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Santos, Alexandre G., May 28, 2021 at age 84.

Devoted husband for over 60 years of Stela Santos (Azvedo).  Loving father of Francisco Santos, Miguel Santos and his wife Ava, Stela Tucker, Alexandra Santos and the late Luis Santos.  Cherished grandfather of Stephanie Esteves, Helio Neto, Alexandre Santos, Stela Santos, Emory Santos and Leila Santos.  Adored great-grandfather of Sydney Esteves.  Beloved brother of Isabel, Anita, Antonio, Francisco, Luisa and the late Rui.  Also survived by many nieces, nephews, and other loving relatives and friends. 

Funeral mass at St. Anthony’s Church, 400 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue, in Cambridge on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 10:00 am. 

Internment will follow at the Riverside Cemetery in Saugus.

Massachusetts Covid – 19 guidelines ask that anyone NOT VACCINATED please wear a mask while in the church and at the cemetery.

 

 

Alexandre Santos

30 October1936 – 28 May 2021  

I met Alexandre Santos in Maputo, Mozambique in 1977. We have been friends for more than four decades. Over those decades he remained a striking man who carried himself with confidence and grace. The same was true of his wife of 63 years, Stela Azevedo Santos. Stela is a beautiful woman, and when she and Alexandre danced at parties they captured everyone’s eye.  They were the handsome couple who always looked decades younger than their age. They were

literally inseparable. Their marriage was blessed with 6 children, and nothing meant more to Alexandre and Stela than their family. I was fortunate over the decades to develop with them a  shared sense of family.  In 1977 Alexandre Santos was a critical link in my career as a labor historian focused on southern Mozambique. Gabriel Mabunda was the Director of the Port, Railway and

Transportation Authority in Mozambique. He cleared my research and made sure I met Alexandre Santos. Alexandre was head of personnel at the waterfront, and he was extremely well connected. He immediately greeted me, gave me a guided tour of the entire port complex and set the pace for warm, open and detailed oral histories with the Mozambican labor force. I benefitted directly from his social and political capital. The workers trusted him, so they trusted me. In 1977 Maputo, trust was essential currency – few had it, and especially not foreigners like me. On the basis of the port and railway oral history project I was allowed to interview the large and diverse municipal labor force. Alexandre Santos quite literally opened key doors for my research as an historian – a path that remains open to me today. The Santos family eventually moved to Portugal, Brazil and eventually to Boston in the mid-1980s. The family’s signature energy and determination was firmly grounded in love and grace. Alexandre and Stela navigated these changing landscapes, always caring for one another and their children. Eventually they cared for grandchildren and now a great grandchild.

In this hour of grief, it is difficult to truly celebrate Alexandre Santos’s life, but his life deserves celebration. It is such a fine model for us all. Writer Annie Dillard reminds us that “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Alexandre Santos brought warmth, integrity, a smile, and a steady and welcoming hand to everything he did in any and all circumstances, day after day. He moved steadily and with purpose. He looked you in the eye, and lingered when shaking your hand. He carried his relationships like he carried his person, tall and with grace. The Santos children and grandchildren honor Alexandre and Stela by living days and lives of integrity, gentle humor, steady purpose and warmth. It is fitting and it is fine.

Jeanne Marie Penvenne, 7 June 2021

 

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