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

People filled the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly Wednesday to remember Monica Cantu. Rather than mourn her passing, people 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 crash on Highway 101 in Paso Robles in July. As she was trying to help the victim, another vehicle lost control, hitting and killing Cantu at the scene.

Monica was known for putting others before herself and made a lasting impression on everyone who knew her.

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

“I cannot 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 at Cal Poly.

Monica was hired at Cal Poly in 2012.

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’s.

“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 be missed dearly, there were also times of laughter and joy during Wednesday’s service.

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

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