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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387 comments on “Loren Nancarrow: September 27, 1953 – December 28, 2013
  1. Juliet :} says:

    Bless your Father….He sounds like a GREAT Man. Thank you for your loving thoughts of your dad. God Bless. Sending Angels from Arizona…

  2. Ken Kostanecki says:

    To the Family and Friends of Loren Nancarrow the following helped me during my time of loss, and hope it will help you as well!

    Comfort For Those Who Mourn

    So many people imagine that death cruelly separates us from our loved ones. This is a sad mistake. When our loved ones die, they do not leave us. They remain. They do not go to some dark and distant place. They simply begin their eternity. We are all born for heaven and one by one we end this life of tears to begin our life of love in endless happiness.

    Death does not destroy our loved ones, but gives them life ! A life with power to know fully and to love perfectly. With this new life and new power, our loved ones are always present to us, knowing and loving us more than ever before.

    Our sorrow is a sorrow of homesickness, a longing for our loved ones. But it is we who are away from home, not they. Death has been for them a doorway to an eternal home – and even though we cannot see them, we know they are still with us, lovingly and tenderly waiting for the day when we, too, will enter the doorway of our eternal home.

    No, death is not a separation. It is a preparation for eternal union with those we love in the peace and joy of Heaven.

    The Seraphic Mass Association
    1820 Mt Elliott Ave
    Detroit, MI 48207

  3. MaryZ says:

    Hannah, when my father passed, my siblings and I took one of his Dad-scented items and stored it away in a ziploc bag. For years after, we could return to his scent just by opening that bag. A thought for you….

  4. Edith says:

    He will be missed. Wonderful words said by his family.

  5. Shelley says:

    We love you Loren, you will be missed by many. Hannah, Susie & family, thank you for sharing Loren’s story with all of us. Rest In peace Loren.

  6. Bonny Conforto Elrod says:

    Thank-you for sharing him with the rest if us. There are many San Diego Transplants, here in Utah. He has made a difference far reaching. He was a hero to many, including me!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m going to miss him. He was such a sweet, caring man. I learned a lot watching his broadcasts each day. I learned how Ions affected the personality and why are beaches make us feel so “good”, and so many other fascinating facts. He was bigger than life with a big bright smile. I’m so truly sad.

  8. Martin says:

    Glad he made it through Christmas 2013. Loren – as with all the other posts, you will be missed as one of the more ‘true real San Diegan’ persons both on and off the news, but your tips, educational tidbits, and fun-light hearted laughter and great JOY for life will always be remembered. Thank you for your gift and sharing of yourself and journey with so many San Diegans and others who may have read the blogs online.

  9. Sharon Muse says:

    I am so sorry to learn of Loren’s passing. He will always be a wonderfull reminder to me of a great husband, ideal father, dedicated gardener and nature lover. Most of all his sincerity and acceptance in these last months have been a model of how to come gracefully to The Lord. Thank you Loren and thank you Nancarrow family for allowing so many of his fans to be able to witness to what a amazing man he truely was and is still. His spirit will always be with you.

  10. Susan Fitch Tipton says:

    Brings memories of my dad, who I miss every day…also a very nice man – always a warm
    smile as a greeting, like Loren. Take care. Thank you for sharing everything.

  11. Susan Paulson says:

    When in the early 90’s the Nancarrow family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, we connected, spent time together and enjoyed our families together. Loren was a loving husband, father and powerfully inspirational man. I have followed Loren through his organic gardening and love of the outdoors throughout his career and Facebook has made it easier. Watching you all go through Loren’s cancer together as a family reminds me what family is. Not only was Loren an inspiration… but his whole family. I send love and prayers to you as you continue his work with the mediation garden and all that he stands for. I will light a candle for him here in San Francisco… tomorrow with you at 4. Much love xx

  12. Linda says:

    I am sitting here crying as I read this. I loved watching and listening to him; seeing him smile; I never saw him make a centerpiece, but loved his gardening advice. I didn’t even know he’d been sick until I read the article in this morning’s UT. You will be missed, Loren. God Bless. I will be at the celebration of his life in spirit.


  13. Quoc Dong says:

    Dear Hannah,

    we’re so sorry for your loss
    we had a long meditation walk at Torrey Pines today
    and, as we returned to our sanctuary, I received your blog…

    our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this divine transition
    may our dear friend Loren rest in eternal Peace

    we talked on the phone a few months ago
    and we’ll talk again when you and your family have some quiet time
    I’d like to discuss your “Loren’s Garden project” at Scripps
    I think it’s a great environment for Loren to continue to connect with the people he loves…

    sending you and your family a lot of love
    from the Red River Sanctuary in Carlsbad, CA

  14. marilou says:

    Oh Hannah, you have such a gift! And thank you for sharing the gift of your father these last months. You are wise beyond your years; “he is not gone, he has gone ahead”. Peace…

  15. Kris says:

    So sorry for your loss. He was larger than life, yet felt like a close friend. He will be missed, no wonder God wanted him home. When my mom died 21 years ago, I was 31. To this day, whenever I felt (feel) sorry for myself, I take great solace in knowing that though I only had her for 31 years, many people don’t even have a minute of time with a mom as great as that, even if there parent(s) is still alive. (I hope that makes sense to you) I think that will ring true for you, too. Hugs and prayers

  16. Though Loren is in a better place a great many hearts will miss him forever. He will remain an inspiration always as a man, a gardener, and a human being. Thomas Merton said, “Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.”

