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Sylvia Mae Souza August 21, 1927 - July 6, 2022

August 21, 1927 – July 6, 2022

Sylvia Mae Souza was born August 21, 1927, to Augusto and Mary Fernandes in Denair, California.  She attended Denair elementary and high school.  Sylvia worked on her parent’s dairy farm before and after school until she married the love of her life, Ben, in November of 1943.  Together, they were part of the successful Souza Bros. in Stevinson, California.  In the early 1970’s Ben & Sylvia started a new venture and had great success with their own dairy.  Sylvia worked hard feeding calves and attending to the business’s financial matters.  Her excellent accounting skills and ability to make a dollar stretch were an integral part of the dairy’s success.  Sylvia was a wonderful mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and great great grandmother.  She was well-loved for her wonderful sense of humor.  Sylvia was a charter member of the Y.L. I., the Holy Rosary Catholic Church Alter Society, and the Cabrillo Club.   Sylvia served as a volunteer at Emmanuel Hospital for 25 years and was a lifetime member of the of the Holy Rosary/St. Mary’s Parish.  Ben & Sylvia retired in the late 70’s and traveled the United States with Four Seasons Motor Home Club and good friends.  Sylvia died peacefully at home with family nearby.

Sylvia is preceded in death by her husband of nearly 79 years Ben Souza, her father Augusto Fernandes, her mother Mary Fernandes, brother Albert Fernandes, and three sisters (infant) Mary Fernandes, Elsie Baptista, and Aldean Ballard. Sylvia is survived by her sister, Alice Baptista (Les), her three daughters Loretta Serpa (Dennis), Phyllis Cretsinger, and Sylvia Doris Souza (Carmen); six grandchildren Karyn Alamo (Tony), Dennis Serpa Jr. (Michele), Shaun Cretsinger (Betsy), Traci Thoming (David), Juliann Cretsinger (Pam), and Christine Serpa; her 11 great grandchildren Anthony Alamo, Nicole Vessel, Dennis Serpa III, Kristin Rollin, Justin Serpa , Jared Alamo Thies Thoming, Trista Thoming, Ty Thoming, Logan Neugebauer, Levi Neugebauer, Kai Cretsinger and Sophia Cretsinger; and finally, her four great-great grandchildren Theron Vessel, Emersyn Rollin, Noelle Vessel, Aubrey Alamo and one more coming in August.

Recitation of the Rosary and Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, July 21 at 10am at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 8471 Cypress St, Hilmar.  Entombment will follow at Turlock Memorial Park.

Memorial donations in Sylvia Souza’s name can be made to support cutaneous lymphoma research at Stanford University by giving via mail or online. Checks made out to “Stanford University” can be sent to Stanford University Development Services, P.O. Box 20466, Stanford, CA 94309-0466. Please include “In memory of Sylvia Souza for the Cutaneous Lymphoma Research Fund (HAFSE)” on the check. Or online at If you would like to post a message to your loved-one's family, please register/login here and post your message below.


  1. Darlene Espinola says

    Dear Ben and Sylvia’s Family,

    Your parents were the nicest people! It breaks my heart that all the wonderful people from the Four Seasons Travel Club have passed. They had the greatest time traveling together. My parents, Joe and Marie Espinola, had such wonderful memories from their travels together. They thought the world of your parents…so did I.

    Please know my thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this very sad time in your life.

  2. Steve and Ana Macias says

    Karen and Tony

    We’re so sorry for the loss of your grandmother. May God give comfort to the family in this difficult time.

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