Photo of Joan Weng DeSouza
Joan Amanda Weng DeSouza

Obituary of Joan Amanda Weng DeSouza

June 8, 2024

Joan Amanda Weng DeSouza, a beacon of love, creativity, and resilience, passed away on June 8, 2024, at the splendid age of 99.  She was born to Walter Weng and Lillian McIntosh, who made the courageous journey from St. Croix, Virgin Islands, in 1900 and 1902 (respectively) to start anew in America.  Walter and Lillian married in 1904 and resided with their family on one floor of an East New York brownstone.  Joan was born on February 24, 1925.  As the youngest of her 13 siblings, Joan was undoubtedly spoiled and learned to assert herself early, navigating a lively home life.

Joan loved her family dearly and struggled to call out favorites if ever pinned down.  One day, it was Walter, "the saint"; the next, Granville, " the disciplinarian”; the next day, Leroy, “the kind, loving jokester; and finally, Rex, who was closest to her age, “the fun-loving livewire."  She also shared a special bond with each of her three older sisters and loved them intensely!  She worshipped them, relied on them, and at the hint of any crossroad, Joan consulted them immediately, before and after she got married and had children.  The close-knit Weng family had pride, and Joan was no exception.  With a petite, 5’4” frame, thick and beautiful curly dark hair, and a bronze completion, she held her head high.

Joan attended grade school #202, Franklin K Lane High School, followed by a year or so of college. However, that all stopped, when she ran into a dapper gentleman seven years her senior one Sunday at church.  Rudolph DeSouza was a Trinidad native who was the country’s ping pong champion and an artist.  She was quickly smitten and married the love of her life in 1950. Together, they built a beautiful family in Queens, New York, with their three children, Michael, Jill, and Paula. Their life was filled with excitement and some escapades you couldn't make up!  I'm sure you all have heard the falling out of the car, drinking ink, home zoo, and the horse-shoe-crab stories.  Despite the chaos, their home was filled with a lot of love.  While Rudolph worked as an electrical engineer to support his family, Joan held down the fort and was a fierce protector of her children. She'd challenge teachers, parents, and whomever to protect her family from experiencing hurt.  After raising her children, Joan was an assistant teacher and secretary for the board of education, City of NY for nearly 11 years.

Joan was a true lover of the arts!  She had an impeccable sense of style and a wardrobe to match. She was a master of knitting & sewing.  If an outfit of her dreams could not be purchased, she would create it or call upon her niece Pat to help her get it done. She enjoyed pottery and was an avid reader.  She adored music, had a beautiful voice, and loved to sing.

Once Joan and Rudy became empty nesters, they retired to Ocala, FL, in 1990­­ to enjoy time with Joan’s brother Rex and his wife Rose; her dear friend Gladys and her husband Bernard; in-laws Frankie and Debbie Phillipson; and other relatives and friends. Joan and Rudy took their hobbies to a different level in Florida.  They were dedicated members of the Episcopal Church, and Joan was in the choir.  She honed in on her pottery skills, played mahjong weekly, and spent quality time with family and friends.  The couple resided in Ocala for 17 years before relocating to Atlanta in 2007 to be closer to their daughter, Jill.  The couple was married for 63 years until Rudy's passing in August 2013.

Joan’s strength was unmatched! She dealt with more than her share of health issues, battling a loss of self when she developed Vitiligo, which drastically altered her appearance, and then again when her eyesight and hearing significantly declined.  Despite these trials and tribulations, Joan’s spirit and strength were undiminished in her final years.  She was determined to live, purchasing novels in larger fonts, using a magnifying glass to finish a knitting project she had started, and the singing never stopped!

Joan spent the last 10 years of her life living in Assisted Living communities after her dementia progressed. Despite losing many memories, music always made her smile.  Jill knew just what tune to start singing that would immediately lift her spirits, and Joan would readily recall the lyrics and sing along. Despite her dementia, Joan would always perk up and smile whenever anyone would mention Michael’s name, and at the end of a visit with Paula, together they would recite the Lord’s Prayer, and she wouldn’t miss a word.

Joan’s sweet tooth was legendary!  She never met a dessert she didn’t like!  Until the end, she would sit with her legs crossed, enjoy a cup of tea with a cookie and ice cream, and chuckle if you complimented her appearance. Jill’s husband, Victor, always let her know how beautiful she looked, and Mom would laugh and say, “Who me? Oh, Victor!”

Joan’s life was a remarkable journey, and she leaves behind a legacy of joy, laughter, passion, and unforgettable moments. She is survived by her three children: Michael Brandon, Jill Allison (and spouse, Victor A. Williams), and Paula Alexis, along with her grandchildren Jenna Williams Smith (and spouse, William Smith) and Amanda Williams, and great-grandchild Liyana Rose Smith.

We’re here to celebrate Joan’s life, and as she would say, “Wow, isn’t that just fine!” We are forever grateful for her undying love and will miss her greatly!


Funeral Services


June 19, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Andrett Funeral Home

199 Bleecker St.

New York City, NY 10012

Get Directions

Funeral Mass

June 19, 2024

12:30 PM

Sanctuary of Saint George's Church

7 Rutherford Pl.

New York City, NY 10003

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Linden Hill Cemetery

323 Woodward Ave.

Ridgewood, NY 11385

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Mrs. D was a beautiful, funny, spirited, outgoing and loving woman who has blessed my family and me my entire life. She was my mother's best friend and her children, Michael, Jill and Paula reflected what an incredible mother she was. She will always be missed, but always in hearts. The memories will last forever. Heaven has another angel who has earned her wings and may she rest in peace.

Posted by: Alan Dummett - STONE MOUNTAIN, GA - Family Friend June 18, 2024