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Blanche D'Souza (nee Rocha) passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.
There will be a visitation on Friday, August 10 from 9:30-10:30 am at Owens Funeral Home, 101 N. Elm St, Champaign. A funeral Mass will follow at 11 am at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 1303 Lincolnshire Dr, Champaign. A private family burial will take place at Resurrection Mausoleum in Peoria.
Blanche was born in Karachi, Pakistan and spent her adult life in Nairobi, Kenya, where she was a teacher at St. Teresa's Boys School and then had a fulfilling career as a cataloger at the Nairobi office of the U.S. Library of Congress. Blanche had a keen interest in history and authored a book, "Harnessing the Trade Winds" (2008) about the influence of Indian migration on East Africa-trade, labor and cultural-set against Arab, British and Portuguese rivalries in the Indian Ocean. She was invited to travel from Kenya to speak on her book by The Admiralty Club in Mumbai and The Book Club in Goa, India.
She and her husband raised 11 children, who were all educated in universities in the United States. She emigrated to Illinois in 2013. She was preceded in death by her husband, John D'Souza; her parents, Cosmos and Mariquinha Rocha; her sisters, Sylvia D'Souza and Teresa D'Souza; and her son, Louis D'Souza.
She is survived by her children, Joseph D'Souza, Marie Weinstein (Michael), Judith Provencher, Jonquil Feldman (Marc), Jacqueline Scott (William), June D'Souza (Mark Meiresonne), Bruce D'Souza, Brett D'Souza (Barbara), Jocelyn D'Souza and Jeryl Fleming (Andrew); her sisters, Antoinette Lobo and Imelda Gonsalves; her brother, Sal Rocha (Effie); her 15 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the family for an education fund in Blanche's name; so they may continue to support the education of Mary Gira's children in Kenya, as Blanche did throughout her life.