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Oldemiro

Oldemiro Canto

d. December 12, 2023

New Bedford


Oldemiro “Don” Canto, age 99, a loving husband, father, brother, grandfather and great grandfather
passed away on December 12, 2023 at the New Bedford Jewish Convalescent Home. He was
the beloved husband of the late Margaret A. (Pedro) Canto to whom he was married on June
14,1947 until her passing on August 16, 2007.


Don was born in New Bedford on March 25,1924, to John Narciso and Maria (Medeiros) Canto. As
a young boy he lived with his parents in Cambridge, MA during the depression years. He and his
parents returned to New Bedford where he attended local schools and graduated from New
Bedford High, Class of June 1942. He also graduated from the Campbell School on County St. in
New Bedford in 1943.


He enlisted in the Army Air Corp Reserve, Aviation Cadet program and was called to active duty on
February 1943 where he was serving in Europe with the 9th Air Force, 18th TAC Squadron. He
returned to the United States in August 1945 and ended his military service as Assistant Chief
Auditor in the Finance Corp at Camp Finedale, Fresno, CA until discharged in February 1946.


In 1947 Don attended the Bentley School of Accounting and Finance in Boston and graduated in
1949. He was employed with Hemingway Transport in the New Bedford office from1949 till the
closure of business in 1981 as the company’s Payroll Director. He also operated his own Public
Accounting business in his home for nearly 40 years. For relaxation he said he enjoyed
photography; winning many photo awards, and becoming an accomplished wedding photographer.


Don was very active in veteran affairs, serving in the AMVETS state department as Finance Officer
and in local Post 62 as commander for 11 years. He was most proud of receiving the first “Veteran
of the Year” award from the Veterans’ Transition House of Southeastern Massachusetts for his
service to the community and achievement as the designer of the WWII memorial at Buttonwood
Park, New Bedford. He was a charter member of the 9th Air Force Association, AMVETS, and the
Professional Photographers Association of New England.


He is survived by his three children, Caryn Canto Drapkin and husband, Meyer, of Waldoboro,
Maine, Roger Canto and his wife, Kimbra, of Dartmouth, MA, and John Canto and his wife,
Sharon, of Raynham, MA. He has four grandchildren; Brian Canto and his wife, Kristin, of Marion,
Anna Walcutt and her husband, Jason, of Hamilton, Sean Canto and his wife, Brittaney, of San
Diego, CA, and Abigail Drapkin and her partner, Adam Fischer, of Seattle, WA. He has five
beautiful great-grandchildren, Keira and Jack, Capri, and Lilah and Ori.


Don was pre-deceased by his four younger brothers, John, Gilbert, Wilfred and James Canto all of
whom he was very close to. Two years ago he mourned the loss of his wonderful companion,
Maria Isabel Ribeiro of Dartmouth. He is survived by his sister-in-laws, Pat Canto of Easton, Verna
Canto of Brentwood, TN and Sophie Canto of Bradenton, FL and many nieces, nephews, cousins
and friends. He always loved family reunions and get togethers with his ever increasing family and
friends. Being the oldest and longest living Canto he was often called the “Godfather”.


According with his wishes (which changed over time) a private family burial will be held at St. John
Cemetery under the direction of the Perry Funeral Home. He requested that remembrances be
made to Fort Taber - Fort Rodman Historical Association, 1000c Rodney French Blvd.,
New Bedford, MA 02744.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Perry Funeral Home, 111 Dartmouth Street, New Bedford MA.

 

 

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