Obituary Listings

Paul Tognazzini

April 9, 1954 May 27, 2018
Paul  Tognazzini
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Obituary for Paul Tognazzini

Paul Tognazzini, 64, of Santa Maria passed away Sunday, May 27, 2018 at home. He was born April 9, 1954 in Santa Maria. Surviving him are his wife of 36 years, Susan Kemp Tognazzini, of Santa Maria, daughters Marissa and Lauren Tognazzini of Santa Maria, sisters Teri Tognazzini of Missoula, Montana and Susan M. Tognazzini of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Paul is also survived by his mother-in-law, Barbara Kemp, brothers-and-sisters-in-law, Gary (Chris Starrett) Kemp, Karen (Mike) Trefts, and Dennis (Donna Ekmanian) Kemp as well as numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Clyde and Gloria (Stevens) Tognazzini of Santa Maria.

Born and raised in Santa Maria, Paul attended Robert Bruce Elementary, El Camino Junior High, and Santa Maria High School, Class of ’72. He married his soul mate, Susan Kemp, on Valentine’s Day in 1982, and soon after became a proud father of his two girls. A caring brother and generous friend, Paul Tog as his buds would call him, was always there when someone needed help, including fighting wildfires. He made lifelong connections in the agricultural industry as the owner/operator of Tognazzini Transport Company and the family-owned business, Tognazzini Box Company, as well as through his many passions.

Paul loved to fix and build things. From cars, to boats, projects for his daughters or anything around the house, Paul took pride in every opportunity to work with his hands. The jack-of-all-trades found joy in many hobbies throughout his life including riding his bike, swimming, exploring the family Point Sal property, and practicing Taekwondo where he earned his 1st degree black belt, but his true passions were music and sailing.

Paul dabbled on a variety of instruments including the piano and violin, but always had his guitar nearby. He would pick tunes up by ear, jam with his buddies, and wrote some songs of his own that he would serenade his family with on most evenings. He thrived in the fresh ocean air and pace of life on the docks in San Rafael, California. While he enjoyed the thrill of sailing the Bay, you were just as likely to find him dawdling on his boat working on the next project.

As a Leukemia survivor, his gratitude for life was evident in his every action. His kind-heartedness was felt by all who knew him, and he will be remembered for his calm and easygoing approach to life.

Funeral services will take place at the Guadalupe Cemetery (4655 West Main Street, Guadalupe, CA) on Saturday, June 9, at 10:00am. An open house will follow at the Tognazzini residence from 1:00-5:00pm at 1951 Hines Lane, Santa Maria, CA 93454.The family asks that you bring a photo or a memory to share to the open house. For directions to the Tognazzini residence or to leave a condolence for the family, please visit In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cruizin’ for Life (, the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society (, or the First United Methodist Church (

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