkway Elementary School PTA, she fought for and obtained funding to bring instrumental music into the Ewing elementary schools. 

Shirley worked as a learning disabilities specialist for the Ewing Board of Education and in 1969 she earned an M.A. in Special Education from Trenton State Teachers College. 

Husband Bill’s job change in 1972 took them to Foster City, California where she worked with troubled teenagers in the San Mateo school system. 

Shirley and Bill moved to Kendal at Oberlin in 1996 where she served on numerous committees and did volunteer work for Hospice and the AIDS Drop In Center.  She was a skilled and talented piano player and shared her gift by frequently playing piano for nursing home residents.  She was a member of First Church in Oberlin and in her spare time she enjoyed sewing, gardening and spending time with her family. 

She is survived by her sons, Robert Rodger Hayward (Jennifer) of Waterville, Ohio, Jeffrey William Hayward (Robin) of Hyannis, Massachusetts, and daughter, Elizabeth Joyce Catherman (James) of Pleasant Hill, California; five grandchildren, two great- grandchildren, and her sister, Joyce Jewell. 

She was predeceased by her husbands, Robert Rodger and William Hayward. 

At the family’s request, cremation will take place.  Burial will follow in Westwood Cemetery at a later date. 

Online condolences may be made to 

To send flowers to Shirley's family, please visit our floral section.


Private Committal

Westwood Cemetery
455 Morgan St.
Oberlin, Ohio 44074

© 2019 Cowling Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS