Donald B. REGAN
Age 91, of North St. Paul Faithful Catholic, Founding Chairman of Premier Banks, Irish Family Man Passed away peacefully and prayerfully on Friday, October 23, in the presence of his loving family. Preceded in death by his beloved wife of 63 years, Jean; parents Will and Agnes Regan (nee Wilson); uncle Leo (Mildred) Regan, aunt Ella Wilson; sisters Maxine (Melvin) Orke, Lorraine (Bernard) Dougherty, Marie (Laverne) Lewison, Mary (Worth) Stiles; brother Bob (Mary Lou) Regan; son-in-law Joaquin Espana Aguado. Survived by their seven children, Michael O. (Mary E.), Patrick O. (Mary K.), Kelly Regan, Colleen Regan Espana, Sean O. (Mary D.), Katie (Andrew) Nath and Daniel O. (Korie); 26 grandchildren, 14 great grand children, soon 15. Brother William E. (Sally) Regan; brother-in-law John (Robin) Joyce. Many nieces, nephews and friends. Born July 19, 1929 in Le Roy, Minnesota into what Don called "genteel poverty". In 1932, his father Will was tragically killed in a hunting accident. Don was three years old. His widowed mother Agnes, a devout Catholic, raised their seven children during the depths of the Great Depression. Don's Uncle Leo, with his own family, and Agnes' sister Ella provided much needed support. Don began working at 12, shoveling coal from railroad boxcars. He worked continually till 91, spanning 79 years. He was a proud 1947 graduate of Le Roy Public High School, where he won a Statewide Declamation competition in Original Oratory. Le Roy, population 957, remained his lifelong "center of the universe." He attended St. Mary's College at Winona. After three semesters, due to his academic excellence, Christian Bothers at St. Mary's arranged a transfer to Notre Dame. After one semester at Notre Dame, homesick and financially challenged, he returned to Le Roy and succeeded his Uncle Leo at the helm of Regan Motor Sales, the family Ford dealership. At 21, Don Regan was the nation's youngest Ford dealer. He worked incessantly to support his mother and family. While on a Sunday morning rural newspaper route, he stopped for Mass in nearby Grand Meadow. In work clothes, he elected to sit in the choir loft, where he was captivated by a stunning teenage soprano. She was Jean Joyce, daughter of farmer Floyd and Marie Joyce. In 1950, Don enlisted in the National Guard, was called to active duty and completed U.S. Army Rangers Airborne training. He received a hardship discharge and returned home to help support his mother. He pursued the choir girl, who was then enrolled in St. Teresa's Nursing School. On June 18, 1955 Don and Jean were married at St. Finbarr Catholic Church in Grand Meadow. They built a life and family together with shared Faith, love, and effort. After 63 years and seven children, Jean preceded him in death on June 8, 2018. Don demonstrated his undying devotion to her with daily prayers at her graveside. Regan Motor Sales also operated three school buses in Le Roy. Don appreciated the steady income. In 1959, with two toddlers and another due, he bought 30 school buses with his brother Bob on St. Paul's East Side, and founded St. Paul and Suburban Bus Co. Don and Jean moved their young family to North St. Paul and lived there in the same home for 61 years. Sister Claire Lynch, O.S.B, founding Principal of Archbishop Murray Memorial High School gave Don his first formal school bus contract. The school merged with Hill H.S. and became Hill Murray. So far, seven children and 15 grandchildren are Hill Murray graduates. Don faithfully and generously spent the rest of his life returning Sister Claire's favor. Throughout the 1960s, '70s and beyond, Don was a community builder and entrepreneur. He spearheaded a local committee to build Polar Arena in North St. Paul, was a founding partner of Indian Hills Golf Club, formed Voyageur Bus Co. in Duluth, Ottertail Coaches in Fergus Falls and Minnesota Coaches, Inc. He served two years as President of the National School Bus Operator's Assn. Don, Jean and the Regan family made many lifelong friendships and memories along the way. In 1974, he chartered Maplewood State Bank, opening in a double-wide trailer at White Bear and Beam Avenues. It was the smallest bank in Minnesota. In 1986, he sold St. Paul and Suburban Bus Co., having grown to 650 buses, to focus on banking. Maplewood State Bank expanded and became Premier Bank. In 1990, he formed Premier Bank Minnesota and Premier Bank Rochester. Today, they serve and support their local communities from 20 branches. Their combined assets are among the top ten banks in Minnesota. Don's motto: Who we are. Where we've been. Where we're destined. We travel together. Don and Jean lived and embraced their Catholic Faith. They cherished Parish life and the school at St. Peter's in North St. Paul. They admired and befriended Bishops, Priests, Sisters and Brothers. They generously supported them, and many other causes. Don was an avid sports fan, especially of hockey and golf. He played neither with aplomb, but reveled in the competition, friendship and fun. For decades Don and Jean faithfully followed children and grandchildren competing in all sports. Don saw another grandchild score a goal at Aldrich three weeks before he died. He submitted a detailed scouting report. They cheered for HM and family at many State tournaments, winning the H.S. Girl's Hockey title in 2015. The 2020 Pioneers Boys State Hockey Championship was his fitting, euphoric capstone. Don attracted people with Irish magnetism. Whether big or small, he had a penchant for making each person feel special. With a warm smile, he'd delve into family trees, mutual friends, paths traveled, and paths crossed. He had unfailing faith in people and their potential. He loved to scrutinize and was a master at "picking winners." Don Regan planted countless mustard seeds. Many were nourished, then flourished under his watch. He was fearless of most things, save for his Almighty Father in Heaven, and his beloved wife on earth. When recently diagnosed with Coronavirus, he steadfastly chose to remain at home. His caregivers were angelic. Special thanks to nurse Janie of Our Lady of Peace Hospice. Family and friends were blessed to visit and pray with him and say goodbye for now. On Friday, October 23, he went Home to his Lord Jesus, Our Lady, and his eternal family. The Regan family extends its deepest gratitude for the kind thoughts and prayers from so many. Due to Coronavirus restrictions, a private family funeral will be held on Sat., Nov. 21 at 11:30 am at Church of St. Peter North St. Paul. The service will be live streamed at www.bradshawfuneral.com. Private burial to follow at St. Mary's Cemetery. A public celebration is being planned for Summer 2021. Memorials are preferred to St. Peter North St. Paul Church and School Foundation, Hill Murray Foundation, or a Church or non-profit of donor's choice. 651-439-5511




