Talks honor memory of Paso Robles woman

Couple brings national speaker to town to celebrate, share what their daughter loved

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comJanuary 31, 2012 

When Paso Robles couple Bob and Susan Mahoney heard national speaker Brent Nixon’s talk on animals this past summer, they knew he could carry on the memory of their late daughter, Marisa Lewis.

“We thought we had to get him down here to the schools and give the kids a sense of what my daughter loved,” a tearful Bob Mahoney said.

Lewis died of skin cancer in December 2010. She was 35 years old and a Paso Robles wife and mother of two.

The Cal Poly graduate loved animals. She enjoyed showing dogs as a kid and participating in the Cal Poly Equestrian Team in her college years, her father said.

“When she got sick, we took her to Alaska to see the whales,” he added.

The Mahoneys invited Nixon to speak to Paso Robles students this week through Tuesday at the city’s elementary schools and Paso Robles High School.

His student programs this week will include talks on animals such as otters, whales and other animals suggested by teachers.

Today, the public is invited to Nixon’s 45-minute talk on whales at 6 p.m. at the gymnasium of George Flamson Middle School, 655 24th St.

The event is free, but donations are encouraged so the Mahoney family can continue their speaker program in the community.

Nixon is the chief executive officer of “Nature Talks … are you listening?” a nonprofit program that focuses on environmental education and endangered species research, according to Nixon’s website, www.naturetalksbybrentnixon. com.

“It’s a great tribute to her, I think,” Mahoney said. “The kids are going to love it.”

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