During the busiest times at the George Sherman Union, students chose to wait in the longer checkout line just for a chance to interact with Allison Seto, said College of Communication sophomore Joe Gambino.
“She was just really friendly to everyone and smiled even with when people around her were grouchy,” Gambino said. “She never seemed like she was tired or out of it. She would always talk to everyone with energy.”
Seto, who was known for her “Hallelujah” catch phrase, died on Dec. 10 from a heart attack at the age of 63. She worked for BU Dining Services for 11 years, most often as a cashier in the GSU.
Services were held Dec. 19 at the St. Michaels Cemetery in Boston.
“We were all saddened to learn of her passing,” said Scott Rosario, marketing director for BU Dining Services, in an email. “She will be remembered as always smiling and making the people around her very happy.”
James Whitehead, Seto’s friend and co-worker at the GSU, said he remembers Seto’s warmth and friendliness.
“She always had something good to say and plenty of candy to hand out,” he said in an email statement. “If you didn’t have enough money to pay for your meal, she would make sure you were taken care of. Her saying was ‘It’s very important that the students eat.’”
Whitehead visited Seto in November to catch up after her retirement. He said she expressed interest in returning to BU, but if there were no openings for her she planned to work at a bakery.
Alyssa Santo, a College of Arts and Sciences senior, said talking to Seto was always a highlight of her day.
“She was really nice, and she would always brighten my day — not just mine, though,” Santo said. “All my friends loved her too. We made sure to go her checkout line when she was there.”
Santo said Seto managed to make an impact on students even though she did not spend a significant amount of time with them.
“She was a very special person, genuine and kind,” she said. “She was unique in the way that even though she wasn’t a professor and she didn’t interact with people very long, she made such an impression on so many students.”
Gambino said Seto stood out as a fun and genuine person at GSU and cared for everyone she met.
“She would make everyone feel special,” Gambino said. “If she saw you were stressed she would ask why and you would talk about it as she rung you up.”
Seto encouraged him to choose healthier options like salads, Gambino said.
“She was really concerned with students’ health,” Gambino said. “Sometimes I would just get a sandwich and she would tell me to, ‘get a salad and add more greens!’”
Whitehead said Seto was a “gem” in the GSU.
“When she passed the only family she had was the family she lived with for 23yrs, her church family and the BU family,” he said. “I attended her service and it was beautiful. Carol Chin, one of the family members she lived with, said Allison would come home from work and talk about how much she loved the BU students.”