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. MJ says:

    We left San Diego 9 years ago but Loren Nancarrow was always a joy to share the end of the day… always cheerful and sharing some tidbit of SD knowledge…. he will be missed but not forgotten.

  2. DeMaio Family says:

    So very very sorry for your loss. My youngest daughter and Britta went from elementary thru high school together. During the elementary school years it was nice seeing your Dad pop into school for some kind of project. His smile and charismatic personality made him a person everyone wanted to be around. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. Great piece, never met Nancarrow but I always enjoyed his segments. You could really tell he loved what he did and his love for being outside or in the garden was contagious. He will be missed. Sorry for the loss to the Nancarrow family. You did a wonderful job writing this piece. Something that he would be very proud of.

  4. Kati Galuppo says:

    What an amazingly creative and dedicated family- I guess you could not have missed with your amazingly creative and dedicated father. May his love sustain you and continue to motivate all of us in San Diego. God Bless.

  5. Todd Lee says:

    Our family has watched Loren for many years and a few years ago, my husband and I got to talk to him. He was gracious and easy going, and wonderful to talk to. We are so sorry for your loss, and will hold you in our hearts. San Diego is wrapping their arms around your family.

  6. Jim says:

    He so generously shared a true treasure. Himself.

  7. Rocket Hoskins says:

    Dear Susie..Hannah.. Britta and Graham, My heartfelt condolences of the passing on of a great man that I was proud to have known. I watched you girls grow up as I was your next door neighbor in Olivenhain on the ranch next door. I would have intense talks with him about everything from gardening to snakes.. and he was a treasure trove of information. But it was his incredible smile and demeanor that always made it a joy to be around him. Being his neighbor and watching him interact with all of you as children made me smile. I will cherish those years I had the privilege to have known him up close and personal. May God bless and comfort you all in this time of reflection. He was so loved by so many. A beautiful person has now Graced the Eternal home of God. God will be pleased. We all had a better life knowing Loren. R.I.P. Amen. Rocket and Ashley Hoskins

  8. Cheryl Pronchick says:

    Hannah, you are a treasure. Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking but beautiful journey with us. I will never forget you & your family. With love & peace, Cheryl

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. Marlene Massa says:

    We lived in the San Diego area for 32 years and watch Loren on the news. Not many make an impression on me but this man did. We have been in Murrieta for 13 years now but our daughter who still lives in the San Diego area told us about Loren. We were shocked and so sad to hear about his illness. Our family sends their condolences to his family. He will always be remembered.

  10. Sammy Gross says:

    Our hearts are full of so many mixed emotions. Working with San Diego Hospice taught me that once we surrender to God-Spirit-there is a peace that passes all understanding. I want to thank you for watching and caring for you husband-dad-friend. So many others would have resigned to have “someone else” deal with it. Being a care-giver is not easy–and is not a job for the weak. Even though difficult and frustrating at times there is a sense of accomplishment of just “being there”. I feel proud to live in a city that truly care’s for others. Thank you for giving it your all and know that he is still watching over you. For now he is just in another room. The blue sky is always there…..just a few clouds for now. Close your eyes and think of him….and you too will realize no one ever truly passes. Love to all.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I followed Loren on television from the time I moved here in 8th grade until now and loved the energy he brought to his work. He loved San Diego and seemed to be a passionate man willing to fight for what he thought right. My thoughts are with him and his family.

  12. Jerry Dunnam says:

    Hannah, Your words are beautiful and peaceful just as your dad was to his very soul! I too lost both of my parents this past year, 3 1/2 months apart and I found writing both of their eulogies allowed me that very quiet and time of soul searching to grieve and push through the sadness that will always be there. But it was the beginning of the healing process and grieving process as well. I have followed your journey throughout this time and admire you as a person for sharing what is usually a very private and tough time. Your dad will always be remembered as a great man and beloved San Diegan but I will remember you as being his strong daughter who allowed the rest of us to share in a beautiful journey! Thanks again Hannah! Hugs to you and yours, Jerry

  13. Tom Hanscom says:

    The dear man lived a short 60 years… but he LIVED them all. I doubt that anyone ever spent five minutes with Loren and didn’t hear him laugh. We’ll miss that sound. Thanks for all the laughter, Loren.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I always looked forward to Loren Nancarrow’s reports on the news. He was so informative and felt like he was the guy next door, giving me advice on how to get rid of ants or when was the best time to plant the tomatoes. The most useful thing I learned from him (years ago) was to use borax soap powder on my carpets to kill fleas instead of chemicals. This worked so well and I have passed this info on to so many people since then. I guess this is one way he lives on, through me and so many more people, still using his valuable information to better our lives. I am so sorry he had to leave us too soon. I miss him already. Love to his family and friends and the rest of us who never met him, but still felt like he was our friend.
    Janice Bryant, Ocean Beach

  15. Anonymous says:

    Our thoughts are with you and your family. I know the lose is hard, but we all know that really Loren is at peace. He fought a valiant fight. He is indeed a hero in our eyes. We hope your family does okay in the following weeks searching for your new normal. Love you Loren. Rest in peace.

