Sherisse Zupo Pantoja, 48, died March 5, 2019, turning a page and stepping into the history she so much loved to teach to her Lodi Middle School students. She was born Nov. 3, 1970 in Lodi to Antone and Jaqueline Zupo.
After Sherisse graduated from Lodi High School and the University of California, Davis, she met her husband, Joel Pantoja, while working together at the Valley Cinema in Lodi. They shared an enthusiasm for the movies, theater and travel.
Sherisse loved to explore, sometimes planning detailed (to the hour) cross country adventures or spontaneous weekend trips down random mountain roads that led to great photo ops. She took every opportunity to venture out and see the beautiful land she loved with her husband, nieces, friends or students. When no one else was game, she took one of her beloved dogs.
During her 23 years at Lodi Middle School, she taught English, Geography and U.S. History. Sherisse was dedicated to the success of her students and was a part of a wonderful team of teachers that felt the same way. She involved students in the learning process through interactive simulations
She made sure that her students also had the best possible instructional material by volunteering on the schoolbook adoption committee and argued for the best history book possible for district students.
She spent countless hours advising the yearbook students and helped lead groups of students to Washington, D.C. She made History fun and had fun doing it.
Words could never adequately express Sherisse’s love for all animals, especially dogs. She lived out the thought, “Why adopt one dog when you could adopt all of them?” Only the city ordinance held her back from adopting more than her three pooches. Sherisse will be sorely missed by her adored Casie, Murphy and Cooper.
Sherisse loved both baseball and her family, and was lucky enough that the two where closely interwoven.
Sherisse leaves behind her husband, Joel Pantoja; father, Tony Zupo; sister, Sharla Zupo; sisters-in-law, Jessica Pantoja and Adelita Pantoja; nieces, Zyanya Pantoja and Hailey Jaime; her vast extended Meckler and Zupo family, her friends and dedicated co-educators, and her beloved students.
Preceding Sherisse in death were her mother, Jacqueline Zupo; paternal grandparents, Tony and Lydia Zupo; and maternal grandparents, Christian and Anna Mae Meckler.
There will be reunion of loved ones in an Open House-style gathering, instead of a formal service, on Saturday, March 30, in the Littleton Community Center, 410 Civic Drive in Galt between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Lunch will be provided.