Homer Eugene Buchignani
July 13, 1921 - May 9, 2013
Homer Eugene Buchignani, a Yolo County farmer and a member of the Greatest Generation - those selfless men and women whose struggles paved the way for future generations - died Thursday, May 9, at his home, where he grew up, in rural Woodland. He was 91.
Homer was born on July 13, 1921, to Omega A. and Dulcie Buchignani (nee Sani). His father emigrated from Lucca, Italy, as a young man and became a produce farmer, selling his wares to the Sacramento Farmers Market, which still exists.
Homer graduated from Woodland High School and attended the UC Berkeley Pharmacy School, but the war and later the lure of the land and working with his father in farming prevailed. It was in San Francisco that he met his beloved bride, Lola Biancalana, on a blind date to Coit Tower, who preceded him in death. They were married in 1943 at St. Peter's and Paul's Church in San Francisco and had three children, Rod, Richard and Paula.
He later formed a partnership, Buchignani and Hughes, with his father and his brother-in-law, the late Robert "Bob" Hughes. They farmed in the 1950s, '60s and early '70s in Yolo, Sutter and Solano counties.
Homer was a pharmacist and later a radar mechanic during World War II, stationed in Florida. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion and the Woodland Elks Lodge
, No. 1299, and was active in those organizations. He was also a member of the Yolo County Farm Bureau and the Italian Catholic Federation. He enjoyed playing pedro, a card game, with friends in Esparto and was also a member of the Mr. and Mrs. Dance Club. Homer spent many of his retirement years nurturing a walnut orchard on the family farm. That orchard was his dream.
Homer was an avid fisherman. He and his wife enjoyed trips to the family cabin in Hamburg, Siskiyou County, Canada and Alaska. They were fortunate to take several trips to Europe. He loved spoiling his grand children, take them for tractor rides and joining them on bicycle rides. Homer was known for devouring crossword puzzles and napping with a tooth pick between his teeth.
Homer was bedridden for the past 14 months and his grace and stoicism taught visiting family and friends valuable lessons. "Although he was in great pain, he never complained, ever," said his sister, Norma Hughes Berrettoni, 90, referring to his recent situation. "When you asked him how he was doing, he always said, 'I'm fine.'"
Homer is survived by his beloved family, Rod (Barbara) Buchignani of Sebastopol, and daughter, Paula Buchignani of Sacramento. He is also survived by his granddaughters, artist Katherine Buchignani of Oakland and actress Claire Buchignani of New York, and many nieces, nephews, sister-in-law Doris Galli (Biancalana) and Eddie Cordoza. His son, Richard Buchignani, predeceased him in 1988, as did his sister, Mary Lou Cordoza, in 1993.
The Buchignani family would like to thank Sikeli "Keli" Rogokilagi and Torika Uluiviti of Pacifica Island Home Care for their caring dedication and his devoted neighbors the Lawson and Osborne families.
A Rosary is scheduled for 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 14, at McNary's Funeral Chapel, 458 College St., Woodland. A memorial Mass is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 15, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 301 Walnut St., Woodland. Interment will be held at Monument Hill Park, 35036 CR-22, Woodland, will follow the Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Woodland High School Future Farmers of America or the Yolo County 4H or a charity of the donor's choice.