Mark P. Hayward Sr.

Mark P. Hayward Sr., 67, of Westmoreland died peacefully on Dec. 18, 2018, in the comforts his home after a nearly yearlong struggle with cancer.

Mark was the son of Don M. Hayward Sr. and Pat (Russell) Hayward. He grew up in Keene and was educated locally, graduating Keene High School in 1969. He married his high school sweetheart, Michelle (Marrotte) Hayward, the following year and soon started a family. In 1976 they purchased Happy Home Farm in Westmoreland to raise their family and bring the old farm back to life, which they did, growing a large garden, raising many animals, maintaining a sugar bush, doing the cord wood, haying, and renovating the house and both barns. He worked construction for a short time but soon began apprenticing and learning the craft of shoeing horses and eventually became a master farrier who specialized in harness race horses. He worked for years at such raceways as Hinsdale, Foxboro and Rockingham, and also worked at New Hampshire fairs such as Hopkinton and Rochester. When harness racing ended in the area, he worked at area horse farms. He was an expert on corrective horseshoeing, and his motto as a farrier was “no foot, no horse.”

After about 30 years he went back to construction as an independent contractor, M.P. Hayward General Contractor. He was a master craftsman who could fix and/or build just about anything he set his mind to, and he built both of his sons the houses of their dreams. After the many years of backbreaking work under horses he always felt that building was much easier work. While roofing a house on the hottest summer days he would say, “It doesn’t get any better than this!” or “This is just good, honest, work.” He had just recently retired and purchased an RV to finally relax and travel when he was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer last January.

He was a man who worked tirelessly to give his family everything, while never asking for anything in return. He was incredibly selfless, compassionate, kind and generous, and cared most about making the world a better place for those around him. He was a devoted husband to his wife who was the love of his life for over 50 years and he was a dedicated father and grandfather who loved his family dearly. He was a voracious reader and highly self educated after decades of reading history, philosophy and the biographies of the great lives. He cared about the things that directly impacted our lives such as politics/government and the health/welfare of humanity and our environment. For the past several years he worked to give back to his town after giving so much to his family. He led the building of the new shed at the recycling center, helped with renovations at the town hall, and donated time to helping with facility projects at Westmoreland School. He joined the Lion’s Club which he held various positions along with being the president over the past several years. While in the Lion’s Club he participated and led the annual town roadside clean up each spring, helped with the Keene Lion’s vision screening at the school, assisted with the food basket donations to families each holiday season, and many other projects.

He is survived by his wife, Michelle; and their two sons, Mark Jr. and his wife, Meloney, of Westmoreland and Jeremiah and his wife, Kathleen Dooher, of Waltham, Mass.; four grandchildren, Eleanor, Adelyne, Cal and Betty; his brother, David and his wife, Susan, of Keene. He is predeceased by his parents and older brother, Don M. Hayward Jr.

A memorial service will be held at the Historical Society of Cheshire County, 246 Main St., Keene on Thursday, Dec. 27, at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Home Healthcare Hospice, P.O. Box 564, Keene, NH 03431 or the Historical Society Cheshire County, P.O. Box 803, Keene, NH 03431.

Fletcher Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Keene is in charge of arrangements (www.FletcherFuneralHome.com).