William Joseph “Tuffy” Regnani's passing left the world a little darker on February 29, 2020. He was surrounded by his loved ones as he took his final breath. Only four weeks passed between the time Tuffy became ill and was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis until his final moments. His brief illness and passing took his family and friends by surprise. The world lost a fun-loving friend and devoted family member the day that Tuffy earned his wings.
Tuffy was born to Joseph Regnani and Nancy Paolinetti Regnani on May 5, 1937 in McCloud, California. He grew up in McCloud where he first developed his love of hunting, shooting and driving fancy cars. Tuffy graduated from McCloud High School in 1956 and was drafted into the United States Army in 1960. He served two years in Germany until 1962 and was in the Army Reserve until 1966 due to the war in Vietnam. Tuffy had love on his mind when he began courting Laraine Fabbrini in 1962. He signed his love letter to her “Toughie” and asked that she not date anyone else until he could find enough money to come see her in San Jose, CA. After two years of dating and dancing, Tuffy married the love of his life on January 23, 1965. At the time of his passing, Tuffy and Laraine had been married 55 years.
Tuffy was part owner of a very successful machine shop – Master Precision Machining in Santa Clara, CA – from 1970 to 2006. The business secured many important contracts with companies such as Hewlett Packard and Boeing during Tuffy's years with the company. During his years in San Jose, Tuffy was also growing his family and raising two beautiful daughters. D'Anna was born on August 2, 1965. Tuffy was D'Anna's best buddy and he introduced her to his love of hunting and shooting. Seven years later, Shelly came along on March 3, 1972. Tuffy enjoyed shopping with Shelly and providing her with all of the things a little girl's heart could desire. Tuffy was known to spoil both of his daughters and bought them brand new cars for their 16th birthdays. All he wanted to do was make his girls happy.
In 2006, Tuffy retired and moved back to his hometown of McCloud. During his retirement he could finally spend more time doing all of the activities that he loved so much: hunting, shooting squirrels, dancing with his wife, drinking with his buddies and playing pool with his best friends. Tuffy loved cruising the woods looking for deer, squirrels and also mushrooms. He enjoyed taking the family mushroom hunting to his secret spots whenever he got the chance. The only things Tuffy loved more than his wife, his children and his friends were his grandchildren.
His first grandbaby was Candice, followed by Jacob, Carlie, Shelby and Gabriel. Tuffy was excited to be welcoming his first great-grandbaby by Candice this coming May. In his final days, he expressed great sadness at not being able to meet his great grandson. Tuffy adored all of his grandchildren and many pictures show him showering love, kisses and affection on them as babies into their adolescence and adulthood. Not only was he a wonderful grandfather, he was also a great father figure to Candice and Carlie when their dad, Ron, passed away in 2011. He was honored to walk Candice down the aisle at her wedding in August of 2018. There is no doubt he would have done the same for Carlie in the future. He passed on his secret mushroom spots to Carlie instead. In his retirement, Tuffy was fortunate to be able to travel to see his family whenever his heart desired. In recent years, he spent a lot of time in Texas with Shelly's family.
Tuffy was preceded in death by his cousins Bob and Jim Paolinetti and his son-in-law Ronald Dunlap. He is survived by his loving wife Laraine, his daughter D'Anna Arrington, son-in-law Larry Arrington, daughter Shelly Millard, son-in-law Paul Millard and his grandchildren: Candice Franzino and her husband John, Jacob “Tuffy” Ponce, Carlie Dunlap and her boyfriend Austin Carter, Shelby Millard and Gabriel Millard. The family will have a celebration of life later in 2020. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks for donations to St. Jude's Children's hospital on Tuffy's behalf. He and Laraine donated to St. Jude's for many years. Tuffy's family and friends also ask that you keep him alive in your heart by telling stories of Tuffy and remembering him as the fun-loving, hard-working family man that he was.