Chandler Funeral Homes & Crematory Logo

302-478-7100 Wilmington & Hockessin, DE

Donato Robert Buccini

Donato Robert Buccini died peacefully at home Sunday morning, August 29th, 2021. He was 78 years old.  Bob was born in Philadelphia, PA to Mary (Mariani) and Donato Francis Buccini.  Bob grew up in Germantown where he attended St. Madeleine Sophie grade school.  He graduated from Lasalle College High School, Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Civil Engineering in 1966, and Villanova University with a Master’s of Science, Structural and Civil Engineering in 1968.  In 2004, Bob received an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Goldey-Beacom College.

After meeting Bernadette Erminia DeSeta on a blind date, they married in 1967 and went on to share a 54 year long loving partnership in life and business.

Bob, along with Bernadette, led the Edward J. DeSeta Company Inc. into one of the largest commercial and industrial HVAC contractors and engineers in the Philadelphia region. Bob was actively involved with the Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local #19 for his entire professional career.  He served the Local #19 as the Chairman of the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for Pennsylvania and Delaware, a position he held for 16 years, and was the management trustee for its Pension Fund for 14 years.  Bob was also a longtime member of numerous professional and engineering organizations, including ASHRAE, Delaware Association for Professional Engineers and SMACNA. Until the time of his death and throughout his entire career he was singularly dedicated to his profession.

Bob was a man of deep faith, hard work, humility and curiosity.  He loved being Roman Catholic and was proud of his Italian immigrant roots. He could be found at Sunday mass with his family, if not in the office.  Despite his own personal accomplishments, his greatest joys were the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.  He was, by any measure of the word, authentic.

Bob was a longtime member of both the Saint Anthony of Padua and St. Joseph on the Brandywine parishes. Bob received the Monsignor Reese Award at the Catholic Charities annual tribute dinner in 2018 in recognition for his “lifelong commitment to community service, most especially to make the City of Wilmington and surrounding area a better place to live, work and play. Without question, [Bob] models Monsignor Reese’s commitment to the most vulnerable.”

Bob is survived by his wife and partner, Bernadette; his two sons Robert (Beth) and Christopher (Mati); his seven grandchildren Claudina, Josephine, Tomás, Virginia, Balthazar, Roberto and Shepherd; his loving sister Adeline; sister-in-law Enza; and nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his loving brother Amadio.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Gary Crooks, M.D. and Dr. Lynn Schuchter, M.D. who led his fight against Metastatic Melanoma cancer.

A mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at 4pm at St. Anthony’s of Padua Church, 901 N DuPont Street, Wilmington, DE 19805. The mass will be streamed live on YouTube. Those wishing to view the live stream should visit and click on the YouTube banner at the top of the page. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions in Bob’s memory to support The Ministry of Caring ( or by check mailed to 115 East 14th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801) or Penn Medicine’s Tara Miller Melanoma Center ( or by check payable to “Penn Medicine” mailed to Penn Medicine Development, Attn: Kelly McBride, 3535 Market Street, Suite 750, Philadelphia, PA 19104).

Funeral Services

A mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at 4pm at St. Anthony’s of Padua Church, 901 N DuPont Street, Wilmington, DE 19805. The mass will be streamed live on YouTube. Those wishing to view the live stream should visit and click on the YouTube banner at the top of the page. Burial will be private.


