Cover photo for James "Jimmy" Souza's Obituary
James "Jimmy" Souza Profile Photo

James "Jimmy" Souza

d. November 23, 2019

New Bedford MA- James "Jimmy" Souza, age 84, of New Bedford MA passed away on Saturday November 23, 2019 at St. Luke’s Hospital with his loving family by his side. He was the son of the late Luis Severo Souza, and Mary Rodrigues Souza, both born in Santa Cruz, Madeira, and he was the beloved husband of Alba “Abbe” C. Souza of New Bedford, MA.

Jim was born and raised in New Bedford MA and after graduating from New Bedford High School in 1953; he enlisted in the United States Air Force and was stationed at the Mill Valley Air Force Station, near Mount Tamalpais, Marin County, California, during the Cold War era. His tour as an Air Force Radar Operator prompted him to pursue an education in Electrical Engineering. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the New Bedford Institute of Technology in 1961. After working a few years in the private sector, he began his long and distinguished career working for the Federal Government starting out in the Quality Analysis Division of the Naval Underwater Ordnance Station in June of 1963, where his work entailed analysis of torpedo defects.

In 1966, he was selected as a member of the EXTOR vehicle (externally stowed and launched Torpedo) project. The project utilized many advanced technologies for the time and a successful in-water-run of the EXTOR vehicle was accomplished in September 1971. Throughout the 1970’s Jim performed as a principle investigator for the Advanced Capability MK 48 Torpedo (ADCAP), and from 1979 through 1990, he served as the principle investigator for all peculiar support equipment (PSE) planned for the intermediate level maintenance of the Sea Lance Missile.

During the 1980’s Jim served as a project engineer/technologist supporting higher level Navy and Department of Defense initiatives. Some major accomplishments included participating in the development of a Diagnostic Inference Modeling Handbook for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense and the preparation of three major Integrated Diagnostic related proposals describing revolutionary concepts for developing Test Program Sets.

Jim received numerous citations and awards for his contributions over a 33-year period, including a “Rocket Scientist” award from the U.S. Navy presented to him in a lighthearted moment at his retirement ceremony in Newport, RI. at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

In retirement, Jim enjoyed spending time at home with his family, and with his dear friends at the Club Madeirense S.S. Sacramento, where he served as a proud and dedicated member for over 20 years. In 2015, he was bestowed the honor of Parade Marshal and he received the distinguished Founding Fathers Award and Man of the Year award in previous years. He was very proud of his Madeiran heritage. He loved playing golf especially with his “buddy” Joe Coutinho and participating in local area golf tournaments. He was a lifelong sports fan and always routed for his beloved Boston area sports teams. He enjoyed traveling to Madeira, Portugal with his friends and relished a special vacation in Madeira with his son John, in 2016.

He is survived by his wife Alba “Abbe” C. Souza of New Bedford, his beloved sons James A. Souza of South Dartmouth, Ma., and John D. Souza and his wife Mary-Beth Souza of Acushnet, MA., his beloved grandson Dylan J. Souza, and grandchildren Ariell M. Souza, Isabel J. Souza, and Isaiah J. Souza, and two beloved sisters Thelma “Dot” Labrecque of Acushnet, MA., and Gilda “Judy” Pietraszek of Camillus, NY, and many very special nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his brothers Charles W. Souza of New Bedford, Louis E. Souza of San Jose, CA. and John Souza of Watertown, CT.

Visiting hours honoring Jim will be held on Tuesday November 26, from 4pm-8pm at Perry Funeral Home 111 Dartmouth Street New Bedford, MA relatives and friends are invited to attend. Funeral Services will begin in the funeral home at 8:30 am followed by a religious service at Christian Fellowship Center 822 Church Street New Bedford MA at 10:30am on Wednesday November 27, 2019. A cremation burial will occur on a future date at Pine Grove Cemetery in New Bedford MA.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a tribute donation in Jimmy Souza’s memory to the Club Madeirense S.S. Sacramento Charitable Foundation, Inc. Scholarship Fund, 88 Tinkham Street, New Bedford Ma, 02746

The family extends their sincere appreciation to the nursing and hospice staff at St. Luke’s Hospital for the wonderful and dignified care they provided to Jim, and for their sincere comfort, they provided to Jim’s family.

Jim wanted to encourage his family and friends to ask their doctors to be proactive with endoscopy procedures particularly for those who have a documented history of GERD, Hiatal Hernia, and Barret’s Esophagus.

Arrangements are placed in the care of Perry Funeral Home 111 Dartmouth St. New Bedford, MA 02740. Please see our website: for condolences.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James "Jimmy" Souza, please visit our flower store.


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