Arno Chauvel: Oct. 8, 1950 to April 19, 2011: Local remembered as vibrant

Laguna local Arno Chauvel has lost his battle with bone cancer.

His friend, Joe Ferguson, set up a blog for Chauvel in March, when he was first admitted to the hospital. Since then, memories and photographs have flooded the site, revealing a man with a passion for life and travel, and a happy marriage with Suzi Chauvel. He died April 19 at age 60.

Arno Chauvel was born Oct. 8, 1950, in Tulare, Calif. He met his wife while at the University of the Pacific, where he received a doctorate in pharmacology, according to his sister-in-law.

He proposed to Suzi Chauvel on Victoria Beach and they married in 1972. For the last 24 years they lived on a hill overlooking that spot.

He worked in medicine for 15 years but was able to find pleasure in a second career in real estate, as a co-founder of Summit Communities. He was also vice chairman of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

He is survived by Suzi Chauvel, sister Connie Gomez, nephew Aaron Gomez, nephew Kainoa Lusk, niece Lehua Lembeck and sister-in-law Candice Lusk. Many other family and friends also celebrate his life.

"He would really want everyone to take up his challenge to run hard and enjoy life," Lusk said.

Chauvel was diagnosed with myeloma in early March after an MRI for chronic back pain after a 100-mile bike ride.

Lusk said it teaches everyone to live every day to its fullest.

"He had so many interests. He was a vibrant man," she said. "He did everything with such enthusiasm."

Last week Candice Lusk and Suzi Chauvel had a special moment with a different Arno.

Arno the seal was brought into the marine mammal center the same day that Chauvel was admitted to the hospital. While most seals take at least a couple months to recuperate, Arno was ready to be released April 22, two days after Chauvel's passing.

Suzi Chauvel had the honor of opening the gate for Arno and letting him go.

A memorial service will be for Arno Chauvel is at 1:30 p.m. May 13 at Laguna Presbyterian Church at 415 Forest Ave.

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