Cover photo for Lisa A. (Hayes)  Pozzi's Obituary
Lisa A. (Hayes)  Pozzi Profile Photo
1960 Lisa 2023

Lisa A. (Hayes) Pozzi

October 3, 1960 — October 11, 2023

Davenport, Barrington

It is with heavy, yet full hearts that we announce the passing of Lisa A. Pozzi at the age of 63, following a long and courageous battle with cancer. She was called to the Lord on the morning of October 11, 2023, and passed away peacefully surrounded by immense love from her family.

Lisa had the spirit of a warrior and was a beloved mother, daughter, wife, sister, friend, and educator. Through all the trials and tribulations of her journey, she remained a beacon of positivity, inspiration, and hope for those around her. Lisa lived each day to the fullest and spread joy and love wherever she went, lighting up the room with her sparkling smile and infectious energy. Her strength and resilience never wavered, even in the face of challenging circumstances, and she embodied what it means to live with compassion, grace, kindness, and bravery. Her legacy will live on forever in the thousands of lives she touched during her time in this world.

Born Lisa Anne Hayes on October 3, 1960, she was raised in Park Ridge, IL by loving parents Robert (Bob) and Elizabeth (Bess), along with her “Irish Twin” sister Diane. Her family instilled in her the importance of education and caring for others above herself, values she carried with her throughout her life. She blossomed into a kind-hearted and intelligent young woman; always radiating positivity and surrounding herself with groups of amazing friends who naturally gravitated toward her warm smile and affectionate personality. She loved going to school, dancing, roller skating, and spending time with her friends and sister. She was blessed to have some amazing teachers who influenced her passion for reading and writing, inspiring what would become her future career.

Lisa attended Maine South High School where she excelled both academically and outside of the classroom – as a dancer in Orchesis and Editor-in-Chief of her school yearbook, among other activities. She continued to develop her passion for reading and writing, ultimately deciding to pursue a degree in Jr. High Education at Illinois State University. She proudly graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1983, but most importantly, it was at ISU that she met the love of her life and future husband, Mike Pozzi.

Lisa’s exuberance and zeal for teaching was evident from the time she began her first job at St. Eugene school, followed by her time at Peacock Jr. High School, and throughout her tenure at School District 15, where she worked as both an Administrator and Reading Specialist. Her fun-loving nature, creativity, and patience allowed her to build connections with her students and empowered them to achieve their dreams. She served as a mentor to a multitude of teachers and other staff members. She put her full heart and effort into all of her pursuits and always went the extra mile to help her students and colleagues. Her love for literacy was pervasive throughout and became ingrained in future generations of voracious readers that she encouraged and inspired.

Aside from teaching, spending time with friends, and (later) biking, Lisa’s greatest sense of pride came from her family. She adored her husband Mike and built an amazing life together with their two sons, Jacob and Connor. Lisa was an affectionate and nurturing mother, who raised her boys to be empathetic, bright, and honorable young men. There wasn’t a life event, be it big or small, that Lisa wasn’t present for and didn’t significantly contribute to – sporting events, birthdays, graduations, religious celebrations, and countless others. She was also incredibly close with her extended family members and would go out of her way to shower them with care and love.

As Lisa moved through the various stages of her life, the outgoing, selfless, and adventurous sides of her personality always shined through. She traveled with both family and friends and was always eager to plan excursions and try new experiences. Her love language was socializing, and she was happiest when in the company of others – especially if helping a friend, family member, or even a complete stranger. During the summer months, Lisa began to spend more time on her bicycle, and eventually this hobby grew into one of her greatest passions in life. With Mike by her side, and often with her children and dear friends, she traversed the country’s best bike trails and took in its natural beauty. She enjoyed rewarding herself with a delicious meal after an exhausting ride and coined the term “a ride and a restaurant” – using this to lure apprehensive friends to take a ride with her. Lisa also blogged about her experiences on a dedicated Instagram page where she vividly recalled details of each trail and attached photos for an audience of friends & cycling enthusiasts.

