Posted by Carrie Condran LaBriola on Sep 30, 2018
Don Parachini grew up duck hunting in the Sacramento Delta, near his native Antioch, and continued the sport throughout his adulthood until two years ago, when he was backed over by an off-road vehicle near Colusa, breaking his pelvis, scapula and 10 ribs. He was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Chico, where his pelvis was repaired with titanium screws. His wife, Mary Ann, moved into a Residence Inn nearby while Don spent four months on his back in the hospital and rehab before he could walk again. Now, after what he wryly calls “a novel experience,” Don describes himself as “recovered.”
Inspired by his childhood hunting and fishing in the outdoors, following graduation from Antioch High School in 1952, Don took the train to Pullman, WA, to study forestry at Washington State College (now University), but soon switched to business and economics. After college, he served in the Army for four years at various posts, participating in a number of exercises by the Stanford Research Institute about how to operate small combat units.
After graduating from Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and being admitted to the Bar in 1964, Don joined the legal department at the Bank of America, later moving to smaller law firms, where he specialized in banking and financial institution regulatory law, eventually switching from litigation to transactional law, solving problems with contracts and business transactions. He served as volunteer attorney for the Club for many years and, according to Past President Scott Plakun, “Don played a pivotal role when we reinvented the Club in 2008-10, consulting on the bylaws and helping us figure out how to make things work without an office staff.” He also served at secretary of the San Francisco Rotary Foundation for many years.
Don joined the Club in 1986, when it was still meeting at the Palace Hotel. His father had served as the president of the Rotary Club of Antioch, so “I was familiar with Rotary and wanted to get involved with the community and doing things for others,” he says. Don cites “the camaraderie of the meetings, both new and old individuals alike” as a highlight of his membership.

In addition to hunting and fishing, Don led hiking trips in the mountains for the Sierra Club for many years. He also serves as president of Italian Community Services, founded in 1916 by A.P. Giannini and others to provide English lessons and social services to Italian immigrants.

He and Mary Ann live in Piedmont, but are “in the process of moving to Oakland,” he says. They have a son in Salinas who ships vegetables and fruit, mostly strawberries, under a “controlled atmosphere”; and a daughter in Libertyville, IL, who works for the Semper Fi Project that serves Marines and their families.

Don will turn 85 in April and says he is “trying to phase out of work. I’m headed toward retirement after 54 years practicing law.”