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Published by Pioneer Press from Oct. 25 to Nov. 8, 2020.
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39 Entries
Sending belated sympathies on the death of your father and grandfather. While my interactions with him were few, it was easy to see that he was the real deal. Irish eyes were a smiling. Thinking now of him and his dearest one, Jean, together again.
Ann Leahy
Acquaintance
November 29, 2020
Thank you for your leadership and perseverance throughout many years.
I started at St. Paul and Suburban Bus Co. as an 18 year old Kid; the opportunities there built the foundation of a 41 year career in transportation, many memories, and friendships . Thank you for creating a great organization that is still strong today , God Bless
Rex Magnuson
Acquaintance
November 23, 2020
Sympathy to Don's family and his brother Bill. I grew up in the same town and we all knew one another, I did call Don this past year and talked about the past, I am glad I was able to visit with him.
Leola Whisler
Friend
November 22, 2020
The world lost a great man when Don died! I went to St Peters grade school. When I was in eighth grade the coaches of the hockey team dropped out at the last minute. Don stepped up to coach the team at the last minute even though he had never coached hockey before. His sons Mike and Pat also played on the team. He was a busy man but always made time. That was in the 60's and he always had time for a conversation whenever I saw him since. Everyone knows about all the big things Don did and they are great, but I think what made Don a great man was how he dealt with people. Don will be missed.
Bob Mosner
Acquaintance
November 22, 2020
Don was a great neighbor and family friend. His friendliness will be greatly missed.
Patrick and Karrie Blees
Neighbor
November 21, 2020
Dear Regan Family,

I just learned of Don's passing late last week. I will always think if Don as one of the great stalwarts of the community and the Church. A great supporter of so many causes who has passed his legacy wonderfully through his children.

