October 21, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Dianne Wilson

All of us at Moraga Royale send our deepest sympathies for the loss of Robert Panacci. Our Staff and Residents are very saddened by the passing of such a fine young man who's life purpose was to help others including our residents on many occasions. Our prayers are with his family, friends and co-workers during this sad and difficult time. Robert's passing is a great loss to our entire community and he will be truly missed.


Dianne Wilson
Executive Director
Moraga Royale

Cindy Whitchurch

To the Panacci Family:

My last memory of Rob will be when I saw him on shift last Friday. Although, he did say that he was feeling tired, his spirit was positive. We sat at the table at Station 41 and shared stories. While he was upset that his large screen TV had been recently stolen, he took the news in good stride and was able to share his humorous story with his friends. Rob was a conscientious firefighter who enjoyed and took great pride in his job.

I know that his passing must cause great heartache as Rob will be missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad time.

Captain Mike Whitchurch and the Whitchurch Family

Sarah Bucknam

Con Fire sends deep-felt condolences with the loss of your young firefighter.


Sarah Bucknam

Con Fire Admin.

Jeff Zoffarelli

Fellow Brothers…

I wish to extend my deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers to Rob’s Family and the Moraga Orinda Fire Department during this time.

Rob’s servant’s heart was experienced by many during his career and life… his reward has been established and he now waits for us….

May God’s Blessings keep you secure in His plan for all of us…


Jeff Zolfarelli

Deputy Fire Chief

Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department

3560 Nevada Street, Pleasanton CA 94566


Joey Mcthorn

Brothers annd sisters,
Its hard to put into words how you feel at times like these, rob was a good guy and i enjoyed the little time i was able to spend with him.I wish you all well and if there is anything i can do or LPFD local 1974 please call.925-525-6411.
Brother/friend J.McThorn

Christine Pokorny

To the Panacci Family,

I will always remember Rob's smile and the laughter coming down the hall while joking with fellow firefighters. His sense of humor was contagious.

He was a wonderful, caring person and a compassionate firefighter. He will be missed.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this difficult time.

Christine Pokorny
Admin. Secretary
Moraga-Orinda Fire District

Brian & Kristen Helmick

Kristen and I had the great pleasure of knowing Rob. Rob was full of energy and always a pleasure to be around.

On behalf of East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, and the Helmick family, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Panacci family, his Brothers and Sisters within the Fire Service, and all those who had the fortunate opportunity of knowing him.

Brian J. Helmick
Battalion Chief
East Contra Costa Fire Protection District

Darrell Lee and Nancy Amino-Lee

Dear Panacci Family,

On behalf of our family, our deepest sympathy on your loss. I feel your pain and hurt.
I worked at the same station with Rob, but on the natorious "B" Shift. I always remember Rob walking into the day room wearing sweat pants, sloppy T-shirt (like it hasn't seen a washing machine in 4 days)and a hat. He always wore a hat, to cover his newest hair style.
I think I always looked forward to hear the next story of Rob Panacci 4-Day. You have to realized he had more things happen on a 4-day than we have in 5 years.
The TV,car break-ins,living next to a hooker who worked at night(gee...)Rob just couldn't get any sleep, meeting celebraties, and telling the SFFD Chief (he didn't know she was Chief)hope the next speaker is long winded. As the speaker introduced Fire Chief White, she told Rob excuse me I have to make a speech. LOL.
You'll be missed and thank you for sharing your 4-days.

Darrell, Nancy, Brandon, Kelsey and Miko.

Pamela Rattary

Dear The Panacci Family -

My prayers and thoughts are with you every moment of every day. My husband Mike Rattary worked with Rob since they were Reserves together. Rob was a great friend to Mike and the sweetest boy to me and we will miss him. Please let me know if there is ANYTHING you may need, food, prayer, anything.

Rob was a great man and we are better people for knowing him.

Pamela Rattary

John Thiele

Brother Panacci,

I'll never forget the times we spent working together as reserves with MOFD. I know we didn't keep in touch once I left MOFD and was hired by ConFire, but when we later met on a local fire I know we were both so happy to see that each of us succeeded and reached our dreams of becoming professional firefighters!

To the Panacci Family, our thoughts and prayers will be with you in the weeks to come, and may you have a peace about Rob, knowing that he IS in a better place looking down on us smiling, each and every day!

Take Care Rob, see you up there, and God Bless!

