James F. O'Regan

James Francis O’Regan, age 74, formerly of Waseca, died on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Waterville, MN.
Jim was born on July 6, 1940 in Pisek, ND to James and Lucille (Dub) O’Regan.  He attended Park River Elementary School and the Walsh County Agricultural School in Park River, ND, graduating in 1958.   After graduation he attended Valley City State Teachers College in Valley City, ND, graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education in 1962.   He taught 5th grade for 5 years in Valley City.  During that time he also attended Moorhead State University in Moorhead, MN, obtaining his Masters Degree in Elementary Education in 1969.  In 1968 he moved to New London, MN, where he was the Elementary Principal for the New London/Spicer School District.   In 1971 he became the first Middle School Principal in Waseca, MN.   He obtained his Sixth Year certificate in School Administration from Mankato State in 1982.

Jim married Gayle Dau on December 5, 1959, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Park River, ND and they were blessed with three children, Keith, Kevin and Kari.  They divorced in 1995.  He later married Debra Fosness.

Jim’s biggest concern, after his family, was the education and well being of his students.   He was known as the “Students Principal”.  He began the first environmental learning trip for all 6th graders, which became know as the “Isabella winter trip”.

He was involved in community organizations, being a member of the Lions Club, President of the Eagles Club, a Council member at Grace Lutheran Church and on the Board of Directors for both Lakeside Golf Club and the Waseca County Historical Society.  He was an avid golfer, having three “holes in one”.  He qualified for the Minnesota Amateur Golf Tournament three times, the last at age 54.  Jim was inducted into the Valley City State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.

From 1973 to 1976 he served on the Board of directors for the Minnesota Southeast Principals Association, being their President in 1978.   In 1980 he was elected President of the Minnesota Association for Secondary School Principals.  In 1987 he served as a Director for the Minnesota Middle School Association.

Jim is survived by his three children and their spouses, Keith and Barbara of Rockwall, TX, Kevin and Carmen of Shakopee, MN, and Kari and Charles Heid of Victoria, TX, four grandchildren, Tyler and Aubrey Worke, Christopher and Ryan O’Regan and two step-grandchildren, Jamie and David Heid, one sister, Mary Wicks of Bismarck, ND, sister-in-law, Melanie O’Regan of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, and ex-wife Gayle of Waseca, plus several nieces and nephews.   He was preceded in death by parents, brother, Charles and brother-in-law, Jim Wicks.

Visitation will be held at Dennis Funeral & Cremation Services in Waseca on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 from 4-7 PM and continue one hour before services at the church on Thursday.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 10:00 AM at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waseca with Rev. Cary Larson officiating.   Burial will follow at Woodville Cemetery in Waseca.  

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