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Mercedes G. (Gonsalves)'s Story

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Mrs. Mercedes G. (Gonsalves) DeSouza, 87, of Boxford, beloved wife of the late Manuel J. DeSouza Sr., died February 7, 2017, unexpectedly at Beverly Hospital.
Born in New Bedford, she was the daughter of the late Francisco and Miguelina (Dias-Veiga) Gonsalves. She was raised and educated in New Bedford and was a graduate of New Bedford High School, Class of 1946.
Mrs. DeSouza had been employed as a baker with the Masconomet School Department for 27 years until the time of her retirement. In retirement, she worked as a receptionist at Boxford Town Hall.
An active, dedicated communicant of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Topsfield, Mercedes was an almost daily communicant of the church and her faith in God was a guiding light and principle in her life. She also spent time volunteering in the Boxford Elementary Schools and with the Boxford Council on Aging. She enjoyed spending time with family, traveling, attending knitting group and yoga.
A woman of great inner-strength, kindness and love, Mercedes raised a large family supporting her husband all the while living in eight houses and four states with six children in tow. She was a great role model for her children, living alone the last 22 years without her beloved husband. Her independence and strength was a beacon for her family. She led by example and always took the day on with a smile on her face. She was accepting of all, willing to help those in need and loved unconditionally. Her imprint is found through four generations of DeSouza's, in their strength, kindness, and especially their smiles. She will be deeply missed.
Mercedes is survived by her children, Anne M. DeSouza-Ward and her husband, James of Melrose, Laura J. Seraichick and her husband, Stephen of Keene, N.H., Susan C. DeSouza and her husband, James M. Shannon of Bridgeport, Conn., Manuel J. DeSouza Jr. and his wife, Susan E. of Boxford, Elizabeth Gemme and her husband, Robert of Mansfield, and Madeline DeSouza of Newton; her 14 grandchildren; her five great-grandchildren; her brother, Alfred Gonsalves of Acushnet; and many nieces, nephews and extended family and friends. She was the sister of the late Antone Gonsalves.
Her funeral will be held from the Peterson-O’Donnell Funeral Home, 167 Maple St. (Route 62), Danvers, Saturday, Feb. 11, at 9 a.m., followed by her funeral Mass in St. Rose of Lima Church, Park Street, Topsfield, at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends invited. Burial in Pine Grove Cemetery, Topsfield. Visiting hours Friday, Feb. 10, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Mercedes memory to the St. Vincent De Paul Society, c/o St. Rose of Lima Parish, 17 Prospect St., Topsfield, MA 01983. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.
Published on  February 9, 2017
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