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In loving memory of Judy Dal Canto

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

Oct. 16, 2020

Courtesy of Yearbook

Oct. 14, 2020 - Last night, I received the sad news that Judy Dal Canto had passed on Sunday evening. Judy worked at Leland for a long time. She was a kind soul and made people smile. Even after she retired, Judy still contributed to our school whenever we needed the help. Personally, I have known Judy since my freshman year at Leland. She taught me how to write my first check when I bought my PE clothes at the bank. I know that many of us have our own fond memories with Judy. We are grateful to have known her and we will miss her very much. May calm and peace with her family and may Judy rest in peace.

- Mr. Peter Park, Principal

Known for her signature greeting, “Well, hello!” and amiable nature, Judy Dal Canto passed away on October 12. A front desk receptionist, bookkeeper and bank lady whose service to the school spanned decades, Dal Canto left a lasting impact on numerous students and staff.

Dal Canto adored her family—she constantly conversed about her car trips with her husband and shared stories about her grandchildren. Karen Johnson, School Registrar and long-time friend of Dal Canto, also remembers how she regularly attended her grandchildrens’ sporting practices and events.

“From Dal Canto, I learned a lot about living life to the fullest, as she used to often say to ‘live day by day.’ She also taught me a lot about friendship—she was a friend who you could lean on no matter what. She was always there, just like she was always there for her children and grandchildren.”

- Karen Johnson, School Registrar

Those who were close to Dal Canto describe her as an upbeat, enthusiastic individual with an infectious laugh and a kind soul who wanted to aid and befriend everyone. Dal Canto voluntarily helped new staff adjust to the school’s environment and become familiar with school resources. Due to her long tenure at the school, she was known as the unofficial “school historian,” carrying a vast knowledge about the school’s past and retelling stories to students and staff.

“I first met Dal Canto during my freshman year at the school in 1991, and she was the bookkeeper who worked at the Associated Student Body bank. My first interaction with her was when she kindly guided me on how to fill out my first check for my physical education clothes, which is a very fond memory that I have with Dal Canto.”

- Principal Peter Park

Prior to working at the school together, Gay Brasher, Visual and Performance Arts Department, first met Dal Canto while they both worked at Gunderson High School, where Dal Canto was part of the cafeteria staff.

“When I held tournaments at Gunderson High School, Dal Canto and the other cafeteria staff would make fabulous food for the coaches and to sell to the students. At the school, when she worked at the bank, she helped me with the intake and outflow of tournament checks, deposits and funds, which was crucial for Speech and Debate,” Brasher said.

Before her retirement, Dal Canto also regularly attended and supervised student activities, making sure that students made the most out of school events. Even after her retirement in 2001, Dal Canto filled in as a substitute for various positions at the school.

If you want to share your stories with us about Judy Dal Canto, please share them with us here. Our hearts are with Judy's family and friends and we send our best wishes.

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