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It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Barbara Alyce Hayward (nee Baysinger), a cherished wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and dear friend. Barbara departed peacefully on September 3, 2023, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Barbara was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1940, and grew up in Elmhurst with her sister Beverly, and two brothers Michael and Timothy. Her indomitable spirit drove her to pursue a nursing degree from Cook County Nursing School, graduating in 1965, embarking on a career in healthcare.
In 1963, Barbara's life took a momentous turn when she met the love of her life, Michael D. Hayward (Mike), during a blind date. Mike, a dental student at the University of Illinois, and Barbara secretly married in February 1964, as her nursing school prohibited marriages at that time. Consequently, they lived apart for 18 months. After Mike's graduation from dental school in 1965, he joined the U.S. Army as a dentist and was stationed in Bad Nauheim, Germany. Later that year, Barbara joined him in Germany, embarking on a thrilling adventure across Europe in their trusty VW "Bug". While in Germany, they explored the continent, learned to ski, and forged lifelong friendships.
Together, they nurtured a beautiful family. Christopher, their first child, was born in Germany, followed by Jennifer's arrival in Chicago after they moved back. For the majority of their almost 60-year marriage, they resided in Barrington, Illinois.
In the late 1970s, she returned to school at Northern Illinois University to complete her undergraduate degree. After which she embarked on a new chapter, managing a close friend's candy business.
Later in life Barbara made the decision to return to school to study law at John Marshall Law School, graduating in December 1991. She immediately started her law career as a Lake County Juvenile Public Defender, dedicating herself passionately to serving hundreds of children and families. Her commitment to this role endured for a remarkable 18-years until her well-deserved retirement.
Throughout their marriage, Barbara and Mike cultivated a vibrant social life, forming enduring friendships with people from all walks of life. Barbara's magnetic personality ensured a busy social calendar. Her friends describe her as kind, caring, compassionate, intelligent, warm-hearted, genuine, gentle, loving, thoughtful, patient, supportive, selfless, brilliant, dedicated, and a true friend with an infectious laugh and a warm smile.
Barbara encountered misfortune when her beloved son, Christopher, succumbed to brain cancer in January 2002. Just five months later, life came full circle with the arrival of her first grandson, Jack Christopher. Three years later, Caden joined the family, becoming another source of immeasurable joy. Barbara embraced her role as a grandmother with boundless love and enjoyed creating cherished memories with the boys, taking them to movies, plays, the zoo, the circus, their second home in Michigan and more.
In Barbara's life, we find inspiration in a long journey marked by unwavering independence, courage, and an unshakable devotion to God and family. She lived life on her own terms, and for that, we adored her.
Barbara is survived by her loving husband, Dr. Michael D. Hayward, and her devoted daughter, Jennifer Greco. She leaves behind two adoring grandchildren, Jack Greco and Caden Greco, her sister Beverly Pesacov (Lawrence Pesacov), niece Beth Avant (Christopher Beckwith), and Beth's children, Lucas and Zoe Avant, as well as nephew Lewis Pesacov (Elizabeth Pesacov) and his daughter, Althea.
Barbara is preceded in death by her son, Christopher, her mother, Alyce Baysinger, her son-in-law, Paul Greco, and her brothers, Michael and Timothy Baysinger. Barbara's absence leaves a profound void in the hearts of her family and friends.
A visitation to celebrate Barbara's life will take place on Friday, September 22 at Davenport Funeral Home, 941 S. Old Rand Road, Lake Zurich, IL 60047, from 4:00-7:00 pm. The church service will be held at Willow Creek Chapel in building B, 67 Algonquin Road, South Barrington, IL, on Saturday, September 23 at 10:00 am with a celebration of life reception in North Barrington immediately following (location to be announced).
In lieu of flowers, we kindly request considering a donation to the Alzheimer's Association of America. This organization provides vital support, services, and education to individuals, families, and caregivers affected by Alzheimer's disease and related dementias nationwide. Moreover, they fund research aimed at improved treatment and ultimately, a cure. Your contribution in Barbara's name would be a fitting tribute to her enduring spirit and love for her fellow human beings.
Alzheimer's Association, Greater Illinois Chapter
8430 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Ste 800, Chicago IL 60631