    Joseph Schorah lit a candle and writes,
    Our Prayers for the Buccini’s and their extended families. Bobby and the Buccini family will always be a part of my family’s life. Through their families business they have helped many retire including myself and my father in law John Becker. Bobby was their for me and my in-laws when help was needed. Bobby, Rest In Peace till we meet again.
    09/01/2021 11:27 am
    Joyce M Becker writes,
    I can not begin to express the sadness in my heart. Please except my sincere and heart felt sympathy. A truly great husband, father and Dear Friend. Bobbie will be truly missed by my Family especially me. Joyce M. Becker
    09/01/2021 12:13 pm
    Joyce M Becket lit a candle
    09/01/2021 12:14 pm
    Sam & Miceheline Mattia lit a candle and writes,
    So caught by this loss of a wonder man that I worked with for 20 years. My heart felt sympathy goes out to your family. Bob was a original that you had to get to know. Many times together at office. He was the 11th hour man. Will be sadly missed but always remembered. May he test in peace🙏.
    09/01/2021 02:39 pm
    Edward Levering Family writes,
    My heart goes out to the Buccini Family for the lost of a special person. In 1974 I started working for the D Robert Buccini and have many found memories. On many instances Bob help me throughout my career. Bob will be missed by me and my family. Ed Levering
    09/01/2021 04:29 pm
    Deborah L Philips writes,
    My sincere condolences on the loss of a kind, compassionate man who had a heart for the plight of the poor.
    09/01/2021 04:43 pm
    Tony DePaul lit a candle and writes,
    Bobby and I and Amodie went back many decades. He was a great guy and it was my privilege to know him. Sincerely, Tony DePaul
    09/01/2021 04:58 pm
    Deborah Deubert lit a candle and writes,
    Bernie and family, this news stopped me in my tracks. I fell to my knees sobbing. I have so many memories of Bobby but the most cherished was the arm that always came around my shoulder and his square on look into my eyes whenever he saw me. I will also never forget the sadness on his face when he saw Steve in the hospital the night of Steve's death. Bernie, my family has benefitted, learned so much as our lives evolved over some 30 years. You both were so much more than bosses. We knew love from you both and you both continued to show andrew that same love as he made himself part of the EJDeseta crew. Bobby has a place in my heart. I am so grateful to have known him.
    09/01/2021 09:52 pm
    My sincere condolences to the Bucinni family. I will miss Bobby's visits and conversations and the way he could cover 50 topics in 5 minutes. When I first started in this business he was there for me and I will never forget that. I never met anyone like him and I never will again. Rest in peace now Bobby, you're work here is done.
    09/02/2021 09:35 am
    Andrew Deubert writes,
    Buccini Family, I struggle to accept I'll no longer see or hear Bob speed walking the Deseta hallways, roll of prints in hand, yelling out my name. Bobby was and will always remain one of my greatest mentors. Unique does not even begin to describe him. Bob certainly had his ways and those that really got to know Bob understood, appreciated, and valued his unique ways. Some 30 years ago my father came to work for EJ Deseta. He was provided the opportunity to build an incredible career and life for my family. That legacy continues as I too was blessed with the same opportunity. The gratitude my family and I have for Bob, Bernadette, Chris, Rob, and the entire Buccini family is beyond measure. Bob touched so many peoples lives in such a positive way. He lives on through the beautiful family he helped create.
    09/02/2021 02:40 pm
    Micheline Nardo Mattia lit a candle and writes,
    Cousins Bernedette, Rob, Chris and your beautiful sincere condolences. My fondest recollection of him is how he loved to connect the family; who was related to whom and how they were related. He was part of an iconic family who certainly left their footprint in the state of Delaware. He was very proud of all of you. May you rest in peace, Bobby and may your family's hearts heal thru all the memories.
    09/02/2021 08:35 pm
    Kass Kovtonuck lit a candle and writes,
    My deepest sympathies go out to the Buccini family. I have fond memories of Bob from my time at Local 19. He was one of my favorite contractors. RIP Bob.
    09/03/2021 10:35 am
    Ralph Degli Obizzi writes,
    Bernadette, Rob & Chris Please accept our deepest sympathy and condolences on the passing of Bobby. Bobby was a remarkable person. He was definitely one mine and the Degli Obizzi's favorites. I am sure you will all miss him immensely. I am sure he is up there with God right now asking him who is doing the Sheetmetal work up here. We will keep Bobby and your whole family in our thoughts and prayers. Rest in peace Bobby. Ralph & Debbie Degli Obizzi Jr.
    09/03/2021 01:41 pm
    Kathy Greenleaf writes,
