20 May 1941 – 22 July 2020
Dan beloved son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to many, passed away at St. Joseph hospital in Eureka on 22 July 2020 with his son Daniel Jr. and longtime partner Risë at his side.
Born in Acushnet, Massachusetts to Theodora “Dot” (Rutkowski) and Daniel Joseph Regan on 20 May 1941, Dan grew up with a large extended family to include: sister Diane, half-sisters Dorothy, Kate and Debbie as well as step-brothers Charlie and David. He spent his formative years in Dartmouth before moving to California and graduating from Mark Keppel High School where he excelled playing football.
In 1960, Dan joined the United States Air Force. His 30 year career, culminating with the achievement of the highest enlisted rank of Chief Master Sergeant, took him to the far reaches of the globe to include a combat tour in Vietnam for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. He retired in 1990 and moved back to California where he began his second 15 year career with the US Forest Service in Eureka until his ultimate retirement in 2006 after 45 years of service to the U.S. government.
In 1965, Dan married Joy Kellaway. Together, they raised three children – Daniel Jr., Lyn and Sarah — during his globetrotting Air Force career that took him back and forth between Europe and the USA. In 2002, he married Laura Madsen; they ran a successful jewelry store in Eureka and made routine trips to Las Vegas for “conventions” until Laura’s untimely passing in 2010 due to cancer. In 2013, while at his favorite local casino, he met Risë Rentz, who from the day they met was his life partner until his passing this week.
During his 28 years in Eureka, Dan enjoyed fishing, walks on the beach and in the redwoods, elk watching, feeding wild birds, and the casino. He especially enjoyed using his iPad for keeping up with the lives and adventures of his two surviving children, Daniel Jr. and Sarah, his six grandchildren: Heather (Jones), Daniel III, David, Shane, Troy and Dominic, his eight great grandchildren, his Uncle John, sisters Kate and Deb as well as numerous cousins, friends and colleagues.
Due to the COVID limit of 10 person gatherings, a small private “family only” service will be held on 30 July at Ocean View Cemetery in Eureka. Pastor Aaron Jones will be officiating.
In lieu of flowers, and if desired, contributions would be appreciated for the America Cancer Society.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Dan Regan’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.