ENCINITAS — Five-foot waves rolled in, rays from the setting sun streaked across the water and whales even spouted off the coast.
It was a fitting scene to celebrate the life of longtime local journalist Loren Nancarrow, who loved all things nature. On Monday afternoon, hundreds gathered at Seaside Reef for a paddle-out in his memory.
“I so appreciate you being here,” wife Susie Nancarrow told those on the beach before wading into the water for the paddle-out. “This is overwhelming — I’m almost speechless.”
Susie and others recalled that Loren, who passed away the morning of Dec. 28 at the age of 60, was a renaissance man with many passions. Chief among them was organic gardening, a subject he co-authored multiple books about.
“He has given so much to our community by educating and teaching about ecology and farming,” Susie said while crying.
Daughter Hannah Nancarrow wrote in a blog post shortly after his passing: “My dad was a kayaker, an organic gardening guru and a lover of wonderment.”
The post went on to say: “He enjoyed Bob Dylan, Jack Daniel’s and hot sake and was an avid collector of walking sticks, beach glass and beautiful German shepherds. My dad knew everything there was to know about citrus trees and roses and tomatoes, raising chickens and earthworms and monarch butterflies. He was a human Pinterest board.”
Loren’s television career began more than 30 years ago. He was a weatherman, reporter and anchorman with various local news outlets, with his most recent position being at Fox 5 San Diego.
In February, Loren was diagnosed with stage three terminal brain cancer, forcing him to later retire from his anchor role at Fox 5. He chronicled the journey in his blog www.thenancarrowproject.com.
“One of the lessons I’ve learned in life is that happiness lies in discovering your passions and exploring them fiercely,” Loren wrote in his final blog post on Dec. 26. “And passions aren’t necessarily big, grand notions. We can also find passion in a rose garden and the smell of a puppy and the writing of a first grader.”
The post goes on to state: “And the most important lesson I’ve learned throughout all of this, is that it is far better to do good for others, than to do good for oneself.”
In addition to Hannah and Susie, son Graham Nancarrow and daughter Britta Nancarrow survive him.
To honor Loren, a healing garden is planned at Scripps Radiation Therapy in La Jolla. For more information and to donate, visit scripps.org/loren.
As Loren’s friends and family encircled him, friend Ken Druck said the paddle-out was a testament to the number of people who Loren influenced and reached.
“What is the measure of a life well lived?” Druck asked. “We’re standing in the moment of that.”