|Longtime Southern California journalistMark Petix had a ready response for those who told him how he was born with a talent for writing. Yeah, Mark would reply, and it only took years of hard work to develop that talent. Mark Anthony Petix, an award-winning writer, whose byline graced the pages of numerous dailies for more than three decades, died of cancer at his home in Riverside on Aug. 4. He was 57. Wrote George Rodrigue, the former managing editor of the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, where Mark spent some 15 years plying his trade: "He had a knack for making people care about everyday news (probably because his own wisdom and humanity came through so clearly in his writing)." Mark was born in Los Angeles on May 15, 1955, but he grew up in La Mesa and hated the Dodgers. A graduate of Grossmont High School and San Diego State University (1978), Mark worked at the La Mesa Scout, San Dieguito Citizen, Oceanside Blade-Tribune and Escondido Times-Advocate before moving to Riverside when the Press-Enterprise came calling. He later wrote for the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and the San Bernardino Sun. It was in Riverside while covering education that Mark met and quickly fell in love with an elementary school principal devoted to her inner-city students. Tena and Mark Petix recently celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary. Besides his soul mate and loving wife, Mark is survived by his sister, Susie Petix Wilson; his mother, Wilma Petix; an uncle, several aunts and nephews, and hundreds of friends. A memorial Mass will be said 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, at Our Lady of Grace Church, 2766 Navajo Road, in El Cajon. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the ASK Foundation (Animal Solutions Konnections) in Mark's name.