Loved ones gather in a paddle out to honor local teen’s life
Several dozens of family, friends and loved ones gathered at Devereux Beach in Isla Vista Friday afternoon to celebrate the life of the 19-year-old man who was shot and killed outside Goleta on Jan. 7.
Through tearful embraces and the joyful sharing of memories, those who knew Enzo Marino Rastelli all agreed on one thing.
He lived his life to the fullest even though it was cut short.
Both of Mr. Rastelli’s parents attended the paddle out, along with his sister, close relatives and dozens of friends.
“I think that he lived in one small lifetime of 19 years more than people live in two to three lifetimes,” Tanya Rastelli, Enzo’s mother, told the News-Press. “I think that has touched so many people, and hopefully they get up, get out and experience life and experience the blessings of the outside world and challenge themselves.
“Here it is, for our taking.”
She added that she hopes the suspect is caught, because she doesn’t want any other mother to have to experience this.
Randy Rastelli, Enzo’s father, said his son was “a true adrenaline junkie.”
“What can I say? He loved life,” he told the News-Press. “We did everything together. He was such a great kid — straight up, honest, never lied.
“He came up for Christmas time and we skied like seven times, and he just seemed so happy.”
Mr. Rastelli said that his son was also very healthy, and if Enzo felt like he was under the weather, he’d eat raw garlic.
“He was just coming into the prime of his life, in Santa Barbara making his own way at 19,” the father said.
Enzo’s aunt, Alaina Rastelli, told the News-Press that she and her nephew were “two peas in a pod.”
“He always brought levity to a room or to anybody around,” she said. “If someone was in a bad mood, he’d come in and just joke about it and get everybody to lighten up.
“He loved everybody. Even if he had to create boundaries with them, he loved them from afar.”
Enzo’s girlfriend and her family also attended the paddle out. He and Audrie Plourd had been dating for a couple years.
“Enzo was over a couple times a week, and the two of them went on hikes all the time,” Marty Plourd, Audrie’s father, told the News-Press. “He was just this great outdoorsman, well beyond his years. Whether it was the sea or mountains or rivers or waterfalls or hiking … Just all the time doing something adventurous.”
Mr. Plourd said Enzo and Audrie would go watch the sunrise a couple times a month.
“I saw a lot of possibilities for him,” he said. “He’s going to be missed but not forgotten. He’s a great soul, very unique, and we consider him part of the family, so we will honor him and his short life that he had.”
Kristie Plourd, Audrie’s mother, said the Italian in Enzo always came out whenever he got in the kitchen. The teen was attending the Culinary Arts program at Santa Barbara City College.
“We loved to cook together,” Mrs. Plourd told the News-Press. “That culture of everybody in the family together and just sitting around the table and talking — it meant a lot to him and he loved that.”
Alexis Oleary went to Santa Barbara High School and knew Enzo well through her ex-boyfriend and one of her best friends.
“It’s just heartbreaking. I hung out with him all summer,” she told the News-Press. “He literally lived everyday like it was his last day, which is wild. We say he lived more life than a person does in 100 years.”
She said some of her favorite memories were going to Red Rock with Enzo and a few friends, where they jumped off cliffs and just hung out.
“He had so much energy. That kid would wake up and just be like, ‘All right everyone, let’s go to the mountains. We’re going to go hike right now,’ ” Ms. Oleary said. “I really admire that he was the type of person where everyone who was close to him was very close to him, and people who weren’t were just kind of acquaintances. There wasn’t really an in-between because that’s just how you have to be with Enzo.”
She said he loved having deep conversations and meditating.
“Enzo had this beautiful, cool outlook on life, and he was just taken too soon.”
The Rastelli family started a GoFundMe to raise money for services. To donate, visit gofundme.com/f/enzo-rastellis-memorial-sbcc-student-age-19.