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Atherton services on Wednesday

Services for long-time Laguna Beach resident and community activist Dr. Eugene R. Atherton will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on Park Avenue. The Rev. Robert Cornelison will officiate.

Atherton died Feb. 19 in a Santa Ana hospital, where he lived for the last months of his life, but his heart never left Laguna Beach, friend Robert Birch said.

The memorial service will be followed by a reception in the church’s Guild Hall, after which a procession will lead to Main Beach to sprinkle Atherton’s ashes in the ocean.

Resident Ron Kaufman is trying to organize a “paddle out,” a tradition in surfing circles for a lost comrade, Birch said.

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Atherton was 80 at the time of his death.


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