    Bern, Rob and Chris - Bob was truly a great man, what more can be said. I thoroughly enjoyed the interactions with him over 16 + years and the lessons learned from him. He will be sorely missed by your entire family I am sure, however knowing the genuine love he held for each of you will last a lifetime. My deepest sympathy to all of you.
    09/03/2021 03:21 pm
    Tracey Quillen Carney lit a candle and writes,
    Peace and love to all.
    09/03/2021 05:18 pm
    Br. Ronald Giannone, OFM Cap. writes,
    To Bernadette and the Buccini family from the Ministry of Caring 'family': We send our heartfelt sympathy and are holding you close in thought and prayer. May your wonderful memories of joyful family times bring you comfort and may God's love give you peace. Thank you for remembering Bob's life of love of family, faith, service to others, and pride in his profession by caring for the poorest among us. We are very grateful for Bob's love for the poor and your caring kindness. Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever
    09/03/2021 11:35 pm
    Cam Herring, Sr writes,
    Bernie, Rob, Chris, and extended family, Donna & I would like to express our heartfelt condolences for your loss. I worked for Bob for over 31 consecutive years and it truly felt like family. We had our ups and downs, agreements and disagreements, but in the end Bob was always there when you needed him, just like family. Bob could argue with you at break and still go to lunch with you I also know that he never judged a book by its cover. He truly was a hard working, good man.
    09/04/2021 01:02 pm
    Bob & Joanne Lubach writes,
    Dear Bernadette & Family, words can’t express how sad we are for you to loose Bob. We will keep you in our prayers always and hopefully your loving memories of him will bring you some peace and smiles with your children.
    09/04/2021 06:39 pm
    Candice Centrella lit a candle and writes,
    Sending prayers & love to your family.
    09/04/2021 07:05 pm
    Kenneth Woods lit a candle and writes,
    Bernadette, Rob, Chris & Family, When I heard the news of Bob's passing I couldn't believe it. The man I knew as a business associate, mentor, & friend will be missed by me and many others. I have so many fond memories of Bob from my years working for DeSeta and as an official with local 19. Bob had given many members of local 19 including myself a great living as well as opportunities that we wouldn't have gotten anywhere else. Bob was a Mentor and friend to so many members of Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 and we will miss him dearly. RIP Bobby.
    09/04/2021 08:58 pm
    Michele and Mark Kirby lit a candle and writes,
    Our deepest and most heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to you Mrs B and Rob and Chris and your families. During my employment with BPG I would always look forward to seeing Mr.B come in ,as he would always greet me with " Hi Hon, how are you doing?" as he would make his way upstairs to his office. He was always very personable and genuine. This is a tremendous loss and he will most assuredly be missed.
    09/04/2021 10:44 pm
    David Cohen lit a candle and writes,
    So sorry for your loss…thinking of you at this sad time David Cohen
    09/05/2021 08:53 am
    Daniel J. McAlee lit a candle and writes,
    My condolences to Bernadette and family.
    09/05/2021 12:05 pm
    Ruth Tingle lit a candle and writes,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. Bobby was a true gentlemen and will be missed by all who knew him.
    09/05/2021 12:31 pm
    Lee and Bix Bush writes,
    Rob, Chris and family.. We are so sorry to read about the loss of your Dad...You are in our thoughts during this difficult time...
    09/05/2021 12:51 pm
    J. Robert Woods writes,
    Bernadette, Rob, Chris and extended family members: Please accept my deepest sympathy at the loss of a great husband, father and grandfather. Bob will be remembered as a great union contractor and union supporter. Many thanks to his efforts in making Local 19 a stronger institution by making countless opportunities possible for the members and workers he employed thru the years, He had a unique personality in that He and I would argue for several minutes and immediately we would be laughing about something remotely different from the beginning of our meeting. He will be sorely missed by all of Local 19 and I want to thank the whole DeSeta family for their commitment to the Sheet Metal industry. Bernie, my prayers for you and the boys as you try to move on from this terrible time.
    09/05/2021 06:22 pm
    Richard Dubroff writes,
    I got to be friends with Bob when he built his HVAC headquarters across from my photography studio on "A" street. Many times while walking my dog around the back of his warehouse in the evening, Bob would drive up checking on things after working hours. We would share stories, talk about current topics and generally commiserate on what it was like to run a family business. Bob always treated me as an equal and I always felt like I was chatting with an old friend. I look back on that friendship with a smile on my face.