  16. I had the opportunity to meet Loren a number of times as he worked with San Diego Earthworks projects – especially the annual San Diego Earth Fair and the annual VIP (very important planet) celebrations. And, I enjoyed Loren’s many news broadcasts highlighting various events (and weather) in the San Diego area. Loren was always a happy, affable, easy-going gentleman over the 25 years I’ve called San Diego home. It is always sad to lose a loved one. We know that their Spirit lives on. And, we know that Spirit has new tasks at hand that are often not concerned with physical, earthly activities. It is comforting to just know that Life never ends, the Spirit merely transcends. But, our human bodies have feelings that burst to be felt and expressed. Feelings such as love, joy, happiness. Feelings such as sadness, grief, and frustration. We are blessed to be able to choose which feelings we spend the most time nurturing. And, we must remember to acknowledge all feelings – to accept each feeling as it is. And then, we are free to choose which feelings need our attention and nurturing most. It also opens up for us options as to how to use feelings to move forward and be our best in our individual Lives. Loren knew this well! Loren showed us the examples that we all can, and often do, accept as our own lessons in Life. At this moment, all I can really say is, God Bless Loren Nancarrow! Loren truly brought so much to Life, to his beloved family, and to San Diegans. God Bless Loren! And, my prayers are that God Bless Loren’s dear family!

  17. Nikki Wood says:

    To the Nancarrow family, this city was both blessed and a better to live with Loren. Loved his broadcasts, and his gardening specials. It was great seeing him at the local music venues. He was a great person and a friend….shared many good times at the Belly Up….He will always be in our hearts.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Dear Loren ,went out last night after hearing about your passing and picked a star out for you because you deserve to have one it’s the star left of the big dipper .you will be missed my friend ,kell Krueger

  19. Anonymous says:

    Dear Nancarrow Family,
    Our family has you in our thoughts and prayers. We just loved Loren’s broadcasts. I used to see him at Frog’s gym, and Carter’s Feed and Grain and I’d think to myself how great he’s a local celebrity that’s just a regular guy doing his workout or picking up feed for the animals. He will really be missed by so many. Again, Thank you Nancarrow family for sharing him with San Diego, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Rest in Peace Mr. Nancarrow. -The Smith Family

  20. Max Roelen says:

    My sincere condolences go out to the Nancarrow family. He is with the good spirits now and enjoying every moment. RIP Loren!

  21. Cheryl Williams says:

    Dear Friends and Family of Loren…I am so saddened to learn of Loren’s passing. What an awesome person and what a beautiful obituary! I so enjoyed his organic gardening tips, his voice, his great smile…I feel blessed that I was able to “know” him, at least through the media. His is a legacy that will stay with us for a long, long time. And you, his wife and children, are yet another legacy that attests to the kind of man, father, friend and person he was. Rest in peace, Loren. Until we all meet again. Blessings and love to you.

  22. Anonymous says:

    He was an inspiring person who always made me smile ! RIP my friend

  23. Gail Harrington says:

    My son Kent is 24 and I cannot imagine facing this moment, for you or him… Writing your dad’s obituary. Your are a brave daughter. Your words are beautiful. My heart goes out to you and your brother and sister, and your sweet mom as you face the future together. I am very sorry for your loss.

  24. ZMom Smith says:

    My family just loves Loren Nancarrow! We will miss his wit and humor. Our condolences to the Nancarrow family.

  25. Dee Korosi says:

    So very to hear of this Loss of a great Man. Love and Peace to his loved ones.

  26. Emiliana V. Emery says:

    Rest in peace dear Loren, love and prayers go out to the Nancarrow Family for the loss of a wonderful man. I wanted to Thank you for opening your home to Horticulture Students, so that they could witness sustainability in action.


  28. Anonymous says:

    He was my favorite broadcaster and I always looked forward to his useful information on plants and other things. He will live on in our community gardens and beautiful landscapes.