We will all miss him.
Tom Schreier Jr.
Acquaintance
November 16, 2020
What a great gentelman. My wife Kitty, and I have known Don and Jean for many years. We were at their wedding I purchased a 1946 Chev from Don in 1955 for $250.00 dollars/ I always thought the profit he made from the deal launched him on his great financial achievment. I will miss him. He was a true friend. Norm Sween
November 13, 2020
Norman Sween
Friend
November 13, 2020
Our deepest sympathy in the loss of your wonderful Dad and grandfather. It was always fun to see his smiling face at the rink. What a great loss for all of you. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
LeeAnn & Joel Slomkowski
Friend
November 12, 2020
My thoughts & prayers are with you during this difficult time. What a life your dad had!
I will never forget my high school years at HM getting to know your wonderful family & the influence you had on our family.
May find memories help ease your pain.
Jeanne Mork. (Potts)
Friend
November 12, 2020
Thank you for believing in me. God Bless!
Mike Fleischhacker
Acquaintance
November 12, 2020
Always a smile! Always a friend. Always helping. Always considerate. It reflects on a great family. It was our gift to know him. Bill Reiling
William S. Reiling
Friend
November 11, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to the Regan family. We have many great memories of Don and will always remember him with a smile. He was a wonderful gift to his family and all who knew him. Today we celebrate a life well lived and a man well loved. Take good care of one another and God Bless.
Pam and Pete Carlile
Friend
November 10, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Al Rohweder(karen)
Acquaintance
November 10, 2020
My mom Betty Riege went to work for Don at St. Paul & Suburban Bus Company in 1966. She worked for this amazing man for 34 plus years and retired at least two times because Don kept calling her back. They have been life long friends and cared deeply for each other. Don has been like an uncle to me. Mom and I will miss him immensely. Sending love and prayers to all of the Regan family.
Susan (Riege) Brinkhaus
Friend
November 8, 2020
Our deepest condolences to the Regan family. Sean his son is a great friend of us and the best banker that we could ask for. Thank you Mr.Donald B Regan for such a legacy.
The Delima-Rodriguez family
Carolina Rodriguez-Figueroa
Friend
November 6, 2020
Our sincere sympathy to all of Don’s family. We were high school classmates and kept in touch at reunions. We always enjoyed our visits.

Joan (LeRoy HS-1947) and Jim Beebe
Joan Beebe
Classmate
October 31, 2020
Our sincere sympathy to all of Don’s family. We were high school classmates and kept in touch at reunions. We always enjoyed our visits.

Joan (LeRoy HS-1947) and Jim Beebe
Joan Beebe
Classmate
October 31, 2020
Our sincere sympathy to all of Don’s family. We were high school classmates and kept in touch at reunions. We always enjoyed our visits.

Joan (LeRoy HS-1947) and Jim Beebe
Joan Beebe
October 31, 2020
I had the privilege of working with Don for many years. He was a visionary in business but a family man in practice and principal. I always had the deepest respect for his unwavering ethics and generosity. Don created a business empire that will endure for generations. That said, Don's loving family is his greatest legacy. Pam and I send our deepest condolences to the Regan family.
Tom Newcome
Friend
October 30, 2020
Don was a humble man of great faith. A successful man whose family came first. I am so glad I had the pleasure to know him and his family. A life well lived. Our deepest sympathy to the Regan family.

Rest in Peace Don
Marilyn and Joe Zakrzewski
marilyn zakrzewski
Coworker
October 29, 2020
I knew Don Regan since I was a young kid. Lots of great memories come to mind. He was a good friend of my dad’s, and eventually the whole family. There is not one Mentzer who didn’t come to love this man. Don’s name came up a lot usually in association with family/church/community investment and growth. To me, his buses kept us warm on those cold winter school days. Always, his smile and low tone voice brought a sense of security and love. His family was happy and super-friendly with everyone. I will miss Don and all the great things He took part in that impacted so many lives. The gratitude for Don’s life will be never-ending. For some reason now, I picture a young Don up in the choir Loft with Jean looking down on us.
Pat (nee Mentzer) Gehring
Friend
October 29, 2020
Don was the most humble, loving, caring and generous man I have ever met. He had a genuine concern for everyone Blessed to know him. My family is one of those blessed families. I am sure when he stands before God, He will say “welcome my good and faithful servant, enter into my kingdom.”
Pat Leahy
Friend
October 28, 2020
God Bless Don and his family he is with Jean again in Gods house. He was a great to his family friends and to all that had the privilege to know him and his family .