    Loren planted in the souls of many and will not be forgotten.

  17. Fran Jenkins says:

    Hannah you are an amazing daughter. We are out of town for the holidays and will be for a month. Please keep posting so we know how you and your family are doing. I think this has been a sad journey for San Diego as your dad was so beloved. Love your strength.

  18. Cara says:

    Until we meet again my friend…. Thank you! A piece of you will live on with all who knew you and your beautiful family will lovingly carry on your memory and legacy. Your physical presence with us may be gone, but your spirit will live on and on and on. You’ve left a significant and positive “footprint” on the hearts of many. Sending my love to you and your family. I will now let my tears flow and my heart break. Thank you for sharing your life and this recent journey with us.

  19. Debbie Wineteer says:

    What a wonderful man your dad was… he is right with you as you said. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you to your entire family for sharing your dad with us, not just on air, but also these last 11 months.

  20. Sheri says:

    I want to express my deepest sympathy to you and your entire family for your loss. San Diego has lost an incredible man; we are all better for having known or watched him. It was amazing reading his blog during his illness. Even in illness, he continues to educate and enrich us. While he may be gone from life as we know it, he lives on in all whom he touched with this words.

  21. joe v says:

    i can’t think of a local media figure who has made a better lasting impression of love and good will … a charmed and charming human being ….i cherish the moments we shared ..

  22. coachesrainmaker says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I know your Dad from being in radio and I have seen how he has touched so many lives, and so many more than you will ever know. He was a great, kind, wise and generous man who will be missed by all. I’m glad that his inspiring spirit lives on in his children and he will surely guide you and be there when you need him.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I followed his post from the time he started it –it helped me through my diagnoses this summer with cancer — mine was fortunately stage 1 cancer but to read his blog gave me the courage to face the treatments i had to go through –I knew by his last post that he was ready for his next journey but did not think it would be so soon — bless all of his angels here on earth that took care of him and now he has become one of your angels. Thank you all for sharing this wonderful man. Bless you

  24. Lynn McComas says:

    Dear Hannah. You don’t know me but we all feel we know you. I have not stopped thinking of Susie and your family all day. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words these last 10 months. Your dad had a gift of writing and he has passed this gift on to you. The legacy of Loren Nancarrow continues in your writings, your thoughts, your words, your smile- truly beautiful. I am so sorry very for your loss. So many people are praying for you. God bless you all.

  25. Penny says:

    There was no one else on San Diego’s TV stations like Loren. My husband and I left California in 2006, and no, there’s no one like Loren anywhere else either. He radiated his passion for the beauty and wonder of the natural world and cultivating our own food. So his influence has spread far and wide and will endure. Rest in peace Loren. You achieved what you set out to do.

  26. Becky Baird says:

    Beautifully written. A man who will always be treasured in our hearts And minds! Xoxo A Christmas Story, the musical 2013

  27. Anonymous says:

    So sorry for the loss of husband, father and friend. We moved away from San Diego in 1993 but remember him from the news.

  28. Hannah, what an honest and loving tribute to a man of all seasons. I know that you, your Mom, and siblings are experiencing profound and inexplicable loss. Yet all of you, including Loren, were given the gift of knowledge of the impending transition and the time to say goodbye. He made San Diegans lives’ better by his humor, integrity, and love of Mother Earth. I was telling my husband today that we wouldn’t be composting/converted half our backyard to a vegetable garden/growing magnificent roses/have hoards of Monarch butterflies in our yard if it was for listening to Loren advice. I will miss his wonderful sly grin and the twinkle in his eyes. Please know that I am praying for all of you and remember that your Dad will always be an angel on your shoulder. Hugs!

  29. Janis Pollard says:

    ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

  30. Anonymous says:

    Sorry for your loss. He was a San Diego icon and will be truly missed. Blessings and prayers to all of you.

  31. Linda Mitchell says:

    We have so appreciated your insights thru your ordeal Nancarrows and relish in celebrating a man well deserved ! Much love , The Mitchell’s 💋🌴. The Anchorman !

  32. Pat Kinman says:

    You definitely transcended space last night Loren. At around 6:30pm, for no rhyme or reason, I found myself thinking of you. Yes, I had been following your journey but due to the busyness of the holidays, I disconnected myself from all forms of social media and had not been checking your blog or fb for updates.. So it was odd for me to even be thinking of you. And yet, I was, thinking of you. Wonderring if you had had the most wonderful Christmas ever. (And yes, you answered.) Safe journey, Loren. San Diego will miss you.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I left SD several years ago but still remember Loren. I am so sorry for your loss! He’s in a better place!

