Beloved wife of Jack Grandsaert for 24 years, beloved Mother of John Christopher, Senior at UCSD, Kathryn Marie, Junior at UCSB, & Patrick Joseph, Senior at Bellarmine College Prep, died, October 20, 2004, in a tragic automobile accident.
Regina grew up in San Francisco, where she attended St. Agnes elementary school, the Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, and where she graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1976 with a degree in Business Administration.
Regina married Jack on March 22,1980, at St. Agnes Church. (The mass was concelebrated by 4 priests and 2 bishops. As Jack was told at the time, "There is no getting out of this!") The wedding followed an engagement that began with a catered, linen, 6 course champagne rooftop lunch, with uniformed wait-staff, atop Jack's office building on the 18th floor of 111 Pine, SF. The actual proposal was towed behind a yellow biplane on a banner that read: "Regina, will you marry me? John". Regina was enjoying the lunch so much that she did not notice the biplane until Jack pointed it out to her. When she saw the plane, and the banner, she cried. She never actually said "yes", contrary to what Herb Caen later printed in his column.
Regina and Jack lived in Vallejo for the first four years of their marriage. They settled on Vallejo as Regina had suggested to Jack, some years before their engagement, that they buy a house there as an investment. (Houses were very inexpensive there; they ended up buying two! Jack and Regina lived, very respectably, down the street from each other before they were married.) After their marriage, they sold those homes and bought a nicer home, with a view she loved, on Terrybrook Lane in Vallejo. Son John was born there. They lived there until 1984, when Jack asked Regina if she would be willing to move to Riverside, at a 50% cut in pay, so that Jack could pursue his dream of being a trial lawyer and eventually a judge. This time Regina actually said "yes". They lived in Riverside from 1984 to 1987, and then returned to the Bay Area, with new babies Katie and Patrick, when Jack got a job with the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
Back in the Bay Area, Regina and Jack lived first in a home that they rented next door to her parents, Frank and Janet, on Atalaya Terrace in SF, where John, Katie and Patrick got to know their maternal grandparents very well. Then Jack and Regina rented a 2 bedroom, 1 bath rental home in Redwood City while they built their eventual home on a lot that they had purchased from Al Grandsaert, Jack's Dad, quite near Jack's parents. They moved into that house when construction was completed in 1990.
Regina had worked in the insurance industry before her marriage, becoming Vice President of Great Pacific Insurance Co. in San Francisco, before leaving that industry to become a full-time Mom in 1982. Regina later obtained her teaching credential in 1998, and taught part time in both St Pius and St Charles schools, teaching math and religion at the junior high level. Regina became a member of St. Matthias Parish, Jack's home parish in Redwood City, where she served first as President and then as a volunteer with the parish St Vincent de Paul Society, beginning in 1990.
Regina was survived by her mother, Janet Geraty of San Francisco, her sister, Marianne Ahern of San Carlos, and her brothers, Frank Geraty of Los Angeles, John Geraty of Novato, Joe Geraty of San Rafael, and Mark Geraty of Boise, Idaho.
Services for Regina consisted of a Rosary at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Fulton & James Ave., in Redwood City on October 24 at 6:30 p.m., a Funeral Mass at St. Charles Church, 880 Tamarack Ave., San Carlos, October 25 at 11:30 a.m., followed by burial at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma. It was standing room only at both the rosary and the funeral. During the funeral, Regina was given an honor guard by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. During the procession to the cemetery, Regina's hearse was escorted by more than a dozen police motorcyles, and saluted from every overpass she passed under on Highway 280, from San Carlos to Colma, by uniformed police and fire personnel.
Contributions in Regina's memory were made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, a scholarship fund which was instituted in her name at Bellarmine College Preparatory, and Project Rachel.