John Thiele & Family

Chris Davies


It all started in the summer of 2002 when I was just out of high school. I was just hired as a Reserve and was working in fire prevention. I remember you were such a big help to me by showing me the ropes of how things went around here. From working for Tonya conducting weed inspections to testing the hydrants, you were always there to make me laugh and bring a smile to my face. I remember how happy I was the day I heard you got hired and how excited I was to be able to work with you. We shared some good times together on and off duty. I remember you once stood up for me at Crogans in walnut creek and you ended up getting kicked out when it was really me that should have gone instead. I will always consider you a brother of mine and you were a great role model to all of the new hires. I will sure miss seeing your face around here. I always enjoyed seeing you here at 41 when B shift was going off duty and you were coming on to relieve me. You always had at least one funny story to tell me when you came on duty that would leave a lasting smile on my face during the 4 day. Alright man, take care and I will see you when I get up there. My prayers are with you and your family.


Chris Davies

Stephen Healy

Hey 41-C Truckie,

You will forever be in our hearts and minds

It was an honor to have known you and may God be with you.

We miss you already Brother


Stephen Healy
Battalion Chief, C-Shift
Moraga-Orinda Fire District

The Altemus Family

We have known Rob since he was 4 years old. I will never forget the quiet little boy that shied away at birthday parties and had to be coaxed to join in at family events, but once he did "Look out". I will never forget him dressed in his little tuxedo at his parent's wedding, he was so proud to be wearing it. It's so great to read about how well liked and thought of he was by his coworkers and Brothers. The little boy grew to be a fine young man that we are all proud of. He will be greatly missed.

Jessica Lewis

Janet told me a funny story at the house on Monday. It was Christmas day. (Rob was in high school.) My other cousin Samantha & I were sitting in the Panacci's living room. Rob had lost some weight & we had not seen him in a few months. He walked into the room to find Sammy & I commenting him on how great he looked. Sammy said "Rob, you look like a cop." I have no idea why she thought that - maybe it was the way he was dressed? Maybe it was the belt -- He always had a nice shirt on tucked in with a belt! Anyway, I looked at her & said "A cop? NO! He looks like a stripper cop!" That's Rob. My cousin, the babe. Rob went from my little silly cousin to a helpful, happy, friendly and handsome young man. He was ALWAYS willing & happy to help out family. One example is when he and my brother moved my furniture out of storage for me when I moved into an apartment. I think they both hated me by the end of the day. But I paid Rob to thank him & he was sooooo excited! Or when he pushed my car up highway 267 between Truckee and Kings Beach as it had overheated. Finally he got back in my car & said, "let's blast the heater. It will help cool off the radiator." So we sat in my car with the heater blasting in 90 degree weather for the last 1/2 hour of the drive dripping with sweat. Rob, I will miss you dearly. I love you.

Mike Murphy

Dear Panacci Family, We send our sincere condolences to you. Words cannot describe the loss to your family. When I think of Rob I remember his kindness and his gentle nature. These qualities made him an exceptional firefighter and friend. He was our Brother and will not be forgotten. He will live in our hearts and minds forever and we will carry him with us every day on the job. God bless Rob and your family. The Murphy's, Mike, Marie and Madeline


I extend my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to Frank and Janet Panacci and their family. The loss of your beautiful son Rob is an unimaginable agony, and may your faith in God sustain you in the days, weeks, and months to come. Know in your heart of hearts that Rob's spirit has transcended, and that one day you will all be together again.

I first met Rob in 1999 when he interviewed for the position of Reserve Firefighter. He had just graduated from high school, but he displayed a calmness and poise that belied his young age. His goal was to be a Firefighter like his dad, and I immediately knew from his response to the very first interview question that he would be an excellent addition to our Reserve Program. I was so happy for him when he was finally hired full-time for the Fire District.

I also enjoyed playing a couple of years of softball with Rob when we got a team together to play in the Pleasant Hill 'E' League. I know that all the guys on the team will fondly remember his notorious stumbling, careening slide into home that started halfway down the third base line and ended a good twenty feet from the plate! We all laughed so hard about it over beer and pizza after the game, and of course Rob was there laughing right along with us.

We're all going to miss our Brother Firefighter and friend, but we will carry him with us in our hearts forever...

Bob Cox

Michael Marquardt

What's a brother Firefighter to say about our Notcho? I'll tell you...A LOT! Spirited, Professional, Trustworthy, Courageous, Personable, Caring, and damn funny to mention a few thing. We all have hundreds of our own stories, memories, and experiences to share about him. I know personally that everyday on or off-duty, if Rob was around, we were going to have a good time. One of my favorites was watching Rob get so peeved at anyone that would drive up and park in front of Station 41 blocking either the truck or ambulance. It was like he had radar or something. Rob would go stomping off to make sure who ever it was they knew they weren't allowed to park there...of course this was all done in the most polite and professional manner!

I'm extremely honored to have had Rob as a friend and as a fellow crew member. I know he'll be watching over us all, just like he did down here. I love you Rob (.50 cents...I know)! You'll be missed...

