October 09, 2001

Don Regan remembered

PINE BUSH: A 'fireman's fireman' is remembered as a husband and father who never wanted to be singled out for his heroism.

By Timothy O'Connor
The Times Herald-Record
toconnor@th-record.com

Columns of New York City firefighters filed on to a sparkling yellow school bus yesterday outside the Pine Bush firehouse on Center Street, on their way to line the route to the Church of the Infant Saviour on Route 302. A state police motorcycle, its light flashing red, prepared to lead another busload of people to the church, where about 500 people waited outside in the cold fall morning.

Shane Regan was asked how his dad, New York City firefighter Don Regan, would react to all this ceremony, this tribute to him.

Shane launched into a quick impression of his dad. He stroked his chin, narrowed his eyes, and shook his head. "He'd say, 'Awww, say a couple of Hail Marys and get back to work.'"

Don Regan was not a man who was impressed with himself.

His fellow firefighters were the ones who told Regan's four children about their father's heroics, the ones that earned him honors and citations before the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, Shane Regan said recently.

Regan, 47, a firefighter with the legendary Rescue 3, out of the Bronx, was among the 343 firefighters and more than 5,000 other people killed in the attack.

"It's just a job," he would tell his wife, Theresa, and his kids, Shane, 25; Jimmy, 23; Jill, 22; and Peter, 20.

But in the packed sanctuary of the church yesterday, his comrade, Bob Knabbe, said Regan was the toughest firefighter he knew. And a man who had a passion for two things