Stanley Craig Hatch was born Jan. 16,1934, in Logan, Utah, to Adrian W.  Hatch and Marjorie W. Hatch. He passed away on Sept. 27, 2023, at his home in Santa Barbara, due to complications from Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Stanley Hatch
Stanley Hatch

Stan attended Utah State University, where he graduated with honors. His major was political science, and his minors were in English, history and military science. At Utah State, he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, edited the student newspaper, and was a contributor to the university’s literary and humor magazine.

He was the school’s Rhodes Scholar nominee in 1954, and he did sports announcing for the Intermountain radio network, covering college football and basketball games. He received a national scholarship to Harvard Law School in 1955, graduating with the class of 1958.

After graduating from law school, he did a tour of duty with the U.S. Air Force as a staff judge advocate in Nova Scotia, after which he took a one-year hiatus, traveling around the world much of that time. Eventually he landed in Santa Barbara, California, in 1962.

Initially, his plan out of law school was to join the U.S. Foreign Service, but an extended federal employment freeze changed his plan. He moved to Santa Barbara, serving as the deputy county counsel for three years, during which time he acted as the county’s legislative advocate in Sacramento, and litigated his favorite case, which resulted in the permanent removal of several hundred billboards from Santa Barbara County’s scenic highways.

By the time the Foreign Service offer opened back up, he turned it down, having been smitten by Santa Barbara.

He was a chair of the Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committee in the 1960s, and served for a time on the steering committee of the executive committee of the California State Central Committee.

He was a delegate to the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention pledged to Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated prior to the convention. He watched what was happening outside the walls of the convention on a small portable TV he had brought with him, sharing the news with other delegates seated near him, including Shirley McClaine.

In these activities, he followed in the footsteps of his late father, Adrian W. Hatch, who was a member of the Utah State Legislature during World War II, and his mother, the late Marjorie Webb Hatch, also ran for a legislative seat in Utah in the 1960s.

He opened his own law office in 1965, and in 1968 joined Gerald Parent in forming the law firm of Hatch & Parent, which grew over the years to become Santa Barbara’s largest law office, with over 40 lawyers in offices located throughout California. During the late ’70s and ’80s, he was an early leader and innovator in the use of computer technology to improve law firm efficiency, serving on the board of directors and as executive vice president of LawNet, a national organization, which numbered among its members many of the leading law firms in the United States.  

His early practice involved many high profile and controversial land-use cases, such as the preservation of the Polo Fields in Carpinteria, the development of Hammond’s Meadow near the Biltmore, Westmont College’s desperately needed expansion, and the location and construction of Exxon’s onshore oil and gas separation facilities in Corral Canyon, designed to avoid Exxon having to locate them in a floating facility in the Santa Barbara Channel.

He served as general counsel for the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions during its heyday under Robert M. Hutchins. He also served as city attorney of Carpinteria.

He helped form and was the founding president of the Barristers’ Club of Santa Barbara, which provided some of the earliest volunteer attorneys for legal aid on the South Coast. He was a member of the Citizens Commission on Civil Disorders, which investigated the causes and responses to the riots, which followed the burning of the Bank of America building in Isla Vista in 1970.  

Over the years, his practice focused on water law.  He successfully represented the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District in proceedings involving the relative rights of the participants in the Cachuma Project and the water users located downstream from that Project. The decision established the priority of his client’s water rights in the Santa Ynez River system.

He became special water counsel for the city of Bakersfield. He was instrumental in the 1980s in forming the Central Coast Water Authority, and in subsequently organizing and implementing the financing, permitting and construction of the Coastal Aqueduct extension of the State Water Project.

He was one of the lead urban negotiators who crafted the “Monterey Amendments” to the State Water Contract, which resulted in a potential reduction in future State Water Project costs to urban water users in California of over $1.5 billion. He also served as president of the State Water Contractors Association in Sacramento, and was awarded the California Water Foundation’s award for distinguished service in 1998.

Active in business as well, he was general counsel and part owner — with Helen Pedotti — of television station KCOY-TV in Santa Maria for a number of years. After that, he became an owner, again with Mrs. Pedotti and others, of radio station KKIQ in the Bay Area (Pleasanton-Livermore).

He co-owned, with San Francisco attorney Richard Graham, 100 acres of active agricultural land near Davis, California.

Stan served as a director and chair of the board of the Fielding Graduate University, which later honored him as a Lifetime Fellow of the University. He is a former director of the Santa Barbara Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Barbara County Bar Association.

The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors honored him with its distinguished community service award in 1991 for his work on the State Water Project. He and his wife, Betty, were honored by Life Chronicles with the “Father Virgil Remarkable Life Award.”

