LAGUNA BEACH (CNS) - Friends, colleagues and family gathered in Laguna Beach Thursday for a memorial service honoring Dr. Michael John Mammone, who was run down while riding his bicycle in Dana Point then stabbed.
Colleagues hailed him as a physician committed to providing caring treatment to all of his patients, regardless of background or financial standing. Family members praised him as a loving husband and sibling, and an adventurer who enjoyed travel and SCUBA diving.
An array of photos were on display at the service at the Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach, along with flowers, notes of tribute and even diving fins and a SCUBA mask and tank.
His wife, Julie, said the couple were planning a trip to Italy for their 30th wedding anniversary, and they intended to take sailing lessons -- lessons she still plans to take.
"My love, my soulmate, rest in peace until we meet again," she said.
Mammone was attacked around 3 p.m. Feb. 1 at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Crown Valley Parkway in Dana Point. Sheriff's officials said Mammone, 58, was riding his bicycle when he was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by a man then got out and attacked him with a knife.
The driver, Vanroy Evan Smith, 39, of Long Beach, was detained at the scene by witnesses. Arriving deputies took him into custody and found Mammone severely injured.
He died at a hospital.
Mammone was an emergency medicine doctor who was on staff at Providence Mission Hospital Laguna Beach since 2011.
"We are stunned by this devastating tragedy," hospital officials said in a statement following his death. "The entire Mission Hospital family is grieving over the loss of an incredible physician and friend. We will honor Dr. Mammone's dedication to our community and passion for medicine by continuing to provide exceptional care."
In an obituary, Mammone's family said he worked as a lifeguard in Los Angeles County when he was 18. After graduating from UC San Diego and earning his medical degree from USC, he completed his residency at Loma Linda Medical Center in emergency medicine. He spent 20 years at San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland, while also serving as medical director for the Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department. He and his wife followed their love of Laguna Beach to that city when he accepted the position at Providence.
"Michael was known by his colleagues and patients to be a doctor that humbly took the time to listen to and care for each individual and their needs," according to the family's obituary. "Michael's family will forever cherish the beautiful memories they share with him and will continue to celebrate and honor his wonderful life and legacy."
Smith has been charged with murder, but the case against him has been paused while he undergoes a mental evaluation.