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Feb. 23, 1936 – June 30. 2014

Chris F. Rego, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and former Erie County deputy comptroller, died Monday in his East Amherst home. He was 78.

He was born and raised in the Appalachian mountain town of Pineville, Ky., where he was a high school football star. On a high school trip to Washington, D.C., he attended a dance aboard a boat on the Potomac River where he met a woman from Lockport, Angela M. Ventura, who, after two years of correspondence, would become his wife.

After graduating from the University of Kentucky, Mr. Rego pursued a career in the military. Over 20 years, he was stationed in Germany and several places in the United States, including Texas and North Carolina. He pursued his master’s degree at Syracuse University while still in the Army.

While serving in Vietnam, he was awarded the Purple Heart and four Bronze Stars. He also completed 79 parachute jumps and had to use his backup parachute only once. According to his family, Mr. Rego kept the pull ring from that backup chute as a reminder of his love of life.

He retired from the Army in 1980 and moved to East Amherst. He later was appointed deputy comptroller under former Erie County Comptroller Alfreda Slominski and retired from the county in the 1990s.

He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and became part of its first parish council.

In addition to his wife of 56 years, he is survived by three daughters, Rhonda, Laura Bosca and Paula Kwandras; a son, Christopher J. Rego; and two grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Thursday in St. Mary’s Church, 6919 Transit Road, Amherst.