Loren Nancarrow: September 27, 1953 – December 28, 2013

Here I sit, 24 years old, writing my father’s obituary on his banged-up old macbook that boasts an array of cool stickers, including the kayaker symbol he also had tattooed on his right shoulder. ‘SUSIE’ was tattooed on his opposite side.  His stuff is all around me; a dad-scented sweatshirt across my lap, old photos of him with a big ol’ smile revealing his trademark diastema on the shelf to my right, his favorite headphones curled up on the table in front of me. But it’s not just his things that are here, he is here too.

Dad, we’re all going to be alright. We are at peace knowing you are now free. We miss you and love you forever and beyond.



September 27, 1953 – December 28, 2013

Loren Alan Nancarrow, longtime San Diego TV icon, organic gardener and conservationist, passed away Saturday, December 28, 2013 at the age of 60, following a courageous 11 month battle with brain cancer. Loren is survived by his wife, Susie, their son (Graham, 25) and their two daughters (Hannah, 24 and Britta, 20) and the love of an entire city. To his family, his friends and to the San Diegans that love him, he was larger than life.

Loren was a renaissance man, a guys’ guy who was as similar to Bear Grylls, as he was to Martha Stewart.  A man who loved getting his hands dirty, as much as he loved arranging a centerpiece. He liked making homemade peanut butter and candles, vanilla extract, beef stroganoff…and did I mention centerpieces?

My dad was a kayaker, an organic gardening guru and a lover of wonderment. 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 Nancarrow will be remembered as liberal but openminded, firm but kind, intellectual but hysterical. And he won’t mind me saying, he was a quiet but strong supporter of medical marijuana.

He was proud to be San Diego’s Organic Son.

We love you wonderful dad, husband, friend and hero: You are not gone, just gone ahead. 


And you, dear friends, we love you and are forever grateful to you. With everything we have, thank you. I’ll leave you with the quote my dad lived by over these past 11 months:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’”
― Hunter S. Thompson

Hannah Jane Nancarrow (your “Hammer Jane”)

Please join us in celebration of Loren Nancarrow’s life…

Monday, December 30th, 2013 @ 4pm

Seaside Reef — Cardiff, California

**Please bring a SUP, kayak, surfboard, towel or beach chair and a candle to light for Loren**

Loren Nancarrow, April 2013

Photo taken by Loren at Torrey Pines, January 2009

Hannah Jane Nancarrow is a San Diego State University alumni, with a B.A. in journalism and new media. After graduating in 2011, Hannah worked in local T.V. news before her dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Hannah managed and contributed to her dad’s incredibly popular blog (thenancarrowproject.com) and social media platforms before he passed away, after 11 months of bravely battling and blogging. The diagnosis was a catalyst for her own writing and for following each whim and dream. Today, Hannah writes her own blog and has been a keynote speaker at San Diego Women's Week, Relay for Life, and a top fundraiser for cancer-related causes throughout San Diego. Hannah also has a passion for health and fitness, since losing 75 pounds in 2011. She earned her Spinning® and group fitness instructor certifications, and teaches weekly cycle classes in Encinitas, California. Hannah also earned her real estate license and works in the family business, Nancarrow Realty Group, in North County San Diego.

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384 comments on “Loren Nancarrow: September 27, 1953 – December 28, 2013
  1. Sheila J says:

    Bye Loren, u rocked! God bless your family!

  2. lavelle snortum says:

    so sorry for your loss. your family must be so heart broken. but not to worry because loren’s out of pain and in a much better place. i’m so glad i got to meet him in my life because he was a wonderful person. always humble and warm. thanks for sharing your journey to the other side. love to you all from the snortum family

  3. Charlie and Cathy Noakes says:

    My husband and I want to let you know our thoughts and prayers are with you. We felt like we knew your Dad and husband, although we only met him 1 time. We are sorry he has left you physically, but his spirit will be with you forever. ( which you already know.) Thank you for allowing all of us to be a part of the journey. It was very generous of your family and we want to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

  4. Peggy says:

    Blue nail polish all around!

    The voice, the smile, the confident manner of his posture. Loren Nancarrow is a San Diego icon who will be greatly missed by all who experienced his radio and television personality. I never got to meet him in person; I’m sure that his in-person presence was even more potent! Farewell, dear friend!

  5. Kenny O!GEE!! says:

    We’ll never forget him,or his smile, for he was an Icon for San Diego…as well as many other places. My pleasure of actually meeting him ‘face to face’ was at his son’s performance at Ramona Country Fair in 2012. A day I won’t take lightly. My mother passed away on Jan. 9 of this year and we lost Loren on Dec. 28. Such a rough year. At least there is no longer any pain or suffering for either one. God Bless You All!!

  6. Shirley Johnson El Cajon says:

    As I set here with tears falling,I am so sorry to hear of his passing although I was trying to get prepared for the eventual news, hoping it wouldn’t come. You and your family was his light ,his hope to beat this cancer. I prayed he would. He is at peace with no more pain. He fought a strong,hard fight. God surround your arms around him and the family.In the days to come, find peace knowing he is safe in a wonderful garden where we all hope to be someday.RIP Loren San Diego loves you….Shirley Johnson El Cajon

  7. Bridget Barahura says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Loren’s journey this past year has helped me put my life in perspective and learn to treat each day as a blessing. I know you will miss him always, but he will be there, watching over you with his beautiful smile. I pray that you are comforted now and in the days to come. God bless you all.

