The Coastal Star

By Emily J. Minor

    HYPOLUXO ISLAND — Nancy Canter, a lifelong student of art and literature who moved to Hypoluxo Island in 1986 and then helped raise money and interest for the Lantana Public Library, died Feb. 17. She was 83.

    “She was quite a woman,” said her husband, Louis. 


    Born Nov. 15, 1930, in Brookline, Mass., Mrs. Canter loved playing sports, earning five athletic letters from Brookline High School before graduating in 1948. She attended Boston University, where she studied fine art. Later she earned a master’s degree in art history from the University of Michigan, with a concentration in Spanish medieval art. And she did this at a time when most women didn’t even get a four-year degree.

    In 1955, she married Louis Canter. Mr. Canter said the two had met, briefly, in college — as she was the cousin of one of his good college friends and had dated one of his fraternity brothers. After his time in the service, he returned home and the two became a couple, he said. Once they married, they quickly had children — three girls and one boy by 1962.

    For many years, the family lived in Framingham, Mass., where Mrs. Canter juggled the household and children, always making time for volunteer work, her husband said. 

    She was particularly involved with the Temple Beth Am community and served on the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods. Through the years, she became well known for running Temple Beth Am’s annual art show, one of the Temple’s main fundraising events. Admirers said she took great pride in pursuing Boston-area artists and giving them a local venue to display their art.

    Louis Canter was a real estate and business developer, who moved with his wife to Florida in 1986. He said they wanted something on the water, and stumbled upon a lot on Hypoluxo Island. “We’ll build something,” he told her. 

    Mr. Canter said she immediately became caught up in local causes.

    Mrs. Canter was on the inaugural board for the Lantana Public Library, assuring it would always have a permanent home. 

    Lantana Mayor David Stewart said she served on the library board until her death. “She was one of those types of people who never wanted any credit for anything, but she was always doing for others,” he said. 

    She also never abandoned her Jewish sisterhood. Mrs. Canter was a longtime volunteer with the Palm Beach Chapter of Brandeis University’s National Women’s Committee, serving in various leadership roles. She loved mahjong and bridge, and was known for running the book club on Hypoluxo Island.

    “She was just a wonderful person to be around,” Mr. Canter said. 

    Besides her husband, survivors include the couple’s children, daughters Rebecca Ryan and Marcia Canter, both of Westboro, Mass.; Edie Canter, of Chicago, Ill.; and a son, Andrew Canter of Cape Town, South Africa. Four grandchildren also survive her. 

    Memorial services were held Feb. 19 at Beth Israel Memorial Chapel in Boynton Beach.

    Memorial contributions may be made to the Lantana Library Foundation, 205 W. Ocean Ave., Lantana, Fla. 33462, or Brandeis University Library, c/o Dr. C. Warshaw, 3589 S. Ocean Blvd., No. 612, Palm Beach, Fla. 33480. 

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