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John Regan '47 July 22, 2020 1:18 PM updated: July 22, 2020 2:00 PM

John E. Regan
June 20, 1925 - July 7, 2020

John Eugene Regan, 95, passed away on July 7, 2020 in Tyler. He is survived by his loving wife, Adele of Tyler; daughters, Susan Regan Donnenfield of Dallas, Shelley Katz (Sam) of San Antonio; brother-in-law, Selig Eidelberg of San Antonio; grandchildren, Regan Lynn Donnenfield, Noah Donnenfield (Emily), Jonah Donnenfield, Sarah Katz, Lauren Katz, and Capt. Gabriella Katz; and great-grandchild, Davis Wren Donnenfield.

John was born on June 20, 1925 to Fred and Lottie Regan. Raised in Houston, Texas he was an Eagle Scout, and after one year at Texas A&M University, he enlisted in the United States Army. John received the Bronze Star for his combat in Italy during World War II. After his service, he returned to Texas A&M University to finish his education. John married the love of his life, Adele Lippmann, on October 24, 1954 in Galveston. The following year, John and Adele welcomed their twin daughters to the world, Susan and Shelley Regan. This past October John and Adele celebrated their 65TH anniversary as soulmates surrounded by their dear friends and family. He took great pride in mentoring his grandchildren and watching them grow.

John began his entrepreneurial career by selling magazine subscriptions, making hot dogs at a local diner, as well as carrying luggage at the train station. He started his retail career with Foley’s, before moving the family to Tyler to start his own business. In March 1958, John and Adele opened the doors to their first retail store “Regan’s Smart Fashions” on the corner of W. Erwin Street and South Broadway Ave. in downtown Tyler. Adele worked by his side as they expanded “Regan’s Smart Fashions” opening 27 stores in all parts of East Texas and Arkansas.

John loved snow skiing with his wife and their friends in Colorado, hiking in Switzerland, and sailing on Lake Tyler. He lived his life as a true community leader. John was elected as councilmember to The Tyler City Council (1990-96) and as Mayor Pro Tem in 1995, President of Board of Smith County Appraisal District, President of the East Texas Symphony, Member of Order of the Rose, President of the Board of Congregation Beth El, President of People Attempting to Help (PATH) Board, President of Friends of the Arts at University of Texas Tyler. John also served on the Board of Directors of People’s National Bank, the Financial Board of Catholic Diocese of Tyler, Board of National and State Small Business Administration, The Tyler Half Cent Sales Tax Board, The Smith County Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SCADA) Board, and taught Fashion Merchandising at Tyler Junior College. John had a lifelong commitment to his family; as well as the Tyler community.

The Family would like to thank caregivers Carol Knight, Charlotte Green, Jennie Rollins, Leatrice Johnson, Shurunda Williams, and Stephanie Roberts.

Graveside services will be held on Friday, July 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Rose Hill Cemetery in Tyler with Rabbi Neal Katz officiating under the direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Congregation Beth El Tyler, 1010 Charleston Dr., Tyler, TX 75703 (; Children’s Village, 3659 FM 724, Tyler, TX 75704 (; Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County, 211 Winchester Dr., Tyler, TX 75701 (; or The Hospice of East Texas Foundation, 4111 University Blvd., Tyler, TX 75701 (

Previous Events
Graveside Service
JUL 10. 10:00 AM (CST)
Rose Hill Cemetery
Tyler, TX

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