    09/06/2021 10:35 am
    Norman oliver writes,
    I miss you my friend, mentor and confidant. I always enjoyed our conversations buying you a Christmas gift and you bring me the best wine. You will always have a special place in my heart. Your friend always Norman oliver
    09/06/2021 01:55 pm
    Norman writes,
    Miss you man. Thanks for being an amazing mentor. Stormin
    09/06/2021 02:03 pm
    Lucy Bender and Family writes,
    Bernadette and Family I was very sadden to hear that our cousin died and had been so sick . I’m sure knowing Bobby he didn’t want people to see him so Ill . Although being family we just did not see each other as we should have. I will be keeping Bobby in my prayers ever day we Loved him and you Bernadette. A loss of our loved ones is always hard but someday soon we all be together again. 💜💜💜💜😢 Love the Bender Family
    09/06/2021 07:44 pm
    Robert Whipps lit a candle and writes,
    My sincere condolences to the Buccini family.When I first met Bob in 1980 he became my customer and most importantly my FRIEND. He would always pick up the phone and talk with me or see me when I stopped in his office. He’s a great guy and will be missed by all. God Bless the Buccini family and Rest In Peace Bob.
    09/06/2021 10:03 pm
    Jim Meyer lit a candle and writes,
    Bobby was one-of-a-kind and I miss him already! He was a mentor and friend since the first day I started my career and always treated me with the utmost respect. I loved his out of the blue "what's shaking Jim-Boy?" phone calls just to see how my family & business were doing. Bobby always made you feel that you mattered and I will never forget that about him. God bless you Bobby & the entire Buccini Family. You will be in my prayers.
    09/07/2021 08:36 am
    Frank J. Rinaldi lit a candle and writes,
    I will miss Bob. He was a kind, very amiable man. He was exceptionally mindful of his obligations. He was devoted to his family, community and faith. Fr. Frank Rinaldi, OSFS, St. Anthony's parish
    09/07/2021 09:14 am
    Gerard DiEleuterio writes,
    Bernadette, Rob & Chris Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the passing of a truly great and humble Italian American. Bob Always treated me so kind. I’m grateful, I was able to get to meet him. Rest In Peace, in God’s loving arms.
    09/07/2021 10:19 am
    Robert Little writes,
    Dear Bernadette, Words can not begin to express the sorrow I feel for your loss. I always considered you and Bobby friends. When I design 322 A Street as your HQ facility, both of you made me feel more special than I deserved. For that I remain eternally grateful for the kindness extended me. Whenever Bobby saw me enter your building he always asked how Delaware's greatest architect was doing and the many dinners we shared will remain most memorable. Bobby was always kind, generous with his time and a pleasure to be with. I consider it my good fortune to have met him. With sentiments of profound esteem and my deepest sympathies, Bob Little
    09/07/2021 10:32 am
    Inspector Blue writes,
    My Sincere Condolences to the Buccini Family may God Keep you and guide you and cover you with his ever lasting Grace.
    09/07/2021 11:48 am
    Priest and Shareeda Tyaire lit a candle and writes,
    Bob was good man that gave me my first job. He will be deeply missed. We send our condolences to Bernadette, Rob, Chris, and the entire Buccini family. Loving submitted, Priest and Shareeda Tyaire
    09/07/2021 01:27 pm
    Victoria C Margolis McGuinness lit a candle and writes,
    Dear Rob and family, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your wonderful father. May all of his memories bring your comfort at this time. My heartfelt condolences for all. Love and Peace, Tori Margolis
    09/07/2021 01:40 pm
    Maryjean Mariani lit a candle and writes,
    Bernie, Rob and Christopher - I am at a loss to adequately express myself. What follows is my feeble effort ...... Your husband, your dad, was surely a unique man. I knew no one even remotely like him. He was so so smart, not just intelligent. He was handsome, well spoken, kind, caring, INQUISITIVE (like no one else!), generous, funny, FABULOUS conversationalist, incredibly modest, and was a remarkable family man and father. I am deeply saddened by Bobby's passing and shall miss him ever-so-much. He was such a light in my life! You are in my thoughts, in my heart and and in my prayers. Love to you, Maryjean xo
    09/07/2021 01:52 pm
    John P Hughes lit a candle and writes,
    When I learned of Bob’s passing, I was deeply saddened. My heartfelt condolences go out to Bernie and the family. I served my apprenticeship at EJ DeSeta and worked there for much of my career. Bob was a force of nature that pushed you to be your best. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities given to me by Bob and Bernie.
    09/07/2021 04:45 pm
    JOHN EDINGER lit a candle and writes,