  8. Nenette Popiela-West says:

    As that old lovely song goes, I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places..you’ll find Loren in the morning sun and when the night is new, you can look at moon and you’ll be seeing Loren! Thanks for everything Hannah. Keep writing, write a book about your dad and the environment and cancer. Do it Hannah. Bet it will be a best seller. Wishing you well and Happy New Year!

  9. Laura Sharp says:

    Bless your baby heart….you captured a lot there, girl! All we can do, is hope that when we leave this world, someone as gracious as you will write something this amazing about us.

  10. Marsha Allen says:

    I always felt comfortable when he was on. It was like listening to a friend. God’s peace and healing to the ones he loved.

  11. Darlene Piche says:

    I’m sure there are many like me who did not know him personally, but followed him on this final journey with love and good wishes. What a fine example of such a wonderful human being. His family is following in his footsteps. Blessings to his family and close friends who share this loss. Love…..

  12. Reblogged this on San Diego News – Bowler's Desk and commented:
    Loren Nancarrow: September 27, 1953 – December 28, 2013

  13. I saw on facebook this morning that your Dad had passed. My thoughts today have been for you and your family. I pray that this season will be filled with his presence and joy. God bless you and keep you. I will be thinking of you all often.

  14. Virginia Sumner says:

    Hannah, your writing is amazing. You, Susie, Graham, and Britta, my prayers are with you. You are all so brave, and Loren too. What a strong family you all are in such a tough time. I’m thankful that I was touched by Loren’s friendship way back when, at channel 8. And I’m thankful to have been touched by this most intimate time of his, and your lives.
    He’s not gone, just gone ahead, that’s beautiful! Thank you

  15. We did not know Loren personally, but loved his spirit and love of life and nature while following his new broadcasts. We followed his/your blog and are so very happy to know his cancer journey is over; but very sad for all of us who loved watching him on the news and wanted to follow his/your incredible final life passage with brain cancer. He is truly a hero and gift to mankind. He will be sorely missed by so very many people. Our hearts go out to all of his family and friends. I can only imagine how much he will be missed by you…..Shelly Fricke

  16. Bill Hirr says:

    “Now he BeLonGs tO The Ages”….He waS BLesseD iN ThiS LiFe,
    aNd wE wiLL bE BLesseD tO sEE hiM AgaiN ==ThanKs tO _JESUS_ †…..

  17. Sylvia says:

    So many of us felt like we knew him. What a legacy he’s left in all of your beautiful Nancarrow’s.

  18. Sue says:

    I hope someone in heaven is passing out sunglasses, because a bright light just entered.

  19. Susan & Bob McAndrews says:

    Wow, the little girl we once knew has blossomed into a beautiful, intelligent, sensitive, articulate young woman. Your parents are proud of you. Keep your dad in your heart and be your mom’s best friend. We send our love to the entire family.
    Susan & Bob

  20. Lorraine says:

    A beautiful obituary for your father. He will be missed.

  21. Margaret Ann Meadows, DDS says:

    I’ve been reading your posts since the beginning… I never knew your dad, nor you, personally… Just via Mark Larson…
    Nevertheless, I feel like I’ve known you a lifetime…
    Your dad must have been so proud of you… Your writing is “past phenomenal”
    And I pray you use it to write about the world from your eyes… Using all these experiences and the rest of your life to help others to see the “depth of the simple”…we so miss in this life.
    Blessings to you, Loren
    Margaret Ann

  22. Sandra Lee says:

    Peace to you and your family, your Dad will always be an inspiration to us who were fortunate to learn from his incredible gift of life. My heart is so sad but his strength and love will forever surround you. Thank you ALL for sharing his incredible journey. Heavens garden is in FULL BLOOM with your Dad as CHIEF GARDENER!!! XO

  23. Susan Martin says:

    So sorry for your loss…he will truly be missed by entire San Diego!!!

  24. Marcia Kern says:

    A true inspiration and enormous mentor of how to live and how to journey on. May his words and life be a blessing to all if his friends and family. So glad he went surrounded by love and peace.

