Knitting 01

Helen Regan

August 7, 1920 ~ May 20, 2021 (age 100)


MADISON - On August 7, 1920, the world was gifted with the birth of Helen L. Regan (Schmelzer) and for over a century her family and friends have been blessed with her light.  Helen peacefully passed away on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at Agrace Hospice.

Helen was born to Francis X. and Theresa Schmelzer (Ripp). She grew up in Madison WI where her family was one of the original families that lived in the Greenbush area. To her parents, Helen was a long-awaited daughter in a family of mostly boys.

Helen met Frank Regan in High School. They married in 1942. She had their first child, James, in 1943 while Frank was serving in Europe during WWII.  A war time bride and new mother, she diligently wrote letters and sent Frank pictures of his new family.  After Frank returned from Europe, Helen and Frank had two more children, another son, John and a daughter Mary.  

Helen easily made many friends throughout her life. She enjoyed reading, knitting, playing cards, golfing and most importantly spending time with her family. Everyone loved her sense of humor.

A born storyteller, Helen has been the corner stone of her family for generations. Her stories entertained her grandchildren and greatgrandchildren for years. She even published a children’s Christmas story. Reading it every Christmas provided the quality time with her that is fast becoming uncommon. 

Helen was a woman of deep spiritual faith. Her family will attest that if they were really struggling with something, they could ask Grandma to pray for them and it would all work out, she had the ears of the angels. Helen was a life-long member of Queen of Peace parish.

A life lived over 100 years tells a long story.  Helen’s story is an example of how the quiet power in doing good will bring the greatest joy. Helen was a treasure to all who knew her. She had a comfortable and peaceful transition, possible with the help of Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg and her loving family. Her family would also like to say a special thank you to Helen’s many friends at All Saints Retirement Community where she lived her last 14 years happily independent and to Queen of Peace parish nurse Sheila Utter who made sure to check in on Helen many times over the last several years.

Helen was preceded in death by her mother and father, five brothers and her sister and by her dearest husband, Frank. She is survived by her three children, James Regan (Kathleen), John Regan (Eileen), Mary Richardson (Ron) and daughter in law Jackie Regan as well as five grandchildren; Christine Regan Schmidt, Michelle Braun (Brendan), Regan Hendrickson (Zack), Casey Richardson and Sean Regan and six great grandchildren; Brady, Tucker, Owen, Connor, James and Isabelle. 

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5701 Odana Road




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