When Jojo DeSouza’s husband, John, came home from work on July 25, she said she wasn’t feeling well. They had spent the previous week camping at the Bourne Scenic Park next to the Cape Cod Canal. All was well. But on that day, Jojo felt uneasy.
EMTs took her to Cape Cod Hospital, where initially she seemed stable. Later that night, however, she died suddenly, at 12:54 a.m. on July 26, 2022. The cause was an aortic aneurysm. She was 72.
The daughter of the late Mary M. Karlavich Goldbach and Franz F. Goldbach, JoAnn Goldbach Roza DeSouza was born on Feb. 18, 1950. She grew up in Stratford, Conn. and graduated from David Wooster High School in 1968.
Her family owned a cottage at Beach Point in North Truro where she spent many summers well into the 1970s. She and her father would walk the beaches in search of old bottles washed up on the shore. John said they put together quite a collection.
After high school, JoAnn attended college before taking a job in 1971 as a telecommunications supervisor with Verizon in Hyannis. In the late 1980s, she took a leave of absence to return to Connecticut to care for her aging parents, both of whom suffered with Alzheimer’s disease. She returned to her job in the early 1990s and accepted an early retirement package in 1996 after 25 years of service. She was 46 at the time.
A year after her retirement, on Oct. 26, 1997, JoAnn agreed to a blind dinner date in Centerville. Her date, John, said they hit it off immediately. By the end of 1997 they had moved in together; they were married on May 26, 2007.
JoAnn loved animals and rock music. She named an adopted cat Mick Jagger. Later, she deferred to John’s taste, and they named an adopted dog Stevie Nicks.
In retirement, JoAnn loved to camp. Because John was still working, they could not go very far, but their camping rig became more sophisticated over the years.
Even though camping had its challenges — on one trip a skunk sprayed the dog on Scusset Beach — JoAnn just loved it, and she was happy on her last trip to her favorite spot in Bourne.
She is survived by her husband, John P. DeSouza of Hyannis; her cat, Mick Jagger; her dog, Stevie Nicks; her niece, Lynn Michelle Shields, and great-niece, Lola Shields of Louisiana; her mother-in-law, Maria Moller of Hyannis; her sister-in-law, Lisa Atherholt, husband Phil, and daughter Cassandra of Billerica; and her brother-in-law Eric Moller of Worcester.
JoAnn was predeceased by her sister, Barbara Gentile Shields, of Gretna, La.
Her many friends, especially Mary Jane Yeomans of Harwich, Jim Salz of Limestone, Maine, Margaret McCarthy of Hyannis, and Hud Bynum and Michelle Szaro of Worcester, miss her deeply.
Some of her ashes have already been scattered at Beach Point in Truro. A celebration of her life and interment will be held on Sept. 17 at 2 p.m. at Oak Neck Cemetery in Hyannis.
Gifts in her memory may be made to MSPCA – Cape Cod Animal Care and Adoption Center, 1577 Falmouth Road, Centerville 02632.