Engineer Truck 41C
Mike Marquardt

Allan Daniel

Dear Janet, Frank and Family,
I am devastated by the loss of your son Rob. I have so many great memories of him when he used to hang around our house and the many conversations we would have about his goal to become a firefighter. Rob was truly one of those fine young men who exemplified the courage necessary to attain his goal. I can't remember one time he ever thought of giving up even against all odds. I am so thankful he achieved his life's goal to become a fire fighter. For me this is a personal loss as Rob was like a member of my family for so many years. I thank God for the opportunity to have had Rob be a part of my life. I will always remember him . I loved him and I will miss him terribly.
Allan Daniel

 Joan & Fred Weil

To the parents of Rob Panacci: Please accept our sincere condolences on the loss of your son. The loss of a child is a terrible burden for parents to bear. Those of us who have been fortunate not to have experienced that kind of loss can only imagine the pain that you must feel. The many responses on this web page reflect the positive impact he had on so many people. We hope that our message and those of his friends, co-workers and others will provide at least some small comfort to you at this time.


Joan & Fred Weil

Keith Cormier

Having had the opportunity to attend paramedic class with Rob and have him join me in class at Contra Costa College, along with his brother Tony, and seeing him here and there over the past 4 years, I was struck with sadness upon hearing of his passing. Such a young soul. My condolences to the Panacci family.

Ron Walker

My heart is heavy over the loss of Robert, another Brother has fallen. My deepest regrets to Rob's family and to all my Brothers and Sisters in the Moraga-Orinda Fire District. This tragic loss comes especially hard because Rob was so young. He was such a shining example of what a young man should be and his love for his job was evident. He too will never be forgotten. Our loss is Heaven's gain. God rest your sole Brother and may God help ease the pain and the tremendous sense of loss we all feel!

Kathy Dillingham

To the Panacci Family,

I saw your son's write-up in the newspaper today. He is a hero for all diabetics. My youngest daughter has Juvenile Diabetes and it is inspiring to see a young man follow his dreams, especially one that many say diabetics cannot do. I will think of you every time I see a fire truck. I am very sorry for your loss. There is never a good time to lose one you love. I hope the hole in your heart will, in time, be filled with many pleasant memories.

Kathy Dillingham

Nancy Daniel

Dear Janet, Frank, and Family,

My children join me in offering all of you our deepest condolences in this unimaginable loss of your son Rob. We knew and loved him since high school days and will hold him in our hearts forever.

I remember quite clearly when I first heard his name. I was admiring a beautiful rose that Stephanie had been given. When I asked about it, her best friend said that she had received it from the most "gentlemanly" boy at school - Rob Panacci! Moms love to hear such things, but I decided to see for myself. I found her characterization to be true. When we became co-workers I learned a lot more about Rob. I found him hard-working, determined to accomplish his goals, fun-loving, kind, humble, and with a generosity of spirit that was rare at his age. I am proud to say he was my friend.

I admired his love and respect for you, his family. I never met your other children, yet I know them all by name because Rob spoke so often and fondly of them. He honored his Mom above all and spoke proudly of his Dad.

He borrowed books from my library all through EMT and medic school and called with questions when preparing for tests. I think I remember that his diligence earned him the top spot in his class at Butte.

When he became a proud professional firefighter, no job was too small. He was always there to lend a hand. He took his job seriously and himself lightly. He was always ready to lighten the mood by laughing at himself. His attitude and respect stood out. I never saw him at work that he didn't ask about my family with genuine concern. He leaves an empty space in our hearts and our organization. Such a tragedy is beyond understanding, but I have to believe that God called him home early to a higher purpose. May He keep you all in His embrace during these difficult days.

With love,

Nancy Daniel

Steve Campisi

Dear Panacci Family,

I had the pleasure and honor of working with Rob on truck 41C. Rob's humor and witt really made a rough day better. He was a pleasure to work with. I was alway amazed and entertained by the stories and experiences that he openly shared with us at work. Rob was a really good guy and firefighting brother, as is evident with his success in the fire service, and by the many freinds he has made. I will miss him. My prayers will be with you, MOFD,and Rob.

Steve Campisi

Steve Rodgers & Family

I always looked forward to seeing Rob at St.41, As I could count on him to tell me one of his great stories. Last friday we were at 41 having lunch prior to a class, I was sitting next to Rob, we engaged in some small talk. I then asked him If he had anything for me; story wise that is? Of course he did, it was about his recent dilemma with identity theft, how someone had bought his information on the internet, then proceeded to order merchandise, apparently some of the items were delivered to Rob's home. He was very animated about wanting to find this person, who was in another state and give him the what for of his life. The only problem was this person stole an identity that could not be duplicated. There can only be one Rob Panacci. I will miss these endless stories, and Rob's quiet storm brewing in the telling of them, seemingly making light of it all. I am glad I was able to work with Rob on occasion, he was always respectful in performance of his duties, and coworkers. And being the first to offer help with extra projects I was doing. I am sure he is already telling his stories to keepers at the pearly gates.

The comments to this entry are closed.