Today’s Obituaries: Shawn T. Cunningham, 59, of Haverhill

Shawn T. Cunningham.

Shawn T. Cunningham, 59, of Haverhill, died on Saturday, Aug. 5 at Anna Jacques Hospital in Newburyport, with his devoted wife Carla Vachowski at his side.

Shawn was born on Jan. 29, 1964 in Haverhill to Norman N. and Marion A. (Tobey) Cunningham. He was educated in Haverhill Public Schools and was a graduate of Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, class of 1982. Shawn was a man of many talents with a great sense of humor. He was a Red Sox and Patriots fan, and was very handy and mechanically inclined. A loving husband, son, brother and uncle, he loved fishing, cooking, hunting and spending time at the family cabin in Tuxbury Pond in Newton, N.H.

Shawn lost his struggle with an insidious disease that we are all too familiar with. At his side through the night and many hours was his wife Carla, who faithfully kept her vigil up until the last moment, holding his hand to the very end. Shawn managed to keep his good humor and gentle manner through it all touching the hearts of all the nurses, doctors and staff alike at his time under the hospital’s roof who did yeoman’s work in tending to him, even decorating his room and bringing flowers to his wedding, in his hospital room, the first wedding for his unit in staff memory.

Shawn is survived by his wife Carla Vachowski, of Haverhill. He is also survived by his sister Cynthia Leavitt and her fiancé Francis “Buddy” Gemelli, of Sanford, Maine, sister-in-law Susan Cunningham, of Derry, N.H., and brother-in-law John Bates, of Haverhill; He also leaves behind his nieces and nephews Rachel Cunningham, Erin Cunningham, Jill Shepherd, Jeffrey Shepherd, Lindsey, Bobby and Mitchell Leavitt, Matthew Shepherd and Brendan Bates. Shawn was predeceased by his brother Michael, of Derry, N.H., and his sister Norma Bates, of Haverhill. Shawn was predeceased by his parents Norman N. and Marion A. (Tobey) Cunningham.

Family and friends are respectfully invited to attend a Celebration of Life on Sunday, Aug. 27, from 2-6 p.m., at the Haverhill Lodge of Elks, 24 Summer St., Haverhill. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Anna Jacques Cancer Center, 1 Wallace Bashaw Junior Way, Newburyport, MA 01950. Arrangements are in the care of the Kevin B. Comeau Funeral Home 486 Main St., Haverhill.

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