Robert Emmett Reagan, devoted husband, loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle, golf partner, friend and dentist, died after a 21-month battle with cancer, on April 14, 2013 at age 87, surrounded by his family. Not only did Bob ‘Doc’ live a long, full and active life enjoying every moment with those dear to him, he was a community leader, business owner and active in the dental profession as well. Bob was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Frank and Tess Reagan, the oldest of 7, and graduated from Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School. He entered WWII by enlisting in the Army Air Force where he served as a B-29 gunner and was stationed in the South Pacific, mostly on the island of Tinian until the war ended. He discovered there were periodic national reunions of his 6th Bomb Group in 1989. After attending one, he soon was elected to board positions, editor, served as President several times and continued to attend reunions, including the latest in Charlotte, SC in September 2012.
Bob met the love of his life Carol Callan while they were students at Marquette University in Milwaukee. After graduation in 1953, he from dental school and she from nursing, the newlyweds chose to start a family and establish a dental practice in Lowell, Michigan. They wasted no time succeeding at both, and their family kept growing and making a mark in Lowell.
Dr. Reagan was the recipient of numerous awards and honors, and was invited to affiliate with several prestigious professional organizations. In 1984, he was selected as a Fellow in the American College of Dentists, and the nominating endorsement cited his “family and community contributions, his professional competence, his quiet leadership, friendliness and kindly manners”. In 1993 his dental colleagues also awarded him the Distinguished Service Award, which states, in part, “…an overview of his private, family, civic and professional life might serve as a guide for how to apply family values so that America would be enriched throughout all the land if his example were followed”. He was a Life Member of the Michigan Dental Association, Past President of the Kent County Dental Society, and member of the West Michigan Dental Society for over forty years.
In 1991, he was selected Lowell Area “Person of the Year”, an honor that recognized his service to the city through the: Lions Club (charter member, 1954); United Way Community Fund Secretary/treasurer for 40 years; the Lowell Showboat; member and President, Lowell Area School Board, and many others.
Dr. Reagan was predeceased by his infant brother Gerald and sister, Mary Gire, as well as his wife of 54 years, Carol and daughter Mary (1979). He is survived by three brothers, Patrick and Mike of Grand Rapids, and Tom of Holland, and one sister, Patty of Houghton Lake. He is also survived by nine children: Jane of Williamston, MI; Karen Myers, Kathy (Jim) Ormiston; Jim (Becky); Patty (Rich) Wade all of Lowell; Peggy (Bill) LaPenna of Ada; Ruth (Steve) Thomet of Alto; Don (Michele) of Tampa, FL; and Ed (Colleen) of Portland, OR. He also leaves behind his precious 23 grandchildren, each of whom brought him limitless joy: Emily (Matthew) Myers Thuja, Colleen and Lorri Myers, Becky (Lee) Myers Dickerman, Tara and Evan Ormiston, Jacob, Tess and Judi Reagan, Caroline, Sam, Spencer and Annie Thomet, Joey, Frankie and Vinnie LaPenna, Marie (Gary) Wade Pihlaja, Stephanie, Cole, Erin, Lucy, Molly and Melanie Wade. He also leaves dozens of nieces and nephews, former patients, many golf and euchre partners, as well as downhill skiing (The Silver Streakers) and hunting (OCHC) buddies.
Visitation will be Wednesday, April 17 from 2-4pm and 6-8pm, at Roth-Gerst Funeral Home, Lowell Chapel, with recitation of the rosary at 7:30pm. A requiem traditional Latin Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, April 18th at 11am at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, 11352 Brown Ave., Allendale, MI, 49401, with Fr. Timothy Sick officiating. Interment will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Lowell, following Mass. A luncheon celebrating Doc’s life will be from 2-4pm at St. Mary’s Parish, 402 Amity St., Lowell. Military Honors will be at the start of the luncheon (approximately 2:00 p.m.)
The family wishes to thank all his friends, neighbors, relatives and clergy who have shared their time with Bob during his rich and spirit-filled life and contacted him during his illness. To honor the memory of Bob you may contribute, in lieu of flowers, to: Gilda’s Club of Lowell, 314 South Hudson, Lowell, MI 49331 www.GildasClubGR.org
or Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan www.DSAWM.org
or to St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, or to the charity of your choice.