RODNEY BANDUCCI(1955 - 2013)

Rodney Banducci November 16, 1955 - October 10, 2013 Rodney Banducci, 57, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on his farm in Buttonwillow on Thursday, October 10th. Rodney is survived by his wife of 34 years, Cindy Banducci, son Austin Banducci, daughter Kayla Castillo and her husband Joaquin Castillo, and his granddaughter McKenna Castillo. Rodney was an incredible father, husband, Nono and friend to all who knew him. At 6'8" tall, he was hard to miss when he walked into a room. Rodney played basketball at Shafter High School, and went on to play at Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield, before he decided to return to Buttonwillow to help with the family farm. Farming was Rodney's legacy, and he often and fondly would refer to the black dirt farm land in Buttonwillow as "God's Country." The fact that Rodney died on his farm on the land that he loved has given a sense of peace to all who knew him. No one could have seen it happening anywhere else. Rodney married Cindy (Willard) Banducci, of Buttonwillow, when she was 17 and he was 23. They lived for a short time in Bakersfield before moving to Buttonwillow, and raised their two kids there. Rodney and Cindy had celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary in August. They were a true love story, the kind that only comes around once in a great while. Rodney took great pride in everything his kids did, and he loved watching and coaching their sports team, and spending time hunting with his son. His first granddaughter was born in 2012, and she shares his birthday. The family would like to extend our deepest thanks to all of our friends and family who have come out to Buttonwillow to offer their help, or just to sit and keep us company, we love and appreciate all of you. Also we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the firefighters and paramedics that responded to the scene and worked so hard to save him. The fact that they stayed with us until we left hours later will never be forgotten. The service will be Thursday, October17th at 11 am at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Graveside will be directly following at Shafter Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Marty Allen, David Freeborn, Robert Pino, Joey Barulich, Philip Esnoz, Jim Van Sickel, Jeff Crawford and Steve Houchin. Everyone who knew Rod knows how he felt about dressing up, so please dress casually and comfortably. DOUGHTY-CALHOUN-O'MEARA FUNERAL DIRECTORS www.bakersfield.com/obits

This obituary was originally published in the Bakersfield Californian.

Published online on Oct. 16, 2013 courtesy of Bakersfield Californian.