Cover photo for John  Bernardo  Souza's Obituary
John  Bernardo  Souza Profile Photo
1937 John 2022

John Bernardo Souza

June 16, 1937 — September 27, 2022

JOHN BERNARDO SOUZA, age 85, of St. Clair, Minnesota, died peacefully on Tuesday afternoon, September 27, 2022 at Oaklawn Rehabilitation Center in Mankato.

John was born on June 16, 1937, in Tiverton, Rhode Island to Joseph and Marie (Machado) Souza. He received his education at La Salle Academy in New Port, Rhode Island. On November 18, 1954, John enlisted into the United States Air Force, serving his country during the Vietnam War, and was honorably discharged on January 1, 1975. John was united in marriage to Marilyn Elsie Surprenant on January 27, 1957, in Ludlow Massachusetts. Together they raised three children moving frequently along the East coast with the Air Force.

After he retired from the military, John furthered his education at Arkansas State University where he received his associates degree. He then attended the University of Central Arkansas, receiving his bachelor’s degree in special education and speech pathology. Following his education, John began his second career in Teaching. While teaching at Lavaca Public Schools in Arkansas, he received his master’s degree in school administration and special education. He never went on to work in administration as his true passion was teaching his students. John retired from teaching in 1997 which gave him the time to start a group in his local church to help members of his community with home improvement projects. In 2004, John and Marilyn decided to travel the country in their 5th Wheel Camper. They spent 14 years traveling, visiting family and friends, and even taking their grandchildren with them over the summer.

John was a family orientated man who believed in helping others. He enjoyed traveling, reading and woodworking. He was proud to pass on his love for woodworking on to his grandchildren. John never hesitated to tell his family he loved them or how proud he was of them. He was a member of Christ Community Church in Waseca.

John is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Marilyn of St. Clair; children: Cheryl (Richard) O’Neal of Hamberg, AR, Dale (Diane) Souza of Scott, AR, and Kimberly (Ronald) Literovich of Mankato; grandchildren: Megan O’Neal and Caitlin (Steven) Martin, Matthew (April) Souza and Joshua White, Amy Westom and Samantha (Sean) Beveridge; great grandchildren: Grant Martin, Joley White, Magnolia Souza, Gambit Souza, Veronica Westom, and Maxwell Westom; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by his parents; five brothers; and six sisters.

A Celebration of John’s Life will be 11:00 AM on Monday, October 31, 2022 at Christ Community Church in Waseca with Pastor Rick Wulf, officiating. Interment will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Bernardo Souza, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, October 31, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Monday, October 31, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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Fort Snelling National Cemetery

Minneapolis, Minnesota, MN

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