    I went to LASALLE COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL with Bobby. He was truly a unique personality even when in high school and certainly one of the most “unforgettables” of the class of 1961. His street smarts were evident then for sure and he obviously honed them well as he developed into a very shrewd and successful businessman. What I remember most about him, however, was the time he offered to lend assistance to my son-in-law, whom he had not met, with some legal problems. We were chatting at our fiftieth LSCHS class reunion around the detail of these…and he immediately offered to help….gave me his cell number and said “Call, my lawyers don’t have enough to do anyway!” As I listened today at his service, what an incredibly generous and caring person Bobby was and so loved by everyone. Seemed when he saw someone in need he just stepped up to help. My sincerest sympathy to his entire beautiful family. So many folks at Mass… a wonderful testimony to a life well lived and gone too soon. JOHN AND SUE EDINGER
    09/07/2021 08:41 pm
    Janet Killian-Welte lit a candle and writes,
    I am so sorry. May he rest in peace 🙏
    09/07/2021 08:41 pm
    Andrew J Guinosso lit a candle and writes,
    I went to grade school at Saint Madeleine Sophie with Bob Buccini back in the 1950s. In those years, we had only about five or six Italians in our classes. I recall that all of us were proud of our Italian heritage and Bob certainly was. I am saddened by his death and I send my sincerest condolences to his wife and family and those close friends of his. I am truly touched by the various messages and memories that are written here. Sadly, I do not have a story to tell given the passage of time. However, I am headed for San Francisco for an extended stay in North Beach, the Italian community there. I will have a mass said for Bob at the Saints Peter & Paul Cathedral, and I will have a glass of red wine in his honor. May he rest in peace. Andrew J Guinosso, Reno, Nevada.
    09/07/2021 09:36 pm
    Albert H Them lit a candle and writes,
    I offer my sympathy to the Buccini Family. Bob and I were classmates at La Salle College High School, and it easy to remember Bob's friendliness and warmth. Although we have not seen each other for an amazingly long sixty years, I am gratified he enjoyed a wonderful life, and I am touched by his loss.
    09/07/2021 10:33 pm
    Dina Miller lit a candle and writes,
    Bernadette and family I just heard the news and I am both shocked and saddened. My heart felt prayers go out to you and the entire Buccini family. Bob was a wonderful man, always a gentleman and truly a pleasure to work with. May God grant you peace and fond memories in your heat. Warm Regards Dina Miller
    09/08/2021 09:56 am
    Chad Fenstermacher lit a candle and writes,
    Bernie, I am so sorry to hear of Bob's passing. I enjoyed working with both of you and my thoughts are with you and your family.
    09/09/2021 09:22 am
    Jerry McConeghy writes,
    72 years of fond memories. Starting in 1st grade in 1949/ Boy scouts -camping trips, cave exploring, escaping the flood at Treasure Island/ sharing bicycles and later cars/ avoiding the cops ,except for one occasion/ summers in Ocean City, the memorial booze cruise/ the infamous trip to Acapulca/ visits to Penn State/ grade school reunions/ Superbowl get togethers/revisit New Orleans/ A good ,thoughtful, generous man We could always depend on him to watch are back. I'll remember you always, Bobby
    09/09/2021 12:11 pm
    Anne Donaghy lit a candle and writes,
    Jim and I send sympathy and love to you, Bernadette, and all your family on your loss. Losing your life partner has to be a wrenching experience but I’m sure your faith and your family are providing the support you need to see you through these tough weeks and months. I’m really delighted to see how Tom’s and Rob’s WFS classmates hang together for each other in times like these. Good friends are always there for you. Some of my still best friends are from the WFS class of 1954 though they are departing rapidly. At 85 what else can you expect? Jim and I are well and content with our Black Lab Chessie in our retirement community in Chestertown, MD. We live in a small cottage on Heron Point’s campus. Our three children own our property in nearby Rock Hall, and are running a very successful VRBO there. When it’s not being rented we occasionally go out to sit on the deck there and enjoy watching the ducks swimming in the creek. We wish you peace as you take up your life again. And joy in your family. You are in our hearts and prayers. Anne
    09/15/2021 12:19 pm
    Richelle Vible writes,
    My sincere condolences to the Buccini family on the loss of your wonderful patriarch. I was privileged and honored to know Bob. He was a man of great faith and a kind and honorable person. I will keep the entire Buccini family in my prayers.
    09/20/2021 09:22 am

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

When you "Light a Candle" the candle image is posted with your condolence.