Shawn Andre Cordwell, 53, of New Bedford and Oak Bluffs, died unexpectedly on Monday, April 18, 2022, at his Vineyard residence.
Shawn graduated from West Roxbury High School, and studied culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University. He later earned a merchant marine credential, and was employed as an able-bodied seaman for the Steamship Authority for seven years. Shawn was recently hired by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation as a foreman, and was ecstatic about this new phase of his life.
Shawn had a personality that was larger than life. He made everyone feel special and comfortable, and brightened every room he entered with his good humor and charm. He was kind, affectionate, well-mannered, and a gentleman. He loved people, and embraced everyone, regardless of who they were, with no regard to individual differences.
Shawn was a huggable teddy bear who wouldn’t hurt a fly, and was scared of everything. He was witty and creative, giving us funny nicknames on the spot. He was a lot of life, light, and fun.
We called Shawn “Big Sexy,” and he relished it! When he changed his lifestyle and started eating healthy, taking up hiking, and walking from the Inkwell to the second bridge, we started calling him “Medium Sexy” and “Sexy Light,” but he was really always big and sexy to us.
Shawn was a perfectionist and a fashionista who loved clothes and dressing up. He carefully coordinated his entire outfit. It didn’t matter if it was his Steamship neon green vest, Shawn found neon socks, sneakers, and sunglasses to match!
Shawn loved to cook, and was a talented chef, his specialty being anything he prepared on the charcoal barbeque grill. He loved to feed people. He was everyone’s favorite bartender when he was working at a party; he always added value to the team of staff because of the special way he treated people.
Shawn loved to party and dance the night away to old school R&B. He especially loved Mary J. Blige, Marvin Gaye, and Kool & the Gang. Shawn was also a movie buff, and would have his mom and others watch all sorts of movies that would make them ask him when it was going to start getting to the “good part.”
Shawn loved his mother, Carleen, to the moon and back! They had a very special bond that was unbreakable. Shawn was loyal, reliable, and consistently faithful to what he called his mother’s “99 missions.” He would often be told, “Shawn do this, do that, and go help so-and-so do the other.” Shawn never said no to his mom, and always responded to her requests for fear of what would happen should he fail in a mission. Shawn also loved hanging out with his family, friends, and his mother’s gang of friends, whom he adopted as “aunties.”
Born in Boston, Shawn was the son of R. Carleen Cordwell of New Bedford and Oak Bluffs, and Raymond Silva of Seekonk. He is survived by his parents; his godparents, Liz and Feliciano (“Butch”) Tavares; his children, Jenna Barboza, Jeremy Terrell, and Shawn A. Cordwell Jr.; two grandchildren, Taylor Terrell and Emery Terrell of Crown Point, Ind.; his brothers, Rajeen Ali, Daniel Silva, and the late Raymond Silva Jr.; his sisters, Shakirah Silva and Rayna Silva; his maternal aunts, Leslie Ferreira, Elaine Almeida, and Terry Marks; his niece, Jahyda Cardona; his nephews, Jonathan White and Cade Cordwell; many cousins; several extended aunties; and countless friends.
Visiting hours in the funeral home will be on Thursday, April 28, from 2 to 5 pm, with a service to begin at 3:45 pm. Private cremation will follow.
There will be a celebration of life on Friday, April 29, from 3 to 5 pm at the Portuguese-American Club, 137 Vineyard Ave., in Oak Bluffs.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Please write “Shawn Cordwell” on the memo line and mail to Memorial Giving, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Aubertine-Lopes Funeral Home, 129 Allen Street, New Bedford, MA, 02740. For online guestbook, please visit aubertinelopes.com.