Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Rodney J. Blonien J.D. ’71, March 13, 2012. A loving family man, philanthropist, dynamic human being, and proud American, Blonien was born July 20, 1946, in Wisconsin Rapids, WI to Janet and Clayton Blonien. Rod was the oldest of four children and treasured being raised in a small town. Rod attended Brophy High School in Phoenix, the University of San Francisco, and Santa Clara Law School and exemplified the Jesuit motto by being a man for others. Rod married his beloved Noreen in 1967, they had four children Ryan, Jessica, Molly and Jarhett. Rod achieved the rank of Captain in the National Guard. Rod and Noreen made their home in Elk Grove since 1974. Rod served as Assistant Legal Affairs Secretary to Governor Ronald Reagan, Senior Assistant to Attorney General Deukmejian then Legislative Secretary to Governor Deukmejian and Under Secretary of the Youth and Adult Correctional Agency. As a representative of the People of California he worked to enact stringent sentences for criminal offenders who used guns, he implemented DUI checkpoints, and orchestrated the largest prison expansion in California history. After leaving government service, Rod worked as a lobbyist representing California horse racing, card club owners, and others. Rod was incredibly bright, articulate, and fun. He loved to joke around and would break out in song at the hint of a birthday party or other celebration. Rod gave great joy to his family; his wife Noreen; Ryan and Paula and their children Shane, Sydney, Cameron, Colton and Gianna; Jessica N. Blonien J.D. ’96 and Ronan O’Flaherty and their children Cormac, Nolan and Liam; Molly and Lois Bisbiglia and their children Ella, Brody and Grant; Jarhett P. Blonien ’06 and Ketrina; and his mother and father in law Norma and Pat Malone; and his siblings Jane and Scott.