Reger family establishes scholarship to support future physicians

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Reger family name has been well known throughout Huntington since Henry Reger first established Reger Funeral Home in 1903. George E. Reger became the third generation to enter the family business when he returned from service in the U.S. Army in 1924.

 George longed to be a physician but ultimately attended the Cincinnati College of MortuaryScience and committed to serving his hometown in a different way.

“George was a passionate and caring funeral director, having served the community with a sense of compassion and empathy,” said his son Patrick. “And though his dream of becoming a doctor was not fulfilled, his passion for helping others was evident in his funeral service ministry.”

Patrick is now honoring his father’s legacy by establishing a scholarship at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in his memory. The George E. Reger Family Scholarship supports a first-year medical student with first preference to residents of Cabell or Wayne counties in West Virginia. The award is renewable for three additional years, pending normal academic progress.

After George returned to Huntington, he married Ruth Roach and they had three children: Patrick, Maria and George M. All three grew up in Huntington and attended Marshall University. Maria followed in her father’s footsteps by serving in the U.S. Army, from which she retired as a Colonel and chief dietitian. Patrick and George followed their father’s lead by attending Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science before returning to Huntington and entering the family business as its fourth generation.

Through the years, many members of the Reger family would attend Marshall University, including George’s grandson, Dr. Kevin J. Reger, who earned his medical degree in 2023 from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and is completing his diagnostic radiology residency at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

”Marshall University School of Medicine will always hold a special place in my heart,” said Dr. Kevin Reger. “During my time at Marshall, I met treasured friends and colleagues, learned from brilliant mentors and professors and discovered what it meant to be a physician. The sense of community felt in this medical school is like none elsewhere. As a student, I received scholarships from donors that lessened the financial burden of pursuing a career in medicine. Without these benefactors, I would not be where I am today. I believe in the future of West Virginia physicians and the value of scholarship contribution to their journey.”‌

“George Reger, who passed away in 1999, had a great love for Huntington and its surrounding community,” Patrick said. “He was a firm believer in helping others, something he instilled in his children and grandchildren. The Reger family is honored to provide a scholarship in Dad’s memory to enable other young professionals to pursue a career of service in medicine. With this scholarship, we hope to honor his dream of becoming a doctor and his compassion for helping others.”

For more information or to make a gift to the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, please contact Linda Holmes, director of development and alumni affairs, by phone at 304.691.1711 or by e-mail at For news and information about the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, follow us on Twitter @MUSOMWV, like us on Facebook, or visit  

Date Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2023