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Hundreds gather to celebrate the life of former Cal Poly employee, Monica Cantu

Posted at 11:35 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 15:44:45-04

On Wednesday, people filled the performing arts center at Cal Poly, to remember Monica Cantu, but rather than mourn her passing, people in attendance celebrated her life, and what she stood for.

Monica, a custodial manager at Cal Poly, died while trying the help the victim of a wrong-way driver crash on Highway 101 in Paso Robles.

That seems to be what Monica was known for, putting others before herself, and it’s clear that she made a lasting impression on those who knew her.

“Those that knew her, knew that her light was great. You just wanted to be with her,” said Elizabeth Cantu, sister of Monica.

“I can not come up with a time where she did not put the needs of another or others, above her own,” said Jude Fledderman, executive director of facility operations, Cal Poly.

Monica was hired at Cal Poly in 2012, earlier this month, as she was trying to help the victim of a crash when another vehicle lost control and hit and killed her at the scene.

Several of her co-workers shared their memories of Monica and how her presence was felt across the campus.

“From working double shifts on her own time to help, buying them dinner, buying them lunch because she thought they were working really hard and deserved a little something special, or helping them through their own personal challenges, she took them on as her own,” said a co-worker of Monica.

“Monica was there, to set up the custodial staff in that building, and it’s in good shape because of people like Monica,” said a co-worker of Monica

While Monica will certainly be missed, there were also times of laughter and joy during today’s service.

Elizabeth Cantu says while her heart is in a million pieces she will continue to remember the amazing stories of her sister, Monica, as she is now in her bliss.