The family of Colonel George Souza II, USAF (Retired), with the deepest sorrow and regret, announces his passing on the 27th of February 2020, surrounded by loved ones at his home in Alexandria, Virginia after his determined struggle against a tireless foe, cancer.
George was born to George and Margaret Souza, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, in August 1941. A graduate of Providence College, RI, he joined the US Air Force in 1962, where he proudly served our nation, its people, and our allies with distinction for over 30 years. During his many years of service from which he was honourably discharged, he accumulated numerous honours, including the Republic of Vietnam campaign medal, small arms expert marksmanship ribbon, Air Force Longevity Service Award ribbon with one silver and one bronze oak leaf cluster, Air Force Overseas Long Tour ribbon with one bronze oak leaf cluster, Air Force Overseas Short Tour ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 bronze star devices, National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star device, Air Force Organizational Excellence award with one bronze oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor device and two bronze oak leaf clusters, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Legion of Merit, and the Defense Superior Service Medal. He served the US defense intelligence community in numerous capacities, from Vietnam, to Germany during the height of the Cold War, as executive to the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency through the collapse of the Soviet Union. He retired as chief of the Air Force Plans, Doctrine and Applications, Assistant Chief of Staff Intelligence, HQ USAF, after the First Gulf War.
George's lifetime of service to our nation often left him separated from what he viewed as his greatest honour and the love of his life, Marisa. He met his wife of 54 years while serving at Aviano Air Force Base, Italy. After a whirlwind 21 (non-contiguous) days of dating, they wed in Cape Town, Republic of South Africa. While present for the birth of their first son in the paradise of Hawaii in their first year of marriage, his career found him locked in a Philadelphia jail cell during the birth of his second son the next year, courtesy of a training exercise demonstrating some of the risks inherent in his chosen profession. Things had settled down by the arrival of their third child, who introduced a new level of tumultuousness in what would become George’s permanent home in Alexandria, VA.
Upon George's retirement from active duty, he dedicated his time to volunteer work as part of the Inova Mount Vernon Hospital Auxiliary, with Good Shepherd Housing providing emergency housing for the needy, and as president of the Defense Intelligence Alumni Association. He also kept busy enjoying D.C. United, recreational shooting, golf, running (having completed both the Army 10 Miler and Marine Corps Marathons) and, most important to him, his family. He joins his beloved sister, Sr. Mary Margaret Souza, his parents George and Margaret, and a coterie of friends and family welcoming him to what comes next. He is survived and dearly missed by his wife Marisa, his three sons Paul, Peter, and Chris, their wives Lisa, Carol, and Tammy, and his six grand-children Autumn, Kaitlynn, Marcello, Matthew, Isabella, and William.
George will find his rest at Arlington National Cemetery in a ceremony appropriate to his over 30 years of service in the US Air Force, to our nation and its people, at a date to be determined. Rest well, Dad, your watch is at its end. May you find peace and comfort as you fly west into the sunset.
Liturgical service for Colonel George Souza II will be taking place at 10:30 am, Wednesday, the 11th of March, at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 8710 Mount Vernon Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22309. A reception will follow on the premises.
An informal memorial of remembrance and sharing of stories will take place at a date closer to George's interment as arrangements are finalized and a date and time for the interment is provided by Arlington National Cemetery. Please feel free to contact the family to register your interest in attending so that appropriate preparations may be made.