Lillian May (Piva) Souza
Lillian May (Piva) Souza, of South Dartmouth, known to most as Lil or Lily, passed away peacefully at the New Bedford Jewish Convalescent Home, on Sunday, Oct. 11.
Born in 1926 to John and Mary (Medeiros) Piva, Lil was well-known around greater New Bedford as one of the Piva twins. Sadly, her identical twin sister, Geraldine Sullivan, predeceased Lil by 39 years.
Lil graduated from New Bedford High School and then joined the U.S. Army Cadet Nursing Corps alongside her sister Gerry. Studying at St. Luke’s School of Nursing, the twins made a large group of lifelong friends whose families grew up together. As a nursing student, Lil tended polio patients in iron lungs. As an RN, she worked in pediatrics and general nursing at St. Luke’s. She finished her career as the school nurse at Keith Junior High and for New Bedford’s summer migrant education program.
Wherever she went, Lil seemed to find people she knew, and she loved to connect with everyone, share stories, and laugh. A trip to Stop & Shop could take hours as Lil struck up conversations in every aisle. During retirement she worked at Moby Dick Marine Specialties and The Bedford Merchant, where she especially enjoyed chatting with customers.
She loved doing the daily crossword, watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, playing board games, sunbathing, and beachcombing. And she especially loved spending time with her large family and circle of friends.
Lil was predeceased by her husband Alfred, her twin Geraldine, her sisters Mamie Veiga and Jessie Piva, and her brothers John, Joseph, Albert, Walter, and Donald.
She is survived by her children Jane (and spouse Bill Hulstrunk), Pete (and spouse Patti Lease), and Amy (and spouse Dan Gordon), three grandchildren—Callie, Alexander, and Natasha—three great-grandchildren, and many, many nieces, nephews, and friends who loved her dearly, including her friend Jean Massa who was like an adopted daughter.
Lil’s family thanks the Jewish Convalescent Home staff for the wonderful care they provided Lillian while she was a resident there.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a service to celebrate Lil’s life will be delayed. Her family requests those who wish to honor Lil's life to consider making a donation to Dartmouth’s Lloyd Center for the Environment, New Bedford Jewish Convalescent Home or a charity of one's choice. Arrangements are in the care of the Waring Sullivan Home at Dartmouth, 230 Russells Mills Rd.
To leave a note of condolence, visit www.waring-sullivan.com.