  34. Anonymous says:

    My sister told me today about Loren’s passing. I always liked him, his news and his demeanor, i just got done reading every entry on this blog. My friend is burying her husband tomorrow after his three-year battle with brain cancer (gioblastoma). She was going through radiation and chemo at the same time for breast cancer. We said goodbye to another friend two years ago who also had gioblastoma. We share a neurologist it seemed, me having MS. This all just sucks. But Loren’s blog … Wonderful and enlightening. What a wonderful man, family, for sharing the last 11 months with us. He will be missed immensely. Who will tell me why my tomatoes aren’t growing? What is the name of that thing that keeps eating my lemons, and when the best time is to visit the tidepools tomorrow? Goodbye, sweet man. You were a real class act.

  35. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful tribute for a daughter to remember her father, I was so moved. My family has been in Solana Beach since 1955 and yes, we all watched your Dad, I loved those gardening spots. I wanted to tell you it won’t be easy, his loss is enormous. I lost my Dad at 22, that was a long time ago but I know he is always with me and still is today. He is my anchor and my rock even after 33 years. Keep up your writing and may God bless your family.

  36. patti says:

    I am truly sorry for the loss of your father. I lost my Dad 14 mos ago – and I only have to say be gentle with yourself and your family. Have comfort that he is at rest and at peace.

  37. Joe Oviatt says:

    Rest in Peace Loren. God got a good one when he got you. You will be missed by many.

  38. Loren, we will all miss you but know that we are better off because of the love of nature you shared with us. Thank you for the information you passed on and for the wonderful person you were.

  39. We were talking about you two the other day when we were riding and thinking kindly of you both. His piece a few months back ending in “Today is not that day” was very touching. Please accept our sincere condolences.

  40. Shelley Gerson-Kilburn says:

    Love and prayers to the Nancarrows, Loren’s longtime colleagues and to all the San Diegans who know and love Loren.

  41. Anonymous says:

    So sorry for your loss, no matter how young or old our loved ones,parents are so special and we hate for them to go on to the next journey, he will be missed, my mom loved watching him,as did we all,our thoughts and prayers go out to your family

  42. anonymous says:

    What a profound loss to us all. He is such a tremendous presence. We are so fortunate to have “known” this lovely man. Thank you, Loren, for selflessly sharing your journey and who you are. Thank you, Hannah, for helping to make it happen. Such a blessing. Peace and comfort to the Nancarrows. Smiles and freedom to Loren as he flies!

  43. Geri Taitano says:

    Beautiful testimonial to your fathers’ life, very sorry for your family’s loss. San Diego has lost a valuable member of society. Rest in Peace Loren Nancarrow.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, Loren, for sharing your world with us. You have made us all better human beings with your wisdom. You and your family are in our prayers. Love, hugs, and blessings from Julian .

  45. Stephanie Gonzalez says:

    His smile in heaven is the reason San Diego had 70 degree weather on a winter’s day!!! Rest in Paradise! Prayers for the Nancorrow family!!!!

  46. Barbara Dionisopoulos, Carlsbad says:

    Loren, there are no words to describe how much you will be missed! RIP! Heaven couldn’t wait to have you! To your family, my heartfelt condolences…May God’s Grace envelope you!

  47. When I read your dad’s last post, I sensed he was not long for this time-space continuum, but didn’t think it would come this quickly. I loved watching him when I lived in San Diego, and these last 9 years in Spokane, I’ve missed him…and found his blog when the cancer was discovered, and have been following your family’s journey. I know that Loren no longer has pain, and as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band sang, “gravestones cheer the living, dear, they’re no use to the dead…” so we will cheer ourselves with our memories of your wonderful father. Know that he will always be as close as your heart, and a beautiful sun set, and a perfect wave, or a gorgeous tomato. Blessings of peace and comfort to you and your family. Judith of Normal Heights, currently residing in Spokane, Washington.

  48. Lynda Wagner says:

    It was our pleasure taking care of Loren while he was in the SICU. He was quite the man. Strong, courageous and humble. We were all touched by his presence and the love and devotion he had for his family. I wish things had turned out differently but now he is whole again and out of pain. Blessings to you all and I hope we can all contribute to the legacy he left behind. What a trooper he was in the challenge he faced. I am working tomorrow so I will miss the celebration. I will be there in spirit for all of you. I hope you have peace for the love and life you brought to him. Xo

  49. Anonymous says:

    May your family never forget the treasures he brought to your lives! He is watching over you.
    Your friends from Julian

  50. Nena says:

    So sorry for your loss. No matter what channel he was on, I so enjoyed his tips. Whether it was gardening or taking care of bugs in your house with homemade remedies, he was fun, entertaining and educational. Thank you Nancarrow family, for sharing him.

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