Harry Edwin Reagan III, 76, formerly of Newtown, Bucks County, a respected labor lawyer at the firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, died Monday, Nov. 28, of dementia at a nursing home in Jackson, Wyo.
Mr. Reagan, known as "Joe," retired in 1998 to his ranch in Telluride, Colo. He had resided at an assisted living facility in Colorado since 2013. In June, his daughter moved him to a nursing center near her home.
He had a distinguished career at Morgan Lewis spanning more than three decades. He graduated in 1962 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and received his law degree in 1965 from the Penn Law School.
That year, Mr. Reagan joined Morgan Lewis, and was a success from the get-go. He was made a partner within five years.
He helped develop the firm's labor and employment practice, and led it for 15 years, advising clients on collective bargaining, arbitrations, National Labor Relations Board cases, and multiemployer benefit fund administration.
What set Mr. Reagan apart from other lawyers there was his "man of the Plains" persona, which reflected his roots in Omaha, Neb. He graduated from public high school there before coming East.
His no-frills approach and keen intellect enabled him to get to the heart of a matter quickly.
"He did not suffer fools, told it straight with no gloss or pretension, and would never give a discourse when a simple 'Yup' would do," his family said.
He was unconventional, but not flashy. "He was more likely to show up at a formal event wearing cowboy boots, a corduroy sports jacket, and a blue denim shirt than a tuxedo," the family said.
Joseph Costello, a labor and employment partner at Morgan Lewis, remembered Mr. Reagan as "a rock."
"He was an immovable force on the rugby pitch and football field, more than a match for the toughest union negotiator, a role model and mentor for multiple generations of labor lawyers, and a dependable source of support for a client or colleague in need," Costello said.
Mr. Reagan was the head coach of the Philadelphia Rugby Team, and also was instrumental in establishing the U.S. Rugby Club.
An outdoorsman, he enjoyed horseback riding, skiing, biking, hiking, walking his dogs, and fly fishing while living on his ranch.
"We had so many animals - chickens, ducks, cats, dogs, goats, and horses," said daughter Leigh Reagan Smith. "He would write our Christmas card each year in the voices of the animals."
He also was a strong advocate for preserving open space in Colorado.
Besides his daughter, he is survived by his wife, Marvene; daughters Kathleen and Mairen; and two grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, at Christ Presbyterian Church in Telluride. Burial is private.
Donations may be made to the Sierra Club via www.teamsierra.org/StandTogether/joereagan.