John Wayne Regoli Jr.

December 4, 1963 ~ January 24, 2018 (age 54)

John W. Regoli Jr., 54, died Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, after a year and a half long battle with brain cancer. He was a stalwart civic leader for the city of New Kensington and devoted father and husband. He often referred to his illness as "my journey" and fought it with the same optimism and sense of humor he brought to his work and family life. His end came peacefully, with his wife Marla lying in his arms and with his family at his bedside. Regoli served for 15 years on the New Kensington city council and was a tireless advocate for his community, always seeking ways to improve and contribute to his hometown. For eight years, he was public safety director, and he was a champion for education and business development in the area. He learned about citizenship and public service from his father, former Westmoreland County commissioner and Pennsylvania state senator, John Regoli, and about devotion to family and friends from his mother, Dolly Regoli. His greatest legacy is the way his children grew up to be unique individuals and live their life loving people for who they are, not judging them on the color of their skin, where they were from or how rich or poor they may be. He taught them to care for the underdog and never turn their back to someone in need. Johnny said many times, "every day when I make my wife laugh, I fall in love with her all over again." Then he would make her pick out a shirt and tie and make him look handsome for work. Throughout his health troubles, he remained upbeat and passionate about politics and sports, and was a loyal fan of the Pirates, the Steelers, the Penguins and the Sun Devils from his alma mater, Arizona State University. Even while hospitalized or in rehabilitation, he focused on the positive, posting Facebook reports about visits from friends, the deer he spotted grazing outside his window and updates about his wife, Marla, the martial arts accomplishments of his son, Nico and the unique costume and artistic creations of his daughter, Gianna. He attended Valley High School for his freshman and sophomore years and then graduated from St. Joseph High School, then went on to Edinboro University for two years before joining his brother at ASU, where his father had also been a student and baseball player. Johnny often considered his years in Tempe to be some of the happiest of his life. At ASU, he worked as a student intern in the sports information office in the athletic department for more than three years. In this position, he was fortunate enough to work at the 1987 Rose Bowl and cherished the time he was able to spend with Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen in the days leading up to the game. He spent a full day with them giving them personal insights on the players to be used during their broadcast of the game. His love for ASU only grew over the years. When one of the teams lost, he felt the pain. He and his little brother, David, along with the late Todd Zaken and a few other close friends, shared many houses and apartments during their college days at ASU. He loved going back to Tempe to try and relive those glory days with his many friends. Unfortunately, he was not able to make last year's reunion with his friends, but they honored him at every stop and FaceTimed him to let him know that they loved and missed his physical presence. Nephew Antonio Regoli followed in their footsteps, but recalls that before he returned to Arizona for the new term this year, his uncle reminded him, "You'll have fun at Arizona State, but you'll never have as much fun as your dad and I had." Johnny was a marketing rep for the Pirates for several years after graduating from ASU and also, as a side job, worked at the Steelers and Penguins games as part of the production crew for the last 25 years. He enjoyed a career in pharmaceuticals and spent several years at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Kos Pharmaceuticals and Actelion Pharmaceuticals. More than anyone, he knew how to balance work and play. When he traveled for work, he loved the opportunity to visit friends who were scattered all over the country. He loved to squeeze in a round of golf at least five times a week and finish his evening with a big glass of robust red wine. In addition to his wife and children, he is survived by both parents; younger brother, David Regoli, Brother-in-law, John CiFerno; and mother-in-law, Hallie Maraffi; as well as many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his enormous catalog of diverse friends. They came from Charles Avenue, Rossmont Plan, Valley and St. Joe's High School, Edinboro and ASU, the AK Valley community, his Hillcrest Country Club family and the staff that he loved so much, his pharma work family and anyone else he met along the way who instantly became his friend. He was preceded in death by his sister, Sharon R. Ciferno, just five months ago; maternal grandparents, Adolph and Florence Zampogna; and paternal grandparents, Sam Tamburo and Sue Regoli Tamburo; father-in-law, Joe Maraffi Jr.; and cousins, Brian Coutch, Grant Piontek and Kristen Coutch. Throughout his life, Johnny Regoli made countless friends and enjoyed many good times, but also worked hard and sacrificed for the things and people he loved. Even in hardship, he always focused on the positive, and he was a source of hope and support for those in need. Even in grief over the death of his sister, he had an unshakable faith. "God has a plan for me and my family," he said. Family and friends will be received from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday in the GIUNTA-BERTUCCI FUNERAL HOME INC., 1509 Fifth Ave., Arnold, JohnPaul Bertucci, owner-supervisor. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday in Mt. St. Peter Roman Catholic Church,  Everyone please meet at the church. Burial will follow at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Lower Burrell. To leave an online condolence, visit

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