Steven Thomas Landregan
June 18, 1928 – November 25, 2018
Steve Landregan -- author, teacher, historian, broadcasting pioneer, award-winning editor and reporter, scholar, spiritual mentor, lover of all things Irish, and eyewitness to history during a career in communications and religious education that spanned more than six decades, died Nov. 25 while visiting relatives in Phoenix, AZ. He was 90.
During a 50-year career at the Diocese of Dallas, Steve served as editor of the Texas Catholic newspaper, co-founder of the Permanent Diaconate, Director of Pastoral Planning, and Diocesan Historian and Archivist. He was Chairman of the U.S. Bishops Advisory Council from 1974-76 and served on the Boards of the Texas Catholic Conference and the Texas Conference of Churches. In 1997, he was awarded the papal medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (“For the Church and the Pope”) for a lifetime of service to the church – the highest honor given to a Catholic lay person.
Earlier in his career, Steve worked as a newswriter and newscaster for WFAA Radio in Dallas, editor of Dallas Magazine for the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, and Director of Public Relations at St. Paul Hospital in Dallas.
In November 1963, Steve was Assistant Administrator at Parkland Memorial Hospital and was one of the many members of the Parkland staff involved in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. In testimony that was included in the Warren Commission Report, Steve recalled the important role of the Parkland staff during those tragic days following the assassination:
“What is it that enables an institution to take in stride such a series of history-jolting events? Spirit? Dedication? Preparedness? Certainly, all of these are important, but the underlying factor is people. People whose education and training is sound. People whose judgment is calm and perceptive. People whose actions are deliberate and definitive. Our pride is not that we were swept up by the whirlwind of tragic history, but that when we were, we were not found wanting.”
Steven Thomas Landregan was born June 18, 1928, in Evansville, Indiana, the only child of Thomas Devereux Landregan and Genevieve Therese Roche. He graduated from St. Mel High School in Oak Park, IL, in 1946.
He enlisted in the US Army in June 1946 at age 17 and was stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia, and Atlanta, GA. He volunteered for the US Air Force in 1951 and was stationed at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth. Texas.
Steve married Virginia Susan Subbie in Fort Worth on October 6, 1951. The couple moved to Dallas a year later and began to raise a family: four daughters and a son.
Steve graduated from Southern Methodist University (SMU) with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism in 1954. He earned a Master of Arts in Religious Education from the University of Dallas in 1973. Over the years, he held faculty appointments at the University of Dallas, SMU, Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio and Brookhaven Community College in Dallas.
His wife Virginia died in 1989. Two years later, he married Barbara Jean Weaver Coles in Dallas, Texas. Barbara currently is the Director, Safe Environment, for the Diocese of Dallas.
In 1999, the University of Dallas launched the Landregan Lecture Series featuring nationally prominent figures “whose area of expertise reflects the many interests that have animated Steve Landregan throughout his long, distinguished career of service to the Catholic Church in North Texas,” according to the university’s website.
Steve and his wife Barbara both received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Dallas in 2017 for their many contributions to the Diocese of Dallas.
Steve was a founding member of the Catholic Telecommunications Network of America in 1979 and later directed the Archbishop Sheehan Center for Communications that produced Catholic television and radio programming.
A prolific writer, Steve authored several books, including Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe: Dallas; Speak Lord: Reflections on the Ordination Rite for Deacons; Catholic Texans: Our Family Album; Circuit Rider to Cathedral: How the Diocese of Dallas Came To Be; and To Walk Humbly With Your God.
A lifelong lover of history, he also wrote a traveler’s guide to the City of Philadelphia and its many historic landmarks.
He officially retired from the Diocese of Dallas in 2016 but he continued to work, publishing occasional blog posts for the diocese as well as his personal blog titled Catholic Curmudgeon. Shortly before his death, Steve was working on his next book – his life story.
Steve was immensely proud of his Irish heritage. According to his Ancestry.com page, he was 89 percent Irish.
In addition to his wife Barbara, Steve is survived by eight children: Stephanie Landregan, Deborah Landregan, Genevieve Landregan, Katy Wallner, Michael Landregan; Father James Coles, Jennifer Peppard and Amy Hill: 15 grandchildren, including Joseph Drymala, Angela Rooker, David Drymala, Harrison Houldin, Timothy Wallner, Patricia Landregan, Tyler Houldin, Thomas Wallner, Emma Coles, John Coles, Amanda Peppard, Isabel Peppard, Sam Coles, Helen Hill and Charlotte Peppard; three great-grandchildren: Alana Rooker, Avery Drymala and Lola Drymala; and many nieces and nephews.
A Scripture Service will be held Thursday at 7 pm at the Church of the Incarnation at the University of Dallas, 1845 E. Northgate Dr. in Irving, Texas. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday at 10 am at the Church of the Incarnation. Msgr. Milam Joseph will be officiant at both services, Interment will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Rowlett, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to the Landregan Lecture Series and can be made online at www.udallas.edu/landregan-endowment
- Steve is survived by his wife Barbara, eight children: Stephanie Landregan, Deborah Landregan, Genevieve Landregan, Katy Wallner, Michael Landregan; Father James Coles, Jennifer Peppard and Amy Hill: 15 grandchildren, including Joseph Drymala, Angela Rooker, David Drymala, Harrison Houldin, Timothy Wallner, Patricia Landregan, Tyler Houldin, Thomas Wallner, Emma Coles, John Coles, Amanda Peppard, Isabel Peppard, Sam Coles, Helen Hill and Charlotte Peppard; three great-grandchildren: Alana Rooker, Avery Drymala and Lola Drymala; and many nieces and nephews.
- Joseph Drymala
- Harrison Houldin
- Timothy Wallner
- Thomas Wallner
- John Coles
- Sam Coles
- Landregan Lecture Series
- Scripture Service Thursday, November 29, 2018
- Funeral Mass Friday, November 30, 2018
- Reception Friday, November 30, 2018
Steven Thomas Landregan
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November 30, 2018
I had the great privilege of sharing ministry with Steve at the University of Dallas sponsored Catholic Biblical School program. Both he and Barbara were good friends of the Dean, Dr. Brian Schmisek, and all of the faculty that worked together during those years from 2003-2011. Steve was always gracious and inquisitive and willing to serve his students in any way he could. I loved talking "history" with Steve, as his knowledge base was beyond most in the Diocese of Dallas. I'm so sorry I missed the services but I just found out about Steve's death. Much love and many prayers for Barbara and the family at this time of loss. Thanks, Barbara, for sharing Steve with the "world."
Deacon Ruben Natera
November 28, 2018
I met Steve and his beautiful wife when they taught during my formation as permanent deacon in the late 1990's. Later I worked with him when he was the Archivist for the Diocese of Dallas. I needed some historical information at the time and Steve was most gracious. Steve went out of his way to assist me. He was a very generous, kind and loving person. He will surely be missed and the world is a much better place because of him. May he rest in the Lord's Peace.
Lisa (Elise) Perkins Carter
November 27, 2018
As a next door neighbor from my infancy, Steve was the most spirit-filled man I have ever met.
November 27, 2018
I knew Steve Landregan my whole life... he was a boss, a mentor, and father figure to me. A light. A deeply religious and humble man, but one of the most well-respected communicators in America. His numerous awards and accolades never phased him. He was always Steve.. a true servant of God and lover of all things Catholic or Irish! A favorite memory is singing Irish songs with Steve.
God, thank you for allowing me to know and love this man. May he rest in peace. Our sincerest condolences from Patricia and Jim Martin.