ONEONTA – Frederick J. “Gramps” Sousa Sr., 89. a decorated World War II veteran who received a Purple Heart but didn’t receive eight other commendations for seven decades after his records were destroyed in a fire, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, at the state Veteran’s Home in Oxford.
For many years, he was also president of the union at NYSEG, where he worked for 43 years.
Wounded in France during World War II, he received a Purple Heart. However, due a a fire that burned military records, Mr. Sousa did not receive eight other commendations for 71 years, until state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, intervened on his behalf.
On March 17, 2017, at the Oneonta Vets’ Club, Seward president him with the Medal For Merit, the Good Conduct Medal, European, African and Middle Eastern campaign medals, the Victory Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge Award, the Honorable Service lapel pin and the Bronze Star.
He was born on Feb. 5, 1926, the son of Eugene and Rafka Sousa.
He was a member of the United Methodist Church and Loyal Order of The Moose in Oneonta.
He loved vacationing at his cabin on Black Lake with his wife family and friends. He spent countless hours fishing and loved every minute of it. Fred took pride in his family and friends. He would do anything for them and will be sadly missed by all.
Fred is survived by his daughter Pamela (James); and his son Michael (Mary); 11 grandchildren ; and 22 great grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his wife Geraldine; son Frederick Jr.; daughter Debra Elwood and her husband Thomas.
A celebration of his life will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, at the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, 14 Grand St., Oneonta. Calling hours will take place from 10 am to noon, with a service following at noon with Rev. Mel Farmer officiating.
Burial will take place in Oneonta Plains Cemetery, Oneonta.
Online condolences to the family may be offered at www.grummonsfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.