Arthur Lafranchi ’58 died from heart and kidney failure in Santa Rosa on Oct. 14, 2012. He was 76.
For the past half century, Petaluma resident Arthur Lafranchi switched between overalls and briefcases as he juggled his career as a prominent Sonoma County attorney and a dairy/grape farmer.
Born in Petaluma, Mr. Lafranchi was raised on a dairy in Nicasio in rural western Marin County. He was educated in a tiny-one-room school in Nicasio, and after three years, transferred to San Anselmo’s Elementary School in San Anselmo. He went to Marin Catholic High School and graduated in 1954.
Mr. Lafranchi majored in political science at Santa Clara University and went on to Law School at the University of San Francisco, where he graduated in 1962. After earning his law degree in 1963, he opened a practice in Petaluma and chose to focus on estate planning, trusts and real estate. Years later, he moved the practice to Santa Rosa. He went on to become a Sonoma County attorney a with a career spanning nearly 50 years. In 2010, he was honored by the Sonoma County Bar Association for his “Career of Distinction.”
In addition to his success as an attorney, his passion remained in the dairy business. His family maintained the dairy in Nicasio and went on to obtain properties in Petaluma, Valley Ford and Santa Rosa. In 1976, he and his wife, Diane, opened a new dairy in Santa Rosa, later built a home on the property, and operated the business to the present day. In 2009, they expanded into the wine business and converted 61 acres of the property into a vineyard.
In July, he was honored to be inducted into the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Hall of Fame.