Aloysius Rodrigo Hyginus DSouza passed away peacefully at the Dorothy Ley Hospice in Toronto, Canada, on Saturday, 19th May 2018, at the age of 102, surrounded by his loved ones and the compassionate staff and volunteers at the Hospice. Al or Papa Al as he was endearingly known by young and old, or Sunny, his childhood pet name, now joins his beloved wife Ruth of 71 years, but leaves behind their 4 daughters, Melba, Mildred, Muriel and MaryAnne, sons-in-law Philip Alphonso, Stan Fernandes, Carroll Rocha and Ronald Nigli, 10 grandchildren Caroline/Sean, Deanne/Anthony, Kimberley/Christopher, Sean, Rhea, Conan/Alzbeta, Kane, Darren, Ryan and Shania, and 6 great grandchildren, Brendan and Molly, Cameron and Julien, Vincent and Sebastian. Al was the youngest son of Alfred and Mergelina DSouza of Saligao, Goa, and the youngest of 8 siblings, all of whom have predeceased him. Of his generation, he is survived by Ruth’s sister, Sr. Gemma of Jharkhand, and her youngest brother, Raul/Marieta and children Tanya and Marisa Mendes of New Jersey, who have been a great source of comfort and strength to the DSouza family.
Al devoted his life to providing for his family. In Ruth, he found a perfect complement. She was gentle and lenient, he was the disciplinarian. He added levity to her earnestness. Having spent his life surrounded by five women, he mastered the art of imposing stricture when necessary, while also nurturing his daughters’ passions and interests. Al was known for his industriousness and diligence, as well as for his generosity and medical knowledge. He started as a salesman for Alembic Chemicals carrying a heavy briefcase of medicines. Often there would be a line outside our home waiting for samples of Alembic’s cough syrup, Glycodin Terp Vasaka. He helped many young men get treated and medically cleared for jobs at sea, and when illness struck, he used his connections to get appointments with renowned doctors and treatment at the best hospitals. Al worked his way up to be the company’s first Public Relations Manager, a position he commanded with pride and authority. He flourished when escorting high-level dignitaries, utilizing his effortless charm. After retirement, he and Ruth made many trips to North America before finally settling in Etobicoke, Canada in 1996.
Al’s creativity was limitless: he was a gifted storyteller, humorist, and mischief-maker. No family event was complete without a speech from the patriarch! He could often be found telling jokes at parties, much to Ruth’s dismay! He was resourceful and dexterous—always using materials on hand to make decorations, the star atop the Christmas tree, hats for the girls, or an art project for the grandchildren. Al uncovered the secret to a long and beautiful life. His exact recipe remains a mystery, but we know the rules he lived by – a rigid routine of daily Mass and Rosary, watching his favourite sports, game shows and BBC news, a drink of Scotch, and an everlasting devotion to his wife and family. Although Al batted with determination and dignity as long as his physical and mental strength permitted, and was bowled over with 102 runs, his memory and legacy will live in the hearts and homes of all those whose lives he touched.
The funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at 10:00 am at St. Ambrose Parish, 782 Browns Line, Etobicoke. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Dorothy Ley Hospice.