Obituary of Margaret O'Regan
Meg O’Regan, September 19, 1939- February 1, 2024
Meg O’Regan, 84, passed peacefully on Thursday February 1 in Kingston PA. She was an attorney who served Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York, and in Alexandria Virginia. She was best known for her work in social justice, speaking for and defending those who had no voice. She started her illustrious career as an ADA for then DA of Nassau County Denis Dillon. She was instrumental in changing the rape law in New York State to remove the “earnest resistance” statute from the law, which required all rape victims to prove they had ‘earnestly resisted’ the act. Meg O’Regan and colleagues successfully lobbied to remove it from law in 1982. Since then, many states have followed suit.
She served on then-Governor Hugh Carey’s Domestic Violence Task Force, and from there, started the Center for Women’s Rights (CFWR) in Mineola NY. The CFWR helped abused and battered women and children find justice and better lives free from abuse. She also opened the first-ever Safe House on Long Island for women and children seeking freedom from violence and abuse. As the Deputy Commissioner of New York City in the 90s, she oversaw the hub of New York City’s homeless shelters, and worked to improve the lives of those seeking shelter. After moving to Alexandria Virginia, she was named the Commissioner of Human Services, working closely with social services to help the underprivileged, the abused, and the neglected populations.
She retired to Annapolis Maryland, where she lived until 2018 when she moved to Garden City, and subsequently to Kingston PA where she passed after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Born in Freeport, NY in 1939 to parents William and Margaret O’Regan, Meg was the second of six sisters. She graduated from Marywood College in Scranton PA. She married Denis Cronin Jr. (deceased) and they had three children. They divorced in 1985. During that time, Meg was a teacher, and attended St. John’s Law School, graduating with a JD in 1976. Meg is survived by her three children: Maureen Cronin, Elizabeth Leo and son in law Charles, Denis Cronin III and daughter in law Dawn, and grandchildren Trey and Coley Leo, and Lauren, Katherine, and Caroline Cronin. She is also survived by her five sisters: Cathy, Rosie, Ceil, Anne, and Eileen, and eleven nieces and nephews.