We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Merced Location
Benjamin Francis Souza July 31, 1936-July 18, 2022
Benjamin F. Souza, 85, passed away Monday, July 18 at his residence.
Ben was born in Modesto, CA and lived in the Salida area until 1974. He grew up on the family dairy/farm with his brothers (3) and sisters (2) that their parents, Antonio and Josephine, started in 1928. Ben would eventually run the farm with his brothers, John and Jim. He went to Hart Elementary and Modesto High Schools. He met and married the love of his life, Marilyn, in 1958 and soon after started a family of six children.
The family was then welcomed by local farmers to the EL Nido area, where Ben bought 240 acres to start a new farm. He grew everything from watermelons, cotton, corn, alfalfa, sugar beets, etc. and ended with almonds. Ben started dairying again in 1986.
In 1993, Ben would find a hobby in antique tractor pulling that lasted 29 years. This hobby turned into a family interest and hobby that included; sons, grandsons, sons-in-law and so many friends he made along the way. Another beloved hobby of his was boating on the Delta. Ben was a strong man of Faith. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends and never met a stranger. Most every morning, for many years, he had a 50-cent cup of coffee with his farming friends down at the EL Nido bar.
Ben is preceded in death by his parents, Antonio and Josephine Souza, brothers Ed Souza, John Souza and wife Mary Lee, Jim Souza and Darlene Wilson, sisters Mary Pedro and husband Manuel, Lucille Farinha and husband Frank.
He is survived by wife Marilyn Souza, children Julie Douglas and husband Steve, Tony Souza, Marty Souza and wife Kathy, Laurie Carmo and husband Rick, Shelley Silva and husband Darren, AnnaMarie Peck and husband Shane, along with many grandkids, great grandkids, cousins, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on August 4, 2022 at the OLM Catholic Church, 459 W. 21st St., Merced. Viewing will start at 9:00am, Mass at 10:00am. Burial will be following at the Merced Cemetery, 1300 B St., Merced. Reception to follow at The Italo-American Lodge, 1351 W. 18th St. Merced.