  25. Linda Mitchell says:

    Your Father was an inspiration to all of us – before he took ill we used to love watching how he protected the environment and loved all his tips on how to grow things and take care of pests all naturally. And then when he took ill, again he was an inspiration as he faced it with such courage and was willing to share what he was going through. It was obvious he loved his family and you all lit up his life. We loved your Father as much as you all did – and we grieve with you as well. But we are also grateful he is no longer in any pain and he is now where he should be – in Heaven and sharing stories with everyone there while he continues to watch over all of you. He will forever be an Icon of San Diego. We will miss him but there will be another star shining brightly tonight. God Bless you all…

  26. Carolle says:

    To Loren’s Family: All of us here in San Diego have been lucky to share in Loren’s bright grin and warm voice and perspective all these many years … We’ll miss seeing him and hearing his next story. But know, his face, kindness and legacy will remain etched in our memory as long as we’re here…especially while in the garden!
    Thank you for sharing him with us ❤

  27. Gigi Munoz says:

    We will miss you Loren. Thanks for sharing your life with us San Diegans

  28. Kathleen says:

    Hey up/out there Loren, your apples sure didn’t fall far from the proverbial tree!
    What a beautiful family he left, so gracefully, yet with the shared insight that his energy will never be lost and always will be.
    Wishing you, Hannah, and your family, tiny bits of falling feathers or stunning sunsets or birdsounds, or any other little physical thing he might send–to message you of his eternal beingness. He was magical to more than just his loved ones…and will live in our hearts forever. {{{{hugs}}}}

  29. Dawn says:

    Wonderful, wonderful life he shared with so many of us. May his memory continue to enhance our lives until such time as we begin the same journey he has just taken.

  30. Andy Casillas Hein says:

    You are so right Hannah, he is Still There with you, and will be for always. I feel at peace with his parting because I felt he was prepared in so many ways. Love to you all and thank you for this blog to remind us of how we must honor this life we have daily.

  31. Denny Neville says:

    I think you and your family may realize how much this man meant to an entire community. I hope he knew this too. It is often said that when we leave this world, we are measured not by our accomplishments, but by the imprint we have made by our mere existence in the lives of others. In Loren’s case, it is by both, and by anyone’s measurement his impact was huge. God speed, Loren. You were the epitome of courage, grace and wit. We hope you are checking out future waves for the rest of us.

  32. Jody says:

    Hannah, you write as beautifully as your dad. Even though most of us never actually met him we all felt like he was our friend. Please know how sorry we are for your family’s loss. We will all miss him, God Bless the Nancarrow family and thank you for sharing him with all of us.

  33. Diane Mushet says:

    We have all been touched by the power of your words during your dad’s brave battle. Please don’t stop sharing with us…we want to continue to follow your wonderful, loving family and look forward to hearing about the happiness you deserve in your future. Your dad’s honest, unselfish communications were inspirational. San Diego’s love will always surround you.

  34. Paige Reder says:

    A beautiful tribute written by a beautiful woman for a true San Diego icon. How lucky we were to have him here in North County!!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I learned so much watching Loren when I lived in San Diego! He was as welcoming in person as he was on television. Grateful for all he shared…the gardens (and centerpieces) in heaven are now even more grand.

  36. Kris says:

    You are correct, sweet Hannah. He is not gone…just his physical body. He will be with you (and all of us) in your smile, your wit, your deeds, and your heart. Please know that Gabi and I are thinking of you with prayers of peace and strength. Love, Kris

  37. Thanks Hannah for sharing this very intimate moment. Well put on every level as I am sure this was difficult to write. You had an amazing role model in your father. A rare bird indeed and I would agree with the renaissance man assessment. He was a great man, and that is rare in this day an age. I know I always appreciated my chats with him and he was always concerned about his family and he always had an intelligent perspective on the topics we discussed. He always made me smile and I will be a better person for having him in my life. I will miss lots of things about him, most of all just seeing him and talking.

    My prayers are with you and your entire family. Know that the Rumford’s are always here for all of you.

    I also lost my father when I was 24, it sucks when u lose someone you love dearly. Know that he will always be with you and you can have lot’s of conversations with him. I will miss Loren. RIP my friend.

  38. Faye Pepper says:

    Hannah, keep your dad’s sweatshirt. It will bring you comfort. Prayers for you and your family. RIP Loren.

  39. Chuck Buck says:

    Loren —courageous and inspirational. RIP.

  40. Anonymous says:

    God needed an expert to tend his gardens….so he called up Loren! You will miss him forever, it just never goes away. God Bless your beautiful family….you have all fought the tough fight….

  41. Anonymous says:

    What a lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing.

  42. Anonymous says:

    San Diego lost a wonderful mentor with a beautiful heart and family. My sincere sympathy to all of you.
    P.S. If you are not already planning on it, put the blogs together in a book. It is moving……..and so inspirational to many.

  43. gmaj1939 says:

    I know you are where I want to be when He is ready to take me.
    I will see you where there is no pain, or tears.
    A long time fan of the best man on TV.

  44. PAT WALKER says:


  45. Your Father was a light and lived by beautiful example. He will be missed by us all!! Love and light to you and your family, I am so sorry for you loss!

  46. Tom Haggard says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, even in your grief and sorrow you can share with all of us. RIP Loren.

  47. Anna Belle says:

    Absolutely beautiful, Hannah. My love to all of you.

  48. Cathy says:

    I have always enjoyed watching Mr. Nancarrow on TV. His wonderful view on gardening and just life itself was inspirational. He will be missed. Prayers to you family.

  49. Cathy Buffington says:

    You are obviously a light in his life, and in ours. Save me a seat, Loren!

  50. Stephen Saunders says:

    opps sorry. (sp) Loren

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