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Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of our brother Fr. Gerald T. Regan, S.J., who was called to eternal life on October 23, 2014. He was 83 years old, a Jesuit for 65 years, and a priest for 50 years. Most knew him as Jerry, and later as G.T.
Born on April 19, 1931, in Omaha, NE, G.T. attended grade school in Lansing, MI, Kansas City, MO, and Omaha, NE, before attending Creighton Prep (Omaha, NE). Upon graduating from high school, he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary (Florissant, MO) in 1949. He completed studies expected of a Jesuit at St. Louis University and St. Mary’s College (St. Mary’s KS), and was ordained at the Church of the Gesu (Milwaukee, WI) on June 16, 1964. G.T. made tertianship in Decatur, IL, and pronounced final vows on September 26, 1966.
During philosophy, he began work on a master’s degree in biology and, after ordination, earned a doctorate in zoology from the University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS). In between—during theology studies at St. Mary’s College—the Jesuit community tapped this interest, appointing G.T. to oversee its apiary. Except for the years during which he wrote his dissertation and taught biology at Creighton University (Omaha, NE), G.T. spent his career at Spring Hill College (Mobile, AL), as professor and then professor emeritus. While there he moderated the Marine Biology Club. His research and study focused much on the impact of humans on ecosystems. Jerry knew well the cricket frogs of the Missouri River Basin, and the Coquina clams and dolphins of the Gulf of Mexico.
G.T. shared his expertise in marine biology outside of the classroom as the Alabama representative of the Southeastern Marine Mammal Stranding Network. During his later years of teaching at Spring Hill, he was also chief scientist at the Marterra Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on research and development in the biotech field.
Those who knew G.T. well easily recognized the value he placed on a structured life, as shown in his discipline as a researcher, interest in family and military history, and life in a religious order. Yet, he also had a creative side. Many regarded him as a well-practiced raconteur. His stories about his recent annual trips to Mobile always had an adventurous quality, and he often regaled others with stories of his research and other interests. G.T. enjoyed exploring his family history and was particularly fascinated by his relation to a Union captain who drove General Sterling Price from northern Missouri. This fueled his interest in the Civil War: G.T. attended conferences and reenactments, devoted time to his own research on the war, and was an active member of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War. In his later years he enjoyed singing with the choir and occasionally still entertained others with his harmonica.
Arrangements are as follows
6:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 28
St. Camillus Jesuit Community, Second floor round chapel
10100 W. Bluemound Rd., Wauwatosa, WI
7:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 28
St. Camillus Jesuit Community, second floor round chapel
To be announced
Jesuit Cemetery, Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL