Monday, August 20 , 2018, 2:43 pm | Partly Cloudy 76º

Posted on February 15, 2018 | 2:48 p.m.

Mark Mazzetti of Santa Barbara, 1963-2018

Source: Stan Hatch

Mark Mazzetti
Mark Mazzetti

Mark Mazzetti, a talented and loving human being, died last week on Feb. 13 at the too-early age of 54 at the home of his brother and sister-in-law, Rob and Merrie Mazzetti, in Austin, Texas.

Born on July 5, 1963, Mark was the oldest son of Betty Mazzetti Hatch and her first husband, Dr. Robert Mazzetti, who died in 2010.

He was the step-son of Stanley C. Hatch, the founder of the Santa Barbara law firm, Hatch & Parent. He was employed by that firm and its successor, Brownstein|Hyatt|Farber|Schreck, for his entire working life.

Mark was born, grew up and lived in Santa Barbara and Carpinteria. He was active in scouting as a youth. He was a member of Scoutmaster Sam Soga’s Troop 26 and enjoyed hiking the Los Padres, Sierra and Grand Canyon Wilderness areas.

He attended local schools, including San Marcos High School. He ultimately graduated from the Dunn School in Los Olivos, where he was a standout in cross-country running.

He went on to study computer science at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., from which he graduated second in his class in 1987, after which he was solicited for a government job.

Instead, he joined Hatch & Parent during a dynamic period in which the firm was in the process of becoming one of the most technologically advanced law offices in the United States. Mark's unique knowledge and expertise became critical components in the firm’s growth.

The firm ultimately became the largest law office in Santa Barbara, with connected offices in a number of other California cities. His surrogate father often said, “We simply could not have done what we did without Mark.”

Mark's guidance and advice in finding, implementing and integrating software was extraordinary. He not only knew how and why computer hardware was constructed, he knew how computer software worked, having mastered the art of programming.

He knew a computer’s limitations and its possibilities. He could take one apart physically and keep it running past its prime. He was able to solve difficult, critical software and integration issues, despite the fact that he was born dyslectic. He overcame that limitation on a daily basis his entire life.

Mark loved puzzles and could solve them as fast as you could put them in front of him. He was amazing. If something wasn’t working around the house, Mark figured out why and fixed it in short order.

He could disassemble virtually anything, compound or complex, and, to the amazement of his friends and family, he could reassemble it in perfect working order.

Mark was a lovely and loving person. A lifelong bachelor, he developed strong and enduring friendships over the years. He participated in a great many “Renaissance fairs” throughout California with many of his friends and colleagues, delighting in dressing up in medieval costumes.

He loved to attend music concerts and did so regularly with his closest friends. He often joined them on high seas music cruises. He recently traveled to Alaska, Costa Rica and Italy, and traveled in a huge, red motor home across the United States.

Mark loved science fiction. He collected scifi movies and rarely missed an opening night. He was a selective, but accomplished, computer “gamer.” His instincts for strategy made him a formidable competitor.

With his friends, he had begun writing a computer game, which he never got the chance to finish.

In 2013 he was blindsided by a diagnosis of lung cancer, despite the fact that he had never smoked a cigarette in his life.

He bravely fought the disease for four long years, through multiple procedures that involved both chemotherapy and a succession of biologic-based treatments, which resulted in only short-term remissions.

He did this bravely, enduring multiple injections over time, despite the fact that he absolutely hated needles.

He took his family “responsibilities” seriously. When his father’s health started to decline as a result of prostate cancer, he and his brother moved in and saw him through his final days.

As Mark’s own condition worsened in late 2017, he was invited and decided to move into his brother’s home in Austin, where his last days were embedded in love and affection. His move was interrupted by the Thomas Fire, which made him evacuate his Carpinteria home.

He moved in with his parents in Hope Ranch. His brother, sister-in-law and their two children then flew out from Austin and, over a period of about 10 days, physically got him out of town ahead of the dangerous rains.

Mark is survived by his mother Betty Hatch; his step-father Stanley Hatch of Santa Barbara; his brother Rob Mazzetti and Rob’s wife Merrie Morris Mazzetti; his niece Siena Mazzetti; his nephew Cordell Mazzetti, all of Austin, Texas; his half-Sister Michelle Mazzetti of Hawaii; his step-sister, Christine Santi of Santa Ynez; and his step-brother, Kenneth Hatch of San Francisco.

He is also survived by his step-brothers Justin Fox of Carpinteria and Jason Fox of Buckley, Wash.

A celebration of life event is planned during the weekend of March 10-12. Contact is Kimberly Mumford, [email protected]. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mark's memory to Direct Relief, 27 S. La Patera Lane, Goleta, CA 93117,

— Stan Hatch


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