Ireland
Official Obituary of

Mary Anne Souza

March 13, 1943 ~ February 11, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old

Mary Anne Souza Obituary

Mary Anne Souza passed away peacefully, with family at her side and Elvis Presley singing in the background, on Feb. 11, 2024, after a long, happy and eventful life. She was born on March 13, 1943, to Anne and Jim Rowe in Kalispell. She grew up as the only child of parents who owned a busy restaurant/drive-in, as her twin sister had passed away at birth. She graduated from Flathead High in 1961 and started college the following fall at Western Montana College. After completing her freshman year, she followed her dream of moving to the big city of San Francisco, where she found employment at the brokerage firm of Sutro & Company. Shortly thereafter, she eventually met her future husband, Manuel P. “Mac” Souza, who lived in the same apartment building as her when she asked to borrow his record player. Mac and Mary Anne were married in November 1964 at the Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. After starting their family in the Bay Area, she and her husband moved to Billings in 1969.

During the 1970s, she and her husband were founding parishioners in the new St. Bernard Catholic Church. She was also active in local PTA and loved dressing up as the Halloween Witch for any number of school Halloween parties, complete with green makeup, witches’ brew and a broomstick. For many years, she taught health and aerobic dance classes for School District 2’s Night Owls program. Many of her students became her lifelong friends. It was hard to go anywhere in Billings without running into a former aerobics student. She later went back to school, as a busy mother of three, and graduated from Rocky Mountain College with a degree in Exercise Physiology in 1989 at the age of 46.

Later in life, she and her husband fully embraced their roles as grandparents. Whether they were playing the role of chauffeur, babysitter, sports cheer section or just grandkid-spoilers with fast food and ice cream treats, Grandma was half of the dynamic duo who doted on all of the Souza grandchildren. For their grandchildren who lived in Idaho, the annual sojourn to Billings to spend a week with Grandma and Grandpa became legendary (if not a bit disconcerting for their parents). Daily trips to the Yellowstone County Fair, unlimited quantities of Fair food, frequent concerts and driving Grandpa’s old VW bug in the back pasture were just a few of the things that created lasting memories. In her last few years, she became a Great-Grandma, and had the chance to start spoiling a new generation of little ones.

In between the fun with family, she and her husband took up Harley Davidson riding, including trips to Sturgis, as well as traveling all around the U.S. in their fifth wheel. She also enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ireland that she loved to talk about for many years afterward. Mary Anne was also one of Elvis Presley’s greatest fans. Elvis paraphernalia, Elvis clothing, and Elvis records were ever-present in her life. And the thing she loved best about streaming radio was the ability to play Elvis Presley stations at all times. She cherished her trips to Graceland with friends and family.

Mary Anne was blessed with the gift of gab and could carry any conversation. She could switch subjects with a stream-of-consciousness (and without missing a breath) as smoothly as her record player could switch from “Love Me Tender” to “Jailhouse Rock.” Mac often recalls she was “the life of the party” wherever she went. The world is a little bit more quiet without Mary Anne in it … and a little less colorful, too.

Mary Anne is survived by her husband of 59 years, Mac; her sons, Jim (Teri), Jeff (Kate) and Rod (Brittney); her grandchildren, Stephanie (James), Tyler (Emily), Elliana (Timmer), Claire, Gabi, Abrianna, A.J., Vincent; and her great-grandchildren, Thomas and Ada.

The family would like to thank the amazing and steady staff of Synergy HomeCare and St. John’s Hospice. Their support of Mary Anne, her husband and family were a true blessing during the past year.

A Vigil will be at 6 p.m. Monday, March 18, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. A Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March, 19, at St. Bernard’s Parish, 926 Wicks Lane, with reception to follow. Interment will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, at Mountview Cemetery, 1704 Central Ave.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mary Anne’s name may be made to Special Olympics Montana at www.somt.org.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Anne Souza, please visit our floral store.

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Services

Vigil Service
Monday
March 18, 2024

6:00 PM
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary
1001 Alderson Avenue
Billings, MT 59102
 

Video is available for this event



Funeral Mass
Tuesday
March 19, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Bernard's Parish
226 Wicks Lane
Billings, MT 59105

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