New Bedford – Beverly A. (Almeida) Souza, age 78, of New Bedford, MA passed away on Monday, October 19, 2020 at St. Luke’s Hospital due to COVID-19, after a valiant 3-week battle against the virus. She was the beloved wife of Leonard M. Souza. They had been married for over 57 wonderful years.
Beverly was born, raised and lived her entire life in New Bedford, a city that she proudly served in many capacities over the years, including as the Mayoral Aide to the Honorable Brian J. Lawler during 1983-85. She was the daughter of the late Joseph J. Almeida, Jr. and Irene L. (Medeiros) Almeida. Beverly was a 1959 graduate of New Bedford High School.
Beverly is survived by her husband, Leonard; her 2 children, Randall Souza, Esq. and his wife Dr. Erin Hoye of Tiverton, RI, and Pamela Kelly and her husband James of Dartmouth; as well as her 10 beloved grandchildren: Luke, Seth, Evan, Drew, Will and Sarah Kelly; Ava and Riley Souza; and Colin and Fiona Hoye-Souza.
She is also survived by her brother and two sisters: Roger Almeida and his wife Lynette of Waltham; Pauline Macedo and her husband Edward of New Bedford; and Dr. Deborah Almeida of Westport.
Beverly was an extraordinarily strong, generous and selfless person. She tirelessly tended to the needs of generations of her family members. She was a caretaker to her father after he suffered a debilitating stroke, her elderly aunts, and her extended family. She forged deep and meaningful bonds with each of her 10 grandchildren, who range in age from 5 to 24. They all cherish the evenings they spent playing Scrabble and Bananagrams with her, while she stuffed them with sweets that she had baked herself, of course.
She was a talented cook, cake decorator and seamstress. Any stuffed animal who suffered an injury had to be taken to “Dr. Grandma” to be stitched up. She sewed her children’s Halloween costumes from scratch, hemmed all the school uniforms for her nieces, nephews and grandchildren, and even made and wore her own fashionable pillbox hats in the 60’s and 70’s. Until her recent illness, she remained very active in the Mt. Carmel Church Seniors Club and traveled all over the Northeast with her friends.
Before she even graduated from high school, Beverly began a 25-year career as a legal secretary for several prominent local attorneys. During her time at City Hall and thereafter, she was a New Bedford Park Commissioner, a Director of the Buttonwood Park Zoological Society and a member of the City Planning Board. She then transitioned to banking and became a Vice President of Human Resources at NBIS, until her retirement in 1994.
Most of all, Beverly enjoyed spending time at family gatherings, where she made sure to chat with every second cousin who might be there. Her world-famous potato salad and renowned sweetbread were in high demand at every family function. Her smile lit up a room and she always maintained a positive attitude, while comforting others. The most insidious feature of the virus that claimed her life is that her loved ones were unable to be with her and hold her hand in her time of need, as she had faithfully done for so many others.
Due to the pandemic, calling hours are respectfully omitted. Beverly’s Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 10:30 A.M. All attendees are kindly asked to meet directly at the church. Please note that masks, social distancing and occupancy restrictions will be observed at the church. No flowers are permitted. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Beverly’s memory to the Mt. Carmel Church Seniors Club, 230 Bonney St. New Bedford, MA 02744. Burial will be private. The family aspires to hold a celebration of Beverly’s life at a later date, when it is safe and appropriate to gather together again.
Arrangements are placed in the care of Perry Funeral Home 111 Dartmouth St. New Bedford, MA 02740. For online condolences go to: www.perryfuneral.com.