 As he wound down his involvement in his law practice, he became a member of the board of directors of Direct Relief International in 2003, where he served for seven years, two and one-half of which were as chairman. He continued as chair of the Direct Relief Foundation and of Direct Relief International South Africa, both of which he was influential in founding.

He was instrumental in the acquisition and the implementation of state-of-the-art enterprise resource planning software that vastly increased DRI’s capacity, its analytical abilities, and its inventory controls. He was proud to have been able to introduce Direct Relief to a major international generic drug manufacturer, a contact they had been lacking.  

Direct Relief’s subsequent growth trajectory was dramatic during his board tenure as he watched it grow from an organization serving just under 10 million people and dealing with $20 million worth of medical resources per year prior to the turn of the century, to one handling over $2 billion worth of medical resources in 2022.

He encouraged and supported the extension of Direct Relief’s benefits to the uninsured in the United States in a new and growing program called Direct Relief USA, which distributes prescription medications to patients at over 1,000 free and community clinics located in all 50 states.

He was very involved in the planning and construction of the new, significantly larger warehouse complex near the Santa Barbara Airport and, along with his wife, Betty, became one of its major financial contributors. The large public meeting room, Hatch Hall, was named for them.

In recent years, because of its increased capacity, Direct Relief has been on the Forbes list of the largest charities in the United States. It is currently shown as fifth largest at $1.93 billion, and is the only charity in the top 10 listed as having both a 100% fundraising efficiency and charitable commitment. He was very proud of his relationship and association with Direct Relief, serving as chair emeritus until his death.  

An avid skier for over 70 years, he skied at resorts throughout the U.S. and Europe. After sampling helicopter skiing in Canada, he researched the feasibility of opening a heli-skiing operation at Mineral King, in the Southern Sierras, which he abandoned when it turned out to be avalanche prone and snow challenged.

He enjoyed many sports over the years. He was a badminton champion in college, played tennis, ran on Santa Barbara’s beaches, swam laps at the YMCA, scuba dived around the world (he considered the waters around the Channel Islands to be the best and most beautiful) and, for over 35 years, was a yoga practitioner, which he felt enabled him to cycle 20-30 miles per week and play full-court basketball well into his mid-eighties.

He was known for his sense of humor, regaling his bike group at their weekly encounters with an extensive collection of jokes, some of which were published in a book, “Moments of Mirth,” celebrating his 80th birthday.

He wrote an unpublished novel, Mantra, and was an amateur artist who filled books full of sketches portraying his extensive travels (he visited over 60 countries world-wide).

As a private pilot , he flew his Cessna 182 throughout Mexico and the Western U.S. He wrote and published his memoirs, “2020 Hindsight, Reflections in the Rearview Mirror of Stanley C. Hatch, Esq.” in 2021.

He married Anne Lorraine Burnham, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1958, and they had two children. The marriage ended in divorce in 1981.

Stanley and Betty Hatch
Stanley and Betty Hatch

He married Betty Cleveland Mazzetti in 1982 in Santa Barbara, California. Thereafter, the two of them lived the happiest, most satisfying, and in many ways the most productive, years of their lives. They traveled extensively throughout the world on matters relating to Betty’s business, an international modeling agency and school.

He was quoted as saying about his wife: “The best thing I ever did in this life was to find and marry Betty, a woman wise beyond her years. I learned to pay close attention to her calm and wisdom. Living with her has been both an honor and a constant, unremitting pleasure. We grew together in every sense of the word. She is truly the love of my life.”

Their 41-year marriage was an inspiration to all who knew them.

Stanley Hatch is survived by his wife, Betty; by his daughter, Christine Hatch Santi, and his two grandsons, Lucas and Alex Santi, of Santa Ynez; his son, Kenneth Hatch of Carpinteria; stepson Robert Mazzetti and his wife, Merrie Morris-Mazzetti, and two step-grandchildren, Siena and Cordell Mazzetti of Austin, Texas; his sister, Elaine Thomas of Sacramento, her husband Terry, and their children, Tiffany Thomas, Michelle Wieland, and children Aly and Axel, and Michael Thomas, his wife Kendra and son Bodhi; and by his nephew, Graham Hatch, and wife Brenda of North Carolina, and niece, Jennifer Hatch, and her spouse Sue of New York, the children of his brother, Robert Hatch.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Adrian W. Hatch and Marjorie W. Hatch, his brother Robert A. Hatch, and stepson Mark Mazzetti.

The family would like to thank Teresa Alcala, Maria Vergara, Beatriz Ramirez and the caregivers who gently cared for Stan in his final months.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in honor of Stan to Direct Relief.

A celebration of Life will be held at a later date.