In 2015, Lisa’s world was flipped upside down when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite this incomprehensible challenge, her warrior spirit and resiliency prevailed, allowing her to achieve her goal of “ringing the bell” upon completing her treatments and ultimately defeating that harrowing disease. Sadly, in 2019 she would be met with another life-altering affliction in the form of pancreatic cancer. Despite these arduous uphill battles, she never let her illnesses define her and lived her life to the absolute fullest in the face of unthinkable adversity. Those around her marveled at her strength and would not have known how sick her body was, as her sunny disposition and radiant smile never faltered throughout her journey.

In spite of her cancer progressing, her selfless love, zest for life, and faith in God never wavered. She especially held Our Lady of Guadalupe (whose shrine she visited in Mexico in 2018) close to her heart and prayed to her often. It was her faith that sustained her and enabled her to continue to embrace life. She could have easily retreated and decided to accept her fate and live out her remaining days in isolation. However, she relied on the power of prayer and spirituality to preserve the amazing life that she led every single day. In addition to battling cancer, Lisa became a Type 1 Diabetic overnight after complications from a surgical procedure. For most, this would have been quite the jarring experience, but Lisa rolled with the punches and took it in stride, relying on her friends and family for support and comforted by the fact that she could still eat all her favorite carbohydrates as long as she gave herself enough insulin.

Through all the ups and downs, Lisa was blessed to have an army of caring souls who cooked, prayed, socialized, and commemorated major milestones with her – such as finishing her last cycle of chemo and a final wave of radiation treatments. With the gift of additional time that she received after treatment, Lisa took full advantage – including one of her most challenging yet fulfilling years of teaching (remotely) during the pandemic, hosting “window-side chats” and garage visits with her friends, and attending the picturesque wedding of her nephew Michael to his beautiful bride Kerry.

Lisa always took each day as it came, and her indefatigable spirit never faltered. Even in moments when she was feeling her worst, she never missed an opportunity to forge new relationships with chemo nurses and doctors, teachers and faculty at Kimball Hill School, fellow cancer patients at Loyola, and many more – in addition to fostering her existing connections. Without fail, Lisa was also the first to lend an ear to anyone who needed her support, and would ask about your life and experiences above all else despite the ongoing struggles with her illness.

In between treatment cycles, Lisa spent treasured time with her loved ones, and participated in many outings and gatherings that she often organized and was always happy to be a part of. One of her most meaningful milestones was walking her son Jacob down the aisle at his wedding to his lovely bride Elizabeth in California in March 2023. Even when her body started to fail her and her physical activity became more restricted, she never became disillusioned and always greeted you with the same endearing smile, bubbly energy, and positive aura that surrounded her wherever she was. Her selfless nature also continued beyond her final moments in this world, as her wish was to donate her body to science.

Lisa will ultimately be remembered as a passionate, tenacious, and loving woman with a giant heart and tender spirit. She was a best friend and confidant, and so deeply cherished the many relationships that sustained her and lifted her up during her darkest moments. We will forever miss her glowing smile, irresistible laugh, warm hugs, and everlasting love for life. May she be at peace and watch over us as our guardian angel while reading and riding her bike as much as her heart desires.

Lisa wanted us to express her deepest thanks and appreciation to all the many friends, family members, colleagues, doctors, nurses, and all other wonderful souls she met on the journey that helped her along the way. We will never forget all you did for our family and are forever grateful. Please continue to care for others in need as you did for Lisa, in her memory.

A memorial visitation for Lisa will be held from 4pm until 8pm on Friday, October 27, 2023 at Davenport Family Funeral Home, 941 S. Old Rand Road, Lake Zurich, IL. A memorial mass will take place at 10:30am the following morning at Holy Family Catholic Church, 2515 W Palatine Rd, Inverness, IL.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Loyola Medicine c/o Office of Philanthropy, 2160 S. First Ave., Maywood, IL 60153; Pancreatic Cancer Action Network c/o National Office, 1500 Rosecrans Avenue Ste. 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266; and the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, 140 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607

The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

~ Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lisa A. (Hayes) Pozzi, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Visitation

Friday, October 27, 2023

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Mass

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Holy Family Catholic Church

2515 W Palatine Rd, Inverness, IL 60067

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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