Crime & Courts

Man found in river remembered as compassionate

Sean Regan could fix about anything, his brother remembered.

He was a handyman and carpenter, a college graduate and the father of a teenage daughter.

Regan died after drowning in the Arkansas River near downtown Wichita earlier this month. He was 51.

This week, his brother, Michael Regan, said he hadn't talked to Sean for a few weeks before getting the call from Wichita police that Sean's body had been found in the river Oct. 1.

Sean Regan died homeless.

"That was very difficult for the family, finding out he had been homeless," Michael Regan said. "But he had been living in apartments just two weeks before that. But the last time I talked to him was probably about three weeks before."

Sean moved to Wichita four years ago, his brother said, to join a college friend in the building business. He ran a remodeling business for several years in Kansas City, Michael Regan said.

But Michael Regan also said his brother would occasionally fall on hard times.

"He usually knew how to handle it," Michael said.

Sean grew up in suburban Chicago before moving to be closer to his family. He studied business and graduated from Emporia State University, Michael Regan said.

"He looked very Irish, like someone you'd see walking down the streets of Dublin," Michael Regan said. "Sean was very compassionate and very caring."

He was also competitive, Michael said. Sean liked to play rugby in college and later for the Kansas City Blues.

"Playing rugby, and even in a touch football game, he'd go all out," Michael Regan remembered. "He didn't want to lose."

A Chicago Bears football fan, Sean also volunteered for the Derrick Thomas Third and Long Foundation in Kansas City, a charity started by the former Kansas City Chiefs star. He was member of the Woodside Racquet Club.

The middle of five children, Sean Regan had three brothers and a sister. He is also survived by his mother, Mary Regan, and a daughter, Jackie, 16.

Services are scheduled for Saturday in Deerfield, Ill.