SHANELL LEE WIITALA

November 14, 2022

SHANELL LEE WIITALA

Shanell Lee Wiitala – a lifelong resident of Woburn, died after a long, courageous battle with cancer, November 13th at the age of forty-four. Cherished mother of Shaylynn Wojcik of Woburn. Beloved daughter of Wayne and Sheila (McDonough) Wiitala of Woburn. Loving sister of Shawn L. Wiitala, his wife Monica of Tewksbury, Treasured aunt of Hunter, Emma, and Cameron. Also survived by many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Anthony Church, 851 Main Street, Woburn, on Saturday, Nov. 19th at 10 a.m. Interment will take place at the convenience of the family.  Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to calling hours, Friday, Nov. 18th from 4-7 p.m., in the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, MA 01801.

Shanell Lee Wiitala – a lifelong resident of Woburn, passed away on Sunday, November 13th after a long, courageous battle with cancer, at the age of forty-four.

Born in Malden and raised in Woburn, Shanell was the oldest of two children. Her parents were Wayne and Sheila (McDonough)Wiitala, of Woburn. She was a 1996 graduate of Woburn High School.

Shanell always loved working with children and had a way with them that endeared them to her.  She dedicated the greater part of her life to helping them learn and grow. She worked as an early childhood teacher for the YMCA in Woburn and for the past five years at World of Wonder Preschool.

Shanell loved life and seized every moment.  Most important to her, above all else, was her family.  Her daughter Shaylynn was her world, and she would do anything to protect and support her.  There was nothing more meaningful to her then being a mother.

Shanell was an avid traveler and enjoyed exploring New England.  She enjoyed all that New England had to offer, from mountains to the ocean.

 She also enjoyed visiting Foxwoods with her daughter and making memories with her with all the various entertainment it offered.

Shanell would never miss an opportunity to lend a helping hand to anyone in need, especially when it came to children. Her charitable nature led her to was always offer time or financial assistance when times were tough.  It did not go unrecognized by the many she helped. Her selflessness and caring nature was felt throughout the community as she touched so many lives.

In addition to her parents, Wayne and Sheila, Shanell is survived and will be deeply missed by her daughter, Shaylynn Wojcik of Woburn. She was the loving sister of Shawn L. Wiitala, his wife Monica of Tewksbury, and the treasured aunt of Hunter, Emma, and Cameron.  Shanell is also survived by many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. 

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Anthony Church, 851 Main Street, Woburn, on Saturday, Nov. 19th at 10 a.m. Interment will take place at the convenience of the family.  Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to calling hours, Friday, Nov. 18th from 4-7 p.m., in the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, MA 01801.

In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a Go Fund Me page to benefit Shanell’s daughter Shaylynn.  If you would like to make a donation, please visit https://gofund.me/177b09c8

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Anthony Church, 851 Main Street, Woburn, on Saturday, Nov. 19th at 10 a.m. Interment will take place at the convenience of the family.  Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to calling hours, Friday, Nov. 18th from 4-7 p.m., in the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, MA 01801.

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  1. Lisa and Emily Sullivan

    I knew Shanell through Shay. Shay had worked with us as a performer and Shanell was always so supportive. She helped out transporting performers to evens, and was with us at the Halloween Parade last year. She was always happy and kind, and grateful for you, Shay, and your many talents. If there is anything you need, Shay, please reach out to us. You continue to be in our prayers. Your mom will always be with you.

  2. Melissa & Jean Comeiro

    I have fond memories of babysitting Shanell & Shawn. My mom & I were so sorry to hear of her passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with her daughter and all of her family.

  3. Marybeth Connors

    Dear Shaylynn,
    When I think back to when you were in my Kindergarten class at the Wyman School I can still see your Mom’s beautiful face. You made her smile and dance every day! I will never forget watching her love you and she was always so proud that she was your Momma! You are her gift to the world. I am sorry for your loss. I will pray that God gives you extra strength. Sending my love to you and your family always.
    Mrs. Connors

  4. We lost a great one. I knew Shannell before I had kids but would meet her again when my kids started girscouts. She was always there volunteering her time with her wonderful daughter Shaylynn and it didn’t go unnoticed with me. Rest in peace and deepest condolences to all your family and friends

  5. Wayne & family,

    Out thoughts and prayers are with you all. The ones we love are never gone but live within our hearts. May you know peace and comfort.

    God bless,

    The Culhanes

  6. Sheila , Shawn, and family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Hold the memories of good times with Shanell close and let them bring you comfort in the difficult times.
    Carolyn (MacFarland) Cribbie

  7. Shanell Lee I will see you on the other side. God saw you in pain and he called you home to soon. I’ll miss you

  8. So sad to hear the news of Shanell’s passing. I worked with her when I was in high school and started my first job at the Y for 7 years. She always came in with a positive attitude and was the silly teacher that made all the kids laugh. Loved by so many parents and coworkers, she truly made an imapact in the Y community.My condolences to Shanell’s family and Shay. If there’s one thing to know about Shanell, it’s that Shaylin was her entire world and she loved her so much. I pray that you can find comfort during this difficult time.

