Regis Ebner, Sr.
May 10, 1937 - April 25, 2016
Regis Joseph Ebner Sr., 78, of Hampton Township, died Monday, April 25, 2016 in Pittsburgh.
He was born May 10, 1937, in Millvale to the late John G. and Helen G. (Kraft) Ebner.
Always in a hurry, Rege began primary school a year early, after the nuns at the former St. Anthony Catholic school in Millvale saw him regularly peeking through windows and eventually invited him in. After assessing what he knew, they declared him ready to start school.
He graduated from North Catholic High School, then Duquesne University in 1958 with a degree in journalism.
He married Nancy Ann Bodyke in October of 1958, and together they raised five children.
Over the course of his career in public relations and fundraising, he worked at the former Carnegie Tech, now Carnegie-Mellon University; the State University of New York’s administration offices in Albany, where he received a special award from his peers in recognition of his leadership and innovation; Duquesne University, where he was vice president of university relations; and Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, where he was executive vice president. At Duquesne and Fairleigh Dickinson, he led the universities’ largest successful capital campaigns up to that time.
For the 100th anniversary of the founding of Duquesne University in 1978, he founded the Century Club, an annual recognition of select Duquesne graduates for their accomplishments and service to community and the university. Rege himself was inducted into the club in 1982.
In 1989, he began a consulting business, RJE Consulting. His clients included the Johnstown Flood Museum, the Heinz History Center, and other nonprofits, as well as several universities.
A Civil War buff, he toured Gettysburg several times as well as battlefield sites in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.
A lifelong sports enthusiast, he encouraged, supported and coached his five children through countless baseball, softball, football, hockey, and soccer games and tennis matches. He taught them to throw, catch, shoot baskets and play golf. He also took the family to New York City, Montreal and Cincinnati to watch the Pirates play; to PGA tournaments at Oakmont, Quail Hollow and Pinehurst; and to Steeler games. With $50 won in an office football pool, he took the family to an Erie Holiday Inn to watch the blacked-out 1972 playoff game in which Franco Harris made the Immaculate Reception.
Family was his first priority, and he delighted over the past 25 years in the annual gatherings of up to 26 people at Lake George, New York; at Cape Cod, Massachusetts; at the beach in New Jersey and in Emerald Isle, North Carolina; and at winter gatherings at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland.
Rege is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughter Lauren Gallagher of Deptford, New Jersey, and her children, Ian, Kate, Gabrielle and Caroline Gallagher; son Regis Jr. and his wife, Barbara Schmitt Ebner, of Pittsburgh, and their son, Aaron Ebner; son Neil and his wife, Diane Ebner, of Wexford, and their children, Rachel, Amanda, Holly and Nicole Ebner; daughter Sharon Roberts and her husband, Trent Roberts, of Charlotte, North Carolina, and their children, Evangeline and Lily Roberts; daughter Pam Ebner Simard and her husband, Kevin Simard, of Allison Park, and their children, Erin, Emma and Brianna Simard; his brother, John, and his wife, Marian Ebner; their children, Beth Danchek, Don Ebner, Janet Parks and Mike Ebner; and four grandchildren; other nieces and nephews; many cousins; and his beloved Beagle, Nutmeg.
He is also survived by a group of co-workers and longtime friends who cared for him dearly, and whose affection for and generosity to him in recent years is greatly appreciated by the family.
Friends received Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 PM at Devlin Funeral Home, Inc., 806 Perry Highway, Ross Twp., where a funeral service will take place Friday at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center or Doctors Without Borders.