  29. Cheryl Gallagher says:

    What an entirely and amazing obituary! I didn’t lose my Dad until I was 52 years old, but the empty space he left reminds me of what you’re all going to be going thru with your own empty space….but you are SO right about him still being here with you. I watched the Charger’s win last night with my own Dad and watched him smile, clap and wink at me! You lost him so young but oh how lucky you have been to have had him…a relative approached me at my own Dad’s memorial service…she grabbed both my arms and looked me right in the eye and said, “never for one hour of my life, did I have the pleasure of having a Dad like yours, so remember those of us who were not as fortunate as you.” You Nancarrow’s had that joy and pleasure and I know you’ll treasure it.

    Please accept my sincerest condolences on your loss. Heal gently….

  30. Mary Beth says:

    Loren was my favorite newscaster….always nice seeing him on TV. My heart is heavy for you all, his family. I’ll be praying for your family through this difficult time….but glad Loren has been set free of the pain and suffering!!!

  31. Steve says:

    I moved away from San Diego four years ago. I looked forward to seeing your dad each night on the news. His personality and joy for life came through the tv screen and into our living room. He was the quintessential San Diegan. He is missed. I am sorry for your loss.

  32. Mary Giovaniello says:

    You and your family guided and helped your Dad on his journey. He will now guide and help you all on yours.

  33. Ken Martini says:

    I never knew Loren personally but I feel like I lost one of my best friends.

  34. Robin Rivet says:

    The tree community will miss him deeply. I promise to plant a tree in his honor in 2014.

  35. Sandee says:

    Heartbroken for the family and for San Diego residents. We came to think of him as family also. Especially with him sharing his final journey with us. Heaven’s garden just got a little brighter. You will be missed by many. Thank you for making the world a better place.

  36. Brianna Huntoon says:

    I used to see Loren at Seaside Market as well as on television. I am so sorry for your loss. He taught me what a ‘meat diaper’ was when he would get them from the market. Funny and amazing man.

  37. ADMIN says:

    Loren is also fondly remembered by his former colleagues at KPIX-TV in San Francisco as can be seen on the KPIX-Then and Now group FB page.

    • Silvio Pucci says:

      I worked with Loren at KFMB from 1987 to 1992 and can remember sending a crew over to the hospital to take some video so we could celebrate the birth of his son on air. It seems like only yesterday. Once we got a call from a viewer asking for ‘Norman Ranchero’ I never failed to call him that. He was a good man and will truly be missed……

  38. Linda S says:

    God Bless him and keep him. He will be missed by many.

  39. Yvonne De Montijo says:

    Dear Nancarrow family, I’m beyond words at such a great loss. I grew up watching Loren work his magic in the community. He will never be forgotten.

  40. thewic says:

    So Sorry for your loss, he was a great man.

  41. laura c says:

    To Loren’s family My thought’s and prayers are with you. Loren, Thank You for all the great gardening tips. You will be missed.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Dear Susie, Hannah, Graham & Britta:
    I thoroughly enjoyed your Dad and his contribution to our planet and awareness. I loved his quote and know that will help you in the years to come. He was a wonderful warrior and will be missed.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Good Bye Loren. You will be missed.

  44. Art Williams says:

    Amazing person, always positive, brought attention to the good things of San Diego, too young to depart, sorry for your loss, He’ll be back in perfect health..

  45. Janet says:

    May your faith continue to comfort you and may your father’s [Loren’s] ever present spirit be with you to calm you forever and ever! He is free and at peace; may your family be as well.

  46. mapickett@ cox.net says:

    So very sorry for your loss. Hold close the good memories, strive to forget the memories that break your heart. The old adage is…the only thing you can carry with you is LOVE! I am sure Loren is wrapped in an abundance of LOVE for his final journey. I wish you kind and loving thoughts as you recall his spirit of fun, love and laughter. May he rest in peace.

    • Patti Anderson says:

      Go in peace, Loren. You have left a beautiful legacy of how life should be lived. Enjoy your garden and waves in heaven. God bless your family.

  47. […] On Nancarrow’s blog, his daughter Hannah wrote about her father, “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.” […]

    • Anonymous says:

      recall meeting Loren many years ago at the show park because he was there to watch handiapped children ride (my daughter was one of them) we got to talking of our mutual love of German Shepherds since I raised them and later trained. What a wonderful spirit shown thru than and all thru this journey of cancer. I will miss Loren who put a different spin on San Diego!

  48. Charles Lewis says:

    We will all miss him very much he had a great spirit and loving and friendly smile. He had wonderful broadcasts and photos, will be remembered. Rest in peace Loren!

  49. Sharon Frank says:

    Dear Nancarrow family, I am so very sorry for your loss. Loren was, indeed, a good man and a good person, and loved by so many people in our community. May he rest in peace.

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