Manuel Sousa Luis, known to family and friends as Manuel Duarte, was born on August 22, 1941 in Cruzal, Topo, S. Jorge, Azores. It is with deep sadness that his family announces his passing on September 9, 2018 at his home in Hilmar. He was 77 years old.
He immigrated to California in 1966 after completing his military service. He lived and worked in Santa Rosa for several years before returning to S. Jorge to marry Bernardete Azevedo. They started their married life in Santa Rosa and Napa, where he worked in the agriculture and dairy industries.
In the early 1970’s, they moved to the Central Valley to be near their extended families and raise their two children. He worked in the Hilmar area before starting his own diary and farming operation in Hilmar in 1979. Manuel worked hard for many years to provide for his family. In later years, he and Bernardete enjoyed traveling with a group of close friends. Their adventures included cruises to Italy, Portugal, Alaska and the Caribbean.
Manuel was a quiet, generous man who consistently supported many worthy causes. He was also a gracious host who loved to be surrounded by family and friends. After his retirement in 2015, his home became a gathering place for frequent get-togethers of card games, food and good times. He loved nothing more than a spirited card game of “sueca” or “lerpa.”
He will be loving remembered by his wife of 50 years, Bernardete; their children, Duarte Luis and Elizabeth (Buddy) Cozzitorto; as well as two grandchildren, Nia Luis and Kade Luis, all of Hilmar. Manuel also leaves behind two sisters, Teresa Xavier of Hilmar and Mary Nunes of Gustine. He is survived by sisters-in-law, Angela Agueda of Turlock, Natalia Teixeira of S. Jorge, Maria Delores Azevedo of Stevinson and brother-in-law, João Azevedo of S. Jorge. He was predeceased by his parents, Conceição and António Luis; his sisters, Ermogenia (João) Armelin and Maria do Carmo (Jose) Teixeira; and his brother, Jose G. Luis. Manuel will be fondly remembered by his many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18, followed by the Recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m., at Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Rd., Turlock. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 19, at Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church, 2602 S. Walnut Rd., Turlock.
Remembrances in Manuel’s memory may be made to Valley Children’s Health Care Foundation at 9300 Valley Children’s Place PC17, Madera, CA 93636 or to New Bethany at 1441 Berkeley Dr., Los Banos, CA 93635.