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Coronado's 'Sandman' dies after battle with liver cancer, family says

Posted at 2:25 PM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 02:21:50-05

CORONADO, Calif. (KGTV) — The man known for spreading joy through the creation of elaborate sand art in Coronado and later Texas has died.

Alberto Avila died on Wednesday, according to his daughter and Coronado community members on Facebook. Avila was known for his sand art created on the beaches of Coronado and later when he lived in El Paso, Texas. He was 65.

Avila was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in 2015, according to a GoFundMe set up by his daughter. Through the last few years of his life, she says he continued creating sand art.

Avila's family said his health started to decline severely last year, "although his attitude and overall condition currently remain positive."

In 2017, Avila was still using a broom and brush to create unique sand art in the El Paso area, according to ABC-affiliate KVIA.

Many people left condolences and recalled memories of Avila on a Facebook fundraiser for the family.

"I loved seeing his beautiful art every time I got out of work. He always brought a smile to my face. I hope this small donation gets him a little closer to a service as beautiful as his soul that he projected in to every art piece he created," one Facebook user recalled.