Rest In Peace
God Bless
Joe and Marina Zakrzewski
Friend
October 28, 2020
B
Diana mayers
Friend
October 28, 2020
Mr. Regan was pillar in for the Twin Cities community. His kindness, faith life and generosity were an inspiration, an example of how to live in the world and a blessing to many. We were honored that he sponsored a video to honor Archbishop Hebda at the Relevant Radio 2019 banquet. Always a man for others! Our condolences to the Regan family on your loss. I am sure he will spend his heaven continuing to do good through his prayers!
Karin Freihammer
Acquaintance
October 28, 2020
He was an amazing man. Kind, generous and a true family man. He will be missed!
Marsha Litwiller
Friend
October 27, 2020
Don was a great neighbor and was a light in the community. His smile and kindness was contagious and he will be greatly missed. He walked over to my house a couple of weeks ago with his walker to see how my shoulder replacement went. Alway thinking of others.
John Monge
Neighbor
October 26, 2020
The Regan’s, both Don and his son were the greatest bankers to work with. Don was an inspiration to all who knew him - we were fortunate some years ago to do some Real Estate work for Premier. Our sincere sympathy and prayers to the family. Sandy Durand
Sandra L R Durand
Acquaintance
October 26, 2020
October 23, 2020 will always be a very sad day for us. On this day we lost a very caring person. Our condolences to a very fine family.
Elmer Strohmeier and Karna Berry
Friend
October 26, 2020
Don was a kind and generous man that will be missed by many. May you take time to reflect on all of the great memories.
Julie Johnson, MSS
Julie Johnson
Acquaintance
October 26, 2020
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Anne Scott
Acquaintance
October 26, 2020
My condolences to all of the Regan family. As a child, Don and the Regan family were always in my life as we only lived 2 doors down from each other. Don was the father of my good friend Katie. I spent many days at the Regan house playing in the yard or in the basement shooting hockey pucks. My mom drove bus for his bus company for many years and he once hired a few of the neighborhood kids to help stuff some marketing envelopes for the bank. Don seemed to be in everything in the community and always tried to keep the local economy strong by hiring those within it. I feel fortunate to have run into Don again while my daughter and Katie’s daughter played volleyball together at Hill recently. It was nice to see him through my adult eyes and to be reminded what a caring, compassionate and loving family man he was to all. He will be missed.
Tana Prokosch (Huseby)
Neighbor
October 26, 2020
Don Regan was a visionary, and a man of faith. He also cherished his community, and raised his family to pursue success as he had always done. I have known Don for over 50 years, and spent some time with him last year. He was an inspiration to the many of us that knew him. I worked with him on the project of POLAR ARENA many, many years ago. And yes he loved to watch hockey. He will be greatly missed by his family and all who knew him. Thanks Don, and GOD Speed.
Bill Halbrehder
Friend
October 26, 2020
I got to know Mr. Don Regan (or DBR as we referred to him) back in my days at Saint Paul and Suburban Bus Company. I have many fond Memories of Don. God Bless Don and all his family. My prayers go out to all of you.
Bob Falk
October 26, 2020
Don was a loving and gentle man who had a faith that could move mountains. He has a love for the Catholic Church, and his family would reflect those values by their support and compassion to the unfortunate. I am going to miss Don, and I will never forget how he attended my father's funeral. My sympathy and empathy to the Regan family. His spirit will remain with us forever.
Sister Linda Soler
Friend
October 26, 2020
Don would always come into indian Hills Golf Club and be "The man of the hour" he was always so kind , socialable and make his rounds to all the tables ! He would always tell me how hard of a worker I was! I will never forget his usually coke and milk and a tossed salad with just tomatoes ♥ Sending my love to all and to the family! Don was a delight!
Anna Schwartz
Acquaintance
October 26, 2020
Thank you, Don, for living an amazing, inspiring and caring life! Your dedicated service and warm generosity to area civic groups, communities and state are deeply appreciated. I remember first meeting him at Polar Arena and his great enthusiasm for youth participation on the ice.

Don was highly recognized as a very successful business leader (MN Banker of the Year). He always shared and cared for people. His faith journey and many contributions are truly exemplary.

Condolences to Don’s proud family. May you continue to live the legacy that he and Jean nurtured. Be comforted that someday you will reunite with them when it’s time

Chuck Wiger
Maplewood
Chuck Wiger
Friend
October 25, 2020
Our fond condolences to the family of Don Regan! He and Jean were wonderful neighbors, caring parents and community stalwarts!!!
Dave and Sue Johnson
Friend
October 25, 2020