98, completed his long and full life on April 6, 2021, dying peacefully after a brief stay in hospice in Tucson, Arizona. His beloved wife of 35 years, Anne Bradford Stericker, was at his side. Thad was born on
October 9, 1922, in Torun,
Poland, the youngest of three children of Wanda Olszewska Regulinska and Adam Regulinski. His parents were
naturalized American citizens who had returned to Poland on business for several years, and Thad was born there. He came to the United States with his parents at age 12 to begin a life distinguished by high
academic and career achievement and an idiosyncratic personal style.
During his educational journey Thad earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Manhattan College, a
Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from New Jersey
Institute of Technology and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. He was named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and earned many awards in the field of reliability engineering and related fields, as well as in teaching. He was known as an expert in reliability design and engineering and published scores of professional works in the field of
reliability, including deep space communications. Thad was named to President Reagan's Commission to study the January, 1986 Challenger Shuttle explosion, but respectfully
declined to serve, in favor of helping to plan his wedding to Anne that spring.
Following four years in the Army during World War II, much of that time in the Army Signal Corps, in his early professional career Thad worked as a researcher at the U.S. Army Communications Laboratories at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, then as a professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. In 1979, he and his family moved to Arizona, where he served as a staff engineering consultant at Goodyear Aerospace (now Lockheed Martin) outside of Phoenix until 1989. He also held an adjunct professorship at Arizona State University in Tempe, and later at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Thad had struggled mightily with English as a young Polish born boy in America, and throughout his life worked to
master the language. He took pleasure in speaking in interesting sentences and crafting eloquent letters and emails, which recipients often delighted in receiving. He was an effective and entertaining lecturer, whom classes rated highly. At least one class reserved the final class period to "roast" him with their favorite "Regulinski-isms".
In the early 1970's Thad courageously chaired the De Facto Segregation Committee of the Catholic Diocese in Dayton, Ohio, which produced recommendations for desegregating Dayton's Catholic schools. More than a desegregation plan, the report sought to even out the widely divergent funding of poor and rich parishes, by redrawing wealthy and poor district lines so that high-income and low-income students would
attend school together. The arch diocese however, fearing that wealthy families would flee to the suburbs taking their dollars with them, rejected the plan, while the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who were the teachers and principals in the Catholic schools strongly supported it. Ultimately Dayton
public and private schools were integrated, but not until years later.
Always a believer in the power of education to lift people out of poverty, after reading about the privation and hardship
endured by children in Haiti living near the border with
Dominican Republic, in 2014 Thad undertook to have a school built in Haiti. Working with the elders in a border region and with Jesuit Refugee Service which oversaw the project, Thad helped plan and funded the building of a sturdy three story, eighteen room elementary school in Haiti, which was finished in 2017. The school has survived storms and hurricanes. Several hundred children are educated in the school every semester.
Thad was predeceased by his first wife and mother of their nine children, Barbara W. Regulinski, and by their oldest child, Christine Gallo. He is survived by his current wife Anne
Bradford Stericker, and eight of his children, Leah, Nina
Stephens (Thomas), Stephan (Christine Myers), Mark (Alisa Lange), Paul (Debra Emmons), Michael (Maureen), Phillip, and Sabina Dahl (Richard), and eleven grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be announced in the near future. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Thad's memory to a college scholarship fund of your choosing focussed on academically high achieving but economically impoverished students, or to the Arbor Day Foundation, or to the Monarch Butterfly Fund.