Shrewsbury-The local community was saddened to hear of the passing of Shrewsbury jazz enthusiast John A. Cantor. Contributing writer Lori Berkey last year wrote a story on Mr. Cantor and his love of jazz, Shrewsbury jazz enthusiast shares collection with radio listeners.
John Allan Cantor, of Los Angeles, Calif., passed away at his home in Shrewsbury Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. Surrounded by his family and loved ones, he succumbed to cancer after bravely battling the disease for almost three years.
Born into the Jewish faith July 13, 1951, Mr. Cantor also practiced Buddhist mediation. While he loved and respected his Jewish background, he took a great deal of joy from the study of Tibetan Buddhism, and that practice helped him through a difficult passing.
Mr. Cantor had a long, successful career in healthcare and hospital administration, contributing to the development of many programs and projects that benefited physicians and patients. His career of almost 30 years took place in New York City, as well as Worcester.
He was a lover of all forms of outdoor adventure. He surfed on both coasts, as well as in Costa Rica. He also had the opportunity to run the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon on two occasions. He was a passionate lover of jazz and popular music, especially the forms of jazz played in the 1920s and 1930s. This love of the music led to a weekly radio program, “Jazz Standard Time,” that John hosted on Saturday mornings for radio station WCUW in Worcester.
Ironically, at the very time of Mr. Cantor's passing, his daughter qualified for participation in a national speech competition. His love of his daughter, his strength of character, and his pride in her wonderful accomplishment, helped him remain present and clear during his final days.
Barbara Cantor, his sister-in-law, noted, “Here's another of John's trademarks: He was one of the most “even keel” people I ever met. In 31 years, I NEVER heard John raise his voice, go off on anyone or lose his cool. He was soft spoken in a very gentle way, but his words were powerful.”
He leaves his beloved wife, Greta; daughter, Alexis; his brother, Mark; and a large number of relatives and close friends who will miss his wisdom, presence, compassion, and wonderful sense of humor. Special mention should be made of his sense of humor, which seemed to come out of nowhere, funny and occasionally profound at the same time, and with him until the very end.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, Feb. 19, at 1 p.m., in Temple Sinai at 661 Salisbury St., Worcester, under the direction of Richard Perlman, funeral director of Brezniak Rodman Funeral Home of Newton.
At Mr. Cantor's request, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Sakya Center, P.O. Box 391042, Cambridge, MA 02140, or Chokhor Gepel Ling/Tsawa Monks, 3536 McLaughlin Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90066-2813.