  9. Shanell you were such a great and wonderful person. You made everybody laugh and you will be greatly missed❤️

  10. The light of Shanell’s courage manifested day after day through her mom’s grace here at The Bowman School. While I never met you, I admire you. May there be peace and comfort for you and the lives you’ve touched.

  11. Just as Shanell watched over so many,many children over the years, she will now watch over as an angel from above. A profound loss for an entire community and beyond. My condolences to Shanell’s daughter, parents, brother, niece, nephews and all other family and friends and coworkers as they deal with such a tremendous loss.

  12. I’m so saddened to hear that you’re gone! I have so many happy and funny memories with you, you were the sister I never had, wish I could’ve had one last conversation with you. You’ll Always be in my heart. Love you Shanell, you touched so many peoples hearts, you’ve done your job here on earth!

  13. I was so sad to hear the news of Shanell’s passing. She was such a caring and good person. Always a smile on her face. Such a loss to this world. I met Shanell in 2nd grade at the Wyman and kept in touch all through our years in school. Years later, when we sent our boys to the Y Daycare, I was so happy to see that smiling, caring face. It was nice to connect back w/her during that time. I always felt reassured dropping them off every day to Shanell’s care. I will miss knowing she’s in this world. Rest in peace. You will be missed.

  14. Im in shock! Just saddend to hear she has passed. I remember how much you ment to most people. Loving ❤ and such a caring person. I’m sad your life has been taking away way so soon. Rest in peace my friend❤. Until we meet again. Thank you for being a friend❤

  15. Shanell. A wonderful , fun, caring girl! A true classy girl. I will always remember you caring for Emma as the Y. Then later cheering Emma and Shay and Connor on at basketball. And years and years or raising our girls the best was we could. I’m sorry Shay. You had the best and we love and support you in this terrible loss! Proud of how hard you fought , how loving you were to all the kids and how you always made everyone feel loved. Rest is sweetest peace love ❤️🙏

  16. You were courageous and always in good spirits regardless of what was going on ! and we are so sad to hear about Shanell’s passing .rest in peace my friend ❤️My condolences go out to Shay and family .

  17. I am so devastated to hear this news. Shanell was such a bright light and a beautiful soul. I first met Shanell in our early days at the Wyman and I would love seeing her in our later years around the town. Heaven has gained another angel. Rest easy Shanell. My thoughts and condolences to her family.

  18. I am sorry to hear of the passing of Shanell. I worked with her at the Y, and she was the most caring and kind person I have ever met. She made her daughter Shaylynn her top priority. She will be missed. My prayers and thoughts go out to Shaylynn and her family. Shanell will be deeply missed!! RIP Shanell!!

    Lori Cullity and family

  19. I am so sad for Shanell having life cut so short. A beautiful person inside and out. Thinking of Shay and her family at this very difficult time. She fought so hard to keep going. The fighter still remains! You gave it your all!

  20. Shanell, even though I met you a few years ago it felt like a lifetime. Your were a great and beautiful person inside and out you will be missed ❤️

  21. Ed & Anne Marie Johnson

    We are heartbroken over the loss of Shanell. She was such a genuine, kind person who always had a smile on her face. The neighborhood won’t be the same without her. You are all in our thoughts.

  22. I am so very devastated to hear this news. Shanell was such a bright light and a beautiful soul who was always so sweet and upbeat. She will be sorely missed. All my love to her friends and family. RIP gorgeous, shine on.

  23. Jacy Lauren Calixto

    If there was ever an example of how unfair life is-Losing you would be It. Rest Easy my Friend. You will be Loved and Missed by me Always. I will be keeping Shay and all your Loved ones in my thoughts and prayers.
    ❤️♾️🙏

  24. Shanell, you were a bright star in my day. You were my rock at the Y, and I wouldn’t have survived without you. Your optimism was contagious to my constant pessimism. When I was overwhelmed and exhausted because I was by myself again, you switched places with me for the day without even thinking. We may have not seen each other every day anymore, but I always carried your kindness in my heart, and the world is a little bit darker without you.

  25. Shanell, you were a beautiful person inside and out and you will be missed so much.
    Rest high and easy beautiful

  26. Shanell was such a beautiful and positive light in this world and she will be greatly missed. My sincere condolences to her daughter and extended family.

  27. I am deeply saddened & shocked by Shanell’s passing. Shanell was one of my “Club Kids” when I worked at the Boys & Girls Club. Later she worked for the YMCA who were housed in my building at the old Trade Center Building and I used to see her every day when I worked for Cummings Properties. Deepest condolences to Shaylynn, Sheila, and the entire family. RIP Shannell …

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