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Catherine Regan, a longtime booster of her alma mater, Nardin

Feb. 5, 1935 - Dec. 26, 2018

In the communities that revolve around St. Mark School, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church and Nardin Academy, Catherine Regan was a presence for at least 50 years.

As a volunteer, benefactor and, most important, a matriarch of a large family that produced two more generations of St. Mark, St. Rose and Nardin graduates, she always gave back to the institutions in her life.

Mrs. Regan died Wednesday. She was 83.

Born and raised in Buffalo, the former Catherine Anne Turnboo was a 1953 graduate of Nardin and an accomplished musician who played piano, accordion and violin.

Her devotion to her alma mater never wavered and, over the years, four of her granddaughters would follow her there.

During high school, she met Michael J. Regan Jr., a All-American swimmer and star football player at Canisius High School. Mr. Regan went on to play for Frank Leahy's 1953 national championship team at Notre Dame.

They married in 1957 and, after college, Mrs. Regan and her husband were active in the Notre Dame Monogram Club, an organization of former student athletes who want to stay connected to the school.

She also volunteered with SABAH, a local group dedicated to enriching the lives of people with disabilities.

Later, after her husband died, Mrs. Regan convinced a group of women she met at a local YWCA to go for coffee. Over the years, the gathering, which included women from all walks of life, grew into an every Saturday morning experience. Their founder quickly became known as the "Rollicking Irish Family Mother."

Mrs. Regan's survivors include her four daughters, Mary Ballin, Anne Brown, Kathleen O'Brien and Eileen Sheets; two sons, Michael and W. James; 18 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Rose of Lima, 500 Parker Ave., following prayers at 8:30 a.m. at the Tonawanda Chapel, Amigone Funeral Home, 2600 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda.

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