BANGOR – James Christopher Souza, a champion of the underprivileged and advocate for abused children, passed away Wednesday surrounded by his family at a Bangor area nursing facility after a 11-year long battle with cancer. He was 68.

Souza, a native of Middleboro, Mass., settled in Maine and earned a masters degree in Education from the University of Maine before establishing himself as a therapist and grief counselor in the area. Souza touched countless lives with his seemingly limitless compassion and endurance and was honored for his achievements by the National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence.

James came to be defined by his tireless and incredibly strong fight against cancer. Diagnosed in 2003 with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Souza battled his way through chemotherapy, radiation, and two bone marrow transplants. His participation in clinical trials throughout his battle have helped further research in the medical field.

James loved his family, his Ford Mustang, the Boston Red Sox, and a drop of good Irish Whiskey.

He is survived by his wife, Kathleen Hanna Souza, his sister Ann Neville, of Hollywood, Fla., his sons, Jesse of Somerville, Mass., Gabriel of Portland, Maine, Jonathan of Troutdale, Oregon, and his daughters, Katherine of Lisbon Falls, Margaret of Orland, Maine, and Jennifer of Alexandria, Virigina. James is also survived by his six grandchildren – Damian Madore, 8, Malachi Madore, 6, Zachary Hanscom, 6, Clara Madore, 4, Eve Madore, 3 months, and Violet McMahon, 1.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11 AM Friday, August 29, 2014 at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, St. John’s Catholic Church, York St., Bangor. Family and friends may visit 9 AM to 10:30 AM on Friday prior to Mass at Kiley & Foley Funeral Service, 299 Union St., Bangor. Burial will be at Mt. Pleasant Catholic Cemetery, Bangor.