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March 2, 1922 – Feb. 24, 2013

Romana K. Reger, retired editor of the Catholic Directory for the Diocese of Buffalo, died Sunday in her Buffalo home after a long illness, six days short of her 91st birthday.

Born in Buffalo, the former Romana Kelly was a granddaughter of Patrick J. Kelly, one of the founders of the Hens & Kelly department store, and Dr. Charles J. Whalen, a physician and attorney who served as the first health commissioner for the City of Chicago.

She graduated magna cum laude in 1944 with a degree in English from D’Youville College, where she excelled at creative writing and was known for her voice and stage presence as the lead in numerous dramatic productions. After graduating, she taught English for several years at St. Mary’s Seminary on Linwood Avenue. Mrs. Reger was active in Kappa Gamma Pi Honor Society. In 1996, she received the Delta Sigma Award and membership in the St. Marguerite D’Youville Honor Society.

A volunteer lector at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church for 25 years, she was a regular lector for televised Masses at Christ the King Seminary when she was employed by the Diocese of Buffalo.

She retired in 2001 as editor of the Catholic Directory, which lists the priests, sisters, brothers and permanent deacons in the diocese and provides information on all Catholic organizations.

An avid reader all of her life, she was revisiting the classics on her Kindle before she became ill last year. She also enjoyed cooking, gardening and crocheting.

Her husband of 50 years, North Buffalo funeral director Robert J. Reger, died in 1998.

Surviving are five sons, Robert J. Jr., Joseph M., Ronald C., Dr. Mark J. and Brian F.; a daughter, Romana R. Bukowski; and a brother, Charles J. Kelly.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Joseph University Catholic Church, 3269 Main St.