Agapito “Gaby” Mata
Agapito “Gaby” Mata, age 95, passed away on March 18, 2022, peacefully and comfortably in his home in Santa Barbara, CA, following a rapid and unexpected decline in his health.
Gaby was born in Goleta, CA, on March 24, 1926, to Avelino and Eleanor Mata. He was ordered to report for induction to the US Navy on August 21, 1944, served as Seamen First Class USNR and was honorably discharged on June 6, 1946.
Gaby worked for several construction companies in Santa Barbara County and later started his own company, M&C Construction, where he became well-respected in the industry and known as the “best blade operator” in Santa Barbara.
In his retirement, Gaby took many trips to Laughlin and Las Vegas, enjoyed managing many projects around his home and spending numerous hours in his backyard with his dogs. He was most happy surrounded by his family and especially lit up with joy when his four great-granddaughters sat with him at the table for breakfast.
He is survived by his daughters Dolores Gonzales, Mary Hardman and Kathleen Mata, and his sons, Gabriel, Richard, Michael, and Tony Mata; his 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandson; his 3 brothers, Lalo, Frank, and Raymond Mata, and his 2 sisters, Josie Zamora and Mary Garcia.
His untimely passing came sooner than expected as he was extremely active, self-sufficient, and so full of life, laughter, and love that we all thought he’d be with us forever. Although our hearts are shattered to have lost our father, grandfather, brother, and friend, we find comfort in knowing he is at eternal peace. “Apple Grove” will never be the same. We love and miss you, Daddy!
Gaby’s family would like to express their eternal gratitude to Dr. Darol Joseff, MD, and the care team at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Memorial services will be held at Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapel, 15 E Sola St., Santa Barbara, CA, on April 1, 2022, at 1:00 PM.