Dr. Rod Buchignani
{ "" }
Share Rod's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Dr. Rod Buchignani
Dr. Rod Buchignani, a much-loved husband and father, died peacefully at home on March 18, 2020 after a long, courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 75.
Rod had a distinguished career in public education as a teacher, principal, and superintendent of Harmony Union, then Piner-Olivet; and adjunct professor at Sonoma State University where he guided students to become effective educational leaders. Rod earned his doctorate in Educational Policy Analysis from USC. Rod's life was devoted to service to others. He was a volunteer Fire Chief in Jenner and served in the Peace Corps in Venezuela in the 1960s.
He was a Renaissance man, an extraordinary cook and photographer, who tended pistachios and olives at his family ranch in Woodland. He delighted in letterpressing. Rod was a technocrat, a follower of politics, and a connoisseur of wine and martinis.
But of all facets of Rod's life, he cherished being a father and a husband the most. His nickname, which he earned, was "The Rodfather." His daughters and his wife were his entire world.
Rod is predeceased by his parents, Lola and Homer, and his brother, Richard. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Barbara, daughter Katherine (Andrew Nelson), daughter Claire (Andrew Pollock) and his sister, Paula. His loving in-laws, aunts, numerous cousins, friends and colleagues, all who treasured Rod's compassion, kindness, support, and incredible smile also survive him. Rod will be sorely missed by all who knew him. He will not be forgotten and will remain close in our hearts forever.
Arrangements by Pleasant Hills Memorial Park. A celebration of Rod will be held in the future. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network or a charity of the donor's choice.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Press Democrat on Mar. 29, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Pleasant Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary - Sebastopol
Not sure what to say?
9 entries
April 9, 2020
Mr. B. was my sixth-grade teacher, back in the mid 1980s. He stands out so clearly to me as one of my really good teachers. I've always felt lucky to have had him, and will remember him always.
Anna Embree
April 7, 2020
I gained great respect for Dr. Buchignani AND his sense of humor, when our family went to a school board meeting to ask that the awesome instrumental music program of the Piner Olivet District be supported rather than cut. He let us know that he was a big supporter of the program, and that if he wasn't, he'd go home to find that his wife put his belongings on the lawn:) We were sorry when he retired as superintendent, and thrilled to see him years later at Sur La Table following his passion for cooking. He will not be forgotten.
Betty Roza
April 6, 2020
Barbara, So saddened to hear of Rod's passing. I'm one of the USC Cohort that went through their Policy Doctorate and lived on campus that summer. Fond memories of Rod. Steve Lowder was the one who had heard of Ron's passing and was relentless in verification. We had good times in the barrio with Nelson Mandela's return with 95,000 of his friends in the stadium. Our trips to the market, trying to find our way, and figuring out how to cram all the information USC expected of us that summer will live on forever - taped notecards to the wall, walking and reciting in cadence, trying to discern what was "really important" vs "good to know". . . .

Please accept my memories, my condolences, and my love. Barbara Pahre, Napa, CA
Barbara Pahre
April 6, 2020
One of my favorite memories of Rod was during our time on campus at USC. We teased Rod because he got a room high up in the student housing building. One day, another student (Barb Pahre) and I made a visit to see Rod. He was sitting a table looking out his sliding glass door at the skyscrapers of downtown LA. Breezes blowing his curtains, a thunderstorm highlighted the buildings, and Rod was listening to music enjoying the million dollar view. He didnt say a thing about our earlier comments, just a smile..
Steve Lowder
March 29, 2020
Barbara, I am so sorry for the loss of Rod. He was a leader and a gentleman who was my role model, while I worked with him at Harmony School. He encouraged me to become a school leader, to earn my doctorate degree, and to try to lead with both my heart and my mind. He was an example for many and he always put children first. He will always be remembered, fondly.
Michael Fanning
March 29, 2020
A truly wonderful and genuine man. His smile and laughter will always stay close in my heart. He was someone I always admired for the love he had for his wife and daughters.

Heaven will be a much better place now, they got one of the good ones
Carrie Peoples
March 28, 2020
We will miss you
Linda Osborne
March 28, 2020
Truly will miss seeing Rod out across the road taking care of his beautiful flowers He was a special man.Sincerly, heartfelt emotions to all of you.
Linda and Rick and Verna Osborne and Babe
March 26, 2020
Love you, Cousin.
Jane Hughes Yeung
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences