Rockport - Lydia (Silva) Souza, 91, of Rockport, passed away peacefully with her loving family by her side on Monday, June 4, at Beverly Hospital. Lydia and her twin sister Irene were born on October 10, 1926, in Fall River, Mass., to the late Arthur and Irene (Redondo) Silva, immigrants from Sao Miguel, Azores. She was brought up and educated in Fall River where she met her husband, Albert Souza. They married on October 11, 1947. In 1955, Al and Lydia moved to Woonsocket, R.I., where they lived and worked most of their lives. They raised their two children and made their dearest lifelong friends there.
Lydia took great pride in her home, family, and her work. She was a very social and fun-loving person, and nothing gave her more pleasure than to party plan, cook, and entertain family and friends.
Lydia enjoyed a 25-year career as Legal Aide and Secretary for the City of Woonsocket, R.I. Law Department. She absolutely loved the challenge and the responsibility of her work. In addition, she always made time to be an active participant in her community. Over the years she volunteered and held numerous membership and board positions for various organizations in Woonsocket. These included the Arc of Northern Rhode Island, the City of Woonsocket Charter Revision Commission, the Visiting Nurses Association, the Quota Club, and the Woonsocket Tenants Board of Affairs. She also took great interest in local and national politics, and worked at the polls for all elections.
In their retirement, both she and her husband dedicated much of their free time to volunteering for the Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre in Woonsocket, R.I. Lydia served as Head Usher, held a position on the Board of Directors, and was the Volunteer Coordinator at the Stadium for 15 years. She was proud of the beautifully restored historic theater and the way in which the organization revitalized the community through live cultural performances.
She lost her husband of 50 years in 1998, but remained in Rhode Island until 2010. Despite being reluctant to leave her friends and the familiarity of her daily life behind, she ultimately made the move to Rockport to be closer to her family. Upon her arrival, Lydia quickly assimilated and became an active participant and volunteer at the Rockport Senior Center. She loved the social and educational activities that were offered and made some wonderful friends there. In 2016, she was elected to serve on the Board of Rockport Council on Aging, on which she served until her death.
Although she enjoyed community service throughout her life, she was devoted to immediate and extended family more than anything. She set an amazing example of love, generosity, work ethic, strength, and fierce independence. She left an indelible mark on most, but especially on her daughters and beloved granddaughter.
In addition to her husband, Lydia was predeceased by her siblings, Manuel Silva, Arthur Silva, and Agnes Teixeira.
She is survived by her daughter Carol Souza of Rockport; daughter Elaine Souza of Rockport; son-in-law Charles Gladstone of Rockport; granddaughter Lucy Gladstone of Boston; twin sister Irene Pavao of Fall River; sister Artemisia Anderson of Fall River; and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass for Lydia will be celebrated at St. Joachim Church, 56 Broadway, Rockport, MA, on Saturday, July 14, at 12 p.m. A private burial will take place in Fall River at a later date. Donations may be made in Lydia’s memory to Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre, 28 Monument Square, Woonsocket, RI 02895. For online condolences and register book, please visit www.pikenewhall.com.
The Pike-Newhall Funeral Home, 61 Middle St., Gloucester, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Published on  July 9, 2018