Stonington - Manuel "Herby" R. Souza, 82, of Stonington, died unexpectedly on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012. He is survived by his loving wife of over 60 years, Grace V. (Soares) Souza.
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A lifetime resident of Stonington, Manuel was born on June 1, 1930, to the late Maria Cecelia and Joseph Souza. Although his passing came so suddenly, family and friends may take comfort in the full life Herby, lived.
Manuel's roots and heart were in farming. He worked as a herdsman for Manatuck Farm from the age of 14 until he was 22 and throughout his life also maintained his own little farm. Over the years Manuel raised cows, a horse, sheep, dogs, cats, and most recently his chickens, which gave him such joy late in life. He also owned three prized tractors, a Ferguson, a John Deere A, and a Farmall H.
Manuel started working in the maintenance department of Plax/Monsanto in 1954, where he remained for nearly 50 years, eventually taking over as caretaker of the property until it was converted into condominium homes. Manuel additionally worked part-time as a night custodian at West Broad Street School for more than 30 years.
A lifetime communicant of St. Mary Church, Manuel was also a member of the Knights of Columbus. In much younger years, he was active in sports teams such as his Herby's Hoopsters of the old Stonington Community Center. Manuel loved Boston Red Sox baseball, the New York Giants, and UConn basketball. He enjoyed camping at Cape Cod, agricultural fairs, and most of all, treasured his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, Manuel is survived by his sister, Beatrice Paterno of Westerly; his three sons, Richard M. Souza Sr. and wife, Susan, of Stonington, Robert A. Souza and wife, Renee, of Raleigh, N.C., and Barry J. Souza and wife, Lorri, of Bethlehem, N.H.; and four grandchildren, Nicole L. Souza and her partner, Jeffrey M. Medeiros, Richard M. Souza Jr. and wife, Ali, Allen R. Souza and wife, Samantha, and Ashley R. Souza. Manuel also leaves behind two great-grandchildren and one on the way, Ava Rose Souza Medeiros and Zoe Lynn Souza Medeiros, along with a baby-to-be for Richard and Ali Souza due in March 2013.
Manuel was predeceased by his grandson, Bryan J. Souza of North Carolina; three brothers and a sister, Joseph, Antone, Norbert, and Laurentina Souza of Stonington.
Calling hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Mystic Funeral Home, Route 1, Mystic. An additional calling hour will be held Friday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home followed by a Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Church, 95 Main St., Stonington. Burial will follow at Stonington Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Mary Church or Miriam Hospital 164 Summit Ave., Providence, RI 02906.
Please visit www.mysticfuneralhome.com to leave an online expression of sympathy.
Published in The Day on Nov. 6, 2012