April 16, 2003 ~ August 8, 2015
Colette “Coco” Elisabeth Pavao Lazenby, age 12, died unexpectedly and tragically in a car accident on August 8, 2015. She was a treasure to everyone she met, and will be remembered and cherished by all for her generous heart, inquisitive mind, zest for life and confident, adventurous spirit. She made the world a better place in the very short time she was on this earth.
Coco was born in San Francisco to Kate Pavao and Aaron Lazenby, and spent the first six years of her life there. After moving to Aptos in 2009, Coco attended Orchard School, Santa Cruz Montessori and Pacific Coast Charter School.
Coco connected with many communities and activities in Santa Cruz County. Recently, she played the role of Dorothy in the All About Theatre production of “The Wizard of Oz.” She sang with the Cabrillo Youth Chorus and performed with the Watsonville Taiko drumming group for two years. She published a book review in the Santa Cruz-based publication Stone Soup. She also recently completed a web site building project with More Active Girls in Computing (M.A.G.I.C.), which she presented at Google headquarters in the summer of 2015.
Coco was always eager to try new things and worked hard to master new skills. She wrote stories, plays and poetry, and made several movies with her cousins. And she loved reading. She usually had a book in her hands; libraries and bookstores were some of her favorite places, and she could sit for hours lost in a book. Last summer she helped build a Little Free Library in front of her house with her Grandma Sweet P so she could share books with her community.
She loved nature and the outdoors: she swam, surfed, rode horses, climbed trees and rocks, and camped. She loved music: sang, played the piano beautifully and was learning to play the guitar. And she was becoming a competent, creative chef. With her Uncle Bud, she won the 2014 “Scratchie,” an annual cooking competition held by her Lazenby family during the holiday season.
Coco cared for the environment and her community. She volunteered for the Homeless Garden Project, Save Our Shores and Team in Training. For the past two years, she organized her classmates to participate in Do Something’s Teens for Jeans drive, collecting clothing for homeless teens.
She was a committed vegetarian who fostered cats and kittens through Animal Shelter Relief, saved bees and bugs and worms, raised money for pet shelters, wrote a letter to the president about animal rights, and most recently began her own pet sitting business with its own website: PeppyPawz.com. Many members of Coco’s family have rescue cats or dogs because of her commitment to animals.
Coco was adventurous. She loved to travel, meet new people, and see new places. She had traveled to Costa Rica, India, Jamaica, and Japan with her parents. And she had visited Chesapeake Bay, Grand Canyon, Hawaii, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. where she had a special tour of the White House and met the First Dogs.
She knew the Constitution backwards and forwards and thought of becoming a Supreme Court justice. She was also an expert in Egyptian and Greek mythology, and dreamt of being an archeologist. She thought of being a writer, an actor, and a mom to a large group of kids. She knew whatever she did, she wanted to have lots of rescue animals in her life.
She always laughed loudest, gave great hugs and told people to “think about donuts” when they were sad and needed to feel better.
Coco is survived by her parents Kate Pavao and Aaron Lazenby of Aptos, grandparents Patt (Tauzer) and Tom Pavao of Woodland, and Cheryl (Strand) and Bruce Lazenby of San Clemente, great grandmother Olive Lazenby, uncles Matthew Pavao (Tina), Jack Lazenby (Beth) and Andrew “Bud” Lazenby, aunt Lindsey Ponzo (Danny) as well as cousins Maggie and Stella Pavao, and Miki, Joel, and John Ponzo. She also leaves behind a multitude of other relatives and friends.
Memorial services will be held at Inner Light Ministries in Aptos, Calif. on October 10. The family asks that donations be made to Team in Training/ The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in care of Team Coco: http://bit.ly/ TNT-TeamCoco