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Jaime Laguette-Stevens ’02, loving wife, beloved daughter and cherished sister passed away on January 16 at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, California after a courageous fight against cancer. She was 30.
Jaime, a Santa Barbara resident and native, is survived by her husband Spencer Stevens; her mother and father, Gerri and Stephen Laguette; her sisters, Robyn Laguette and Janelle Laguette-Skei; her grandmother, Brenda Johnson; uncle, Von Johnson and brother-in-law, Evan Skei, and of course her beloved dog, Charlie.
Jaime’s last evening was spent with her husband and immediate family. She was a fighter to the end and demonstrated strength, courage and peace by conveying her love and appreciation to her family. Her courage never faltered, her spirit never broke and she maintained her defiant sense of humor to the last. Jaime Laguette-Stevens was born on March 27, 1979 in Santa Barbara, California. She attended La Patera and El Rancho grade schools. The consummate competitor, Jaime excelled in academics, swimming, and tennis.
She is a 1997 Dos Pueblos High School graduate where she lettered in tennis, participated in student council and was elected to the 1997 Homecoming Court. Jaime attended Santa Clara University and graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies.
Throughout her academic career Jaime demonstrated a tenacious drive in all aspects of her life that allowed her to excel in all her endeavors. While a full-time student, Jaime achieved Nordstrom’s North American Sales Record.
Jaime’s hard work and determination earned her enormous respect and recognition in her career in the footwear industry. She held several key positions, including Vice President of Operations at a local footwear company.
It was during this time that Jaime met and married the love of her life, Spencer Stevens. Spencer was working as a teacher at the Thacher School. They met on a blind date and from then on remained inseparable. They married on July 21, 2006.
Her entrepreneurial spirit found an outlet in partnership with her sister Robyn Laguette. In 2007, the sisters opened a stylish boutique and nail salon, Michele Wilder. For all who had the pleasure of meeting Jaime, her sense of style was her calling card. She possessed an elegance that accentuated her charm.
Her 2008 diagnosis of colon cancer spurred a brave and inspirational fight against the disease. Jaime immediately developed a network of “cancer warriors” that included people living with cancer, health care professionals and charity participants. Her defiance to be any less than herself was her hallmark.
After her initial diagnosis, Jaime adopted the inspirational mantra of Kicking Ass Taking Names, Repeat. KATNR! became the battle cry of her circle of supporters.
As part of Jaime’s courageous fight, she worked to increase the awareness of cancer in the local community, support her peers’ own battles against cancer and raised money for cancer research. Many of her fellow supporters were people she never met, people on colon cancer related message boards on a similar journey fighting a similar battle. Jaime also used Facebook to share her story with family, friends and strangers. Jaime’s perspective during her illness was an inspiration to many as she fought very hard, demonstrating amazing physical strength and a spiritual maturity. She continuously comforted her friends and family, allaying their fears and focusing their efforts.
Jaime’s charitable efforts were focused on the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara. She participated in an informative video produced by the Cancer Center to increase awareness and charitable contributions. One of Jaime’s favorite events was the Cancer Center’s Annual Walk Run. Last year, her team, Team I Heart Coco, took home the trophy for fundraising efforts! Her family and friends will continue her endeavors.