Life-long educator Maura Shaffer’s legacy of lifting others up to realize their full potential will live on far beyond her recent death. Maura passed away on July 22, 2021, after a courageous battle with mesothelioma, surrounded by loved ones who will continue to honor her legacy by giving of themselves to others and living their lives to the fullest.
Maura was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. She was the eldest daughter of John and Katherine Linehan of Watertown, MA. Maura leaves her husband, Edward, her son, John, daughter-in-law Jaime, and two grandchildren, Siena and Samuel. Maura was the dear sister of Karen Linehan of Paris, France, Shawn Linehan of Burlington, Julie Ridge of Providence, RI, and Mark Linehan of Wilmington.
Maura graduated magna cum laude from Fitchburg State University with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Elementary Education. She married Edward Shaffer of Syracuse NY following his graduation from West Point. As an Army spouse and educator, she touched the lives of countless students over the years while teaching in Germany, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and all across the USA. After many moves, Maura earned a Master of Education degree from Auburn University while Ed also pursued graduate studies. During Ed’s final active duty assignment as Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at West Point, Maura served as an Army Civilian Instructor at the West Point Center for Enhanced Performance, teaching study skills and speed reading. Upon moving back to Massachusetts, she taught special education in the Groton-Dunstable school district. In 2003, she became an Academic Counselor for International Students at Merrimack College. In every role, Maura held special affection for her students, and took great pride as they overcame academic challenges to blossom and succeed.
Maura especially enjoyed the company of family and friends, spending time in the kitchen cooking for her family and sharing with others, gardening at home and with her garden club friends, and water aerobics. She found special strength in her faith community, sustaining her throughout the many times her husband and son were away serving on active duty and civil service with the Army. Maura made everyone feel appreciated and always welcomed friends and strangers alike. Following her father’s mantra “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, Maura’s motto became “when life gives you lemons, make and share Nana’s Irish soda bread!”
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Blessed Trinity Parish worshipping at St. Catherine of Alexandria Church, 107 N. Main St, Westford, MA on Monday, August 2 at 10 a.m. Those who wish to attend remotely may do so via www.HarborView.Live at the time of the service. Interment at West Point, NY will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, (LaSaletteAttleboroShrine.org) or the Xaverian Brothers (XaverianBrothers.org).
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