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Obituary: Bruce Mather Hackett ’57

May 2, 1936 - Aug. 27, 2010

Bruce Mather Hackett died Friday, August 27, 2010.

He was born in Omaha, Neb. in May 1936 and moved to Davis in 1964 to become a sociology professor at UC Davis, from which he retired after teaching for 30 years.

Among other things, he studied 1970s-era intentional communities on the Mendocino coast, and energy conservation practices and policies. He was a great enthusiast about his work and the sociological craft.

Bruce had many other interests. He was a lover of wood and a builder. Also a skilled naturalist, he loved to collect edible mushrooms, identify wildflowers and, most of all, watch birds. Cooking was an important part of his everyday life and he was a warm and entertaining host. A close friend noted that Bruce often said his greatest pleasure from cooking was in creating the dishes his wife loved.

Bruce was also passionate about growing vegetables and flowers, and planting trees, especially at his beloved farm in Albion. Always creative and playful, he became a serious artist in the last 10 years, working with clay to craft hand-built ceramic objects.

He was a much loved husband, father, grandfather, friend and mentor. He is survived by his wife, Amanda Noble; his daughter, Gretchen Hackett Brinser; his son, Jesse Hackett; and two granddaughters, Emma Brinser and Reilly Lombardi Hackett. A celebration of Bruce's life will be held on December 4 from 2-5 p.m. at Putah Creek Lodge on the UC Davis campus. Please RSVP (