Regis Philbin to Be Buried at His Beloved Notre Dame Alma Mater
By Desiree Murphy
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Regis Philbin will be laid to rest at the Notre Dame campus, a place that holds very special meaning to the legendary TV host, who died last Friday at the age of 88.
His former co-host, Kelly Ripa, confirmed the news during Monday's Live With Kelly and Ryan. "As people get older, you always know that certain things are inevitable, but Regis was one of the people who we all believed would figure out a way around the inevitable. It was not in the cards, I suppose," she said. "He will be buried at his beloved Notre Dame which I just know means the world to him."
The South Bend Tribune reports that a funeral service for Philbin will be held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart ahead of his burial at the Cedar Grove Cemetery on campus. A date has not yet been set.
Prior to kicking off his professional career as a TV host, Philbin attended the University of Notre Dame. He graduated in 1953 with a degree in sociology, and has been a fan of the Fighting Irish sports teams (especially football) ever since. He's vocalized his love for the university and the athletic department in plenty of on-air segments over his decades-long career.
During one episode of Live! With Regis and Kelly in November 2019, for example, Philbin invited the school's mascot, The Leprechaun, to join him and Ripa on air ahead of Notre Dame's football match against Army at Yankee Stadium.
Following the tragic news of Philbin's death, Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. released a statement on the university's Office of Public Affairs and Communications website.
"Regis regaled millions on air through the years, oftentimes sharing a passionate love for his alma mater with viewers," the statement read. "He will be remembered at Notre Dame for his unfailing support for the University and its mission, including the Philbin Studio Theater in our performing arts center."
"He likewise was generous with his time and talent in support of South Bend’s Center for the Homeless and other worthy causes," the statement continued. "Our prayers are with his wife, Joy, and their daughters and Notre Dame alumnae Joanna and J.J."
As ET previously reported, Philbin's family confirmed Philbin died of natural causes in a statement released to ET over the weekend.
"We are deeply saddened to share that our beloved Regis Philbin passed away last night of natural causes, one month shy of his 89th birthday," the statement read. "His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss."
The family shared in a second statement, released to ET on Monday, that they are "overwhelmed by the outpouring of love we've received."
"If you'd like to honor Regis's memory, we kindly ask that you make a donation to http://foodbanknyc.org/, to help people in need in his beloved New York, especially his home borough of The Bronx. Thank you," the statement continued.