John E. Regnier of Stevens Point passed away peacefully at his home on January 7, 2019. He was 97 years old. Visitation will be from 10:00 to 11:00 AM; January 14, 2019 at Holy Spirit Parish followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 AM. Burial will be at McDill Cemetery in Whiting later that afternoon. Shuda Funeral Service is assisting the family.
John was born October 15, 1921 in Marshall, MN to Oscar and Nellie (Christensen) Regnier. He was the fourth oldest of ten children. After growing up during the Depression, John took a one year business course and was later hired at General Mills. He worked there for a couple of years before being inducted into the Army in December of 1942. As a Technical Sergeant in charge of a supply department his battalion joined the war in Europe in August of 1944 working in a M.A S.H type field hospital during the battle of northern France. His experiences during WWII left a lifetime impression on him. After the war, John returned to Minnesota and attended the University of St. Thomas and St. Cloud State College before earning his degree at the University of Minnesota in 1949. John was joined in marriage to Eva Mae Cann, on June 24, 1950. The couple settled in Bloomington, MN where he began his career with Hardware Mutual Insurance (later becoming Sentry Insurance) in claims, underwriting and sales until 1963 when they moved their family to Stevens Point, WI. John spent the rest of his career with Sentry Insurance in the Human Resources department. He retired as Director of Human Resources in May 1984. In retirement, John and Eva Mae enjoyed their love of travel, both domestic and foreign. Unfortunately, John lost the love of his life, Eva Mae on December 27, 2012.
Over the years, John and Eva Mae were active in many community programs. With their involvement in the UWSP Foreign Student Host Family Program, they hosted 29 different foreign students over the years. John was also very active in the Newman University Parish. In addition, he worked extensively with the Portage County Department of Aging at Lincoln Center, founding the “Get to the Point” lecture series for seniors. He helped develop the Central Wisconsin Math League for high school students in 1970. He was honored with the Academy of Letters and Science Community Award in 1990. After Eva Mae passed, John wrote a book about his World War II experiences titled “Denying the Deniers, a Soldiers Intersection with the Holocaust.”
John is survived by his six children: Gregory (Mari) Regnier, Chicago; Judi (Mike) Jorgensen, Mansfield, TX; Elizabeth (Brad) Webb, Wylie, TX; Paula (Dave) Foley, Monticello, MN; Steven (Jeanne) Regnier, Plover; Carol (Dick) Okray, Plover; 11 grandchildren, Katie (Jim) Francis, Sam Foley, Stacy Regnier, Xerxes Okray, Jared Jorgensen, Jeremy Jorgensen, Hannah Okray, Justin (Katie) Regnier, Max Okray, Bethany Webb, and Lydia Webb; two great-grandchildren, Andrew and Olivia Francis. He was preceded in death by his six brothers and three sisters in addition to his eldest child Douglas (1964) and his youngest child Christopher (1965).
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Regnier Family Scholarship Fund at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point to benefit university students studying abroad.
John's family would like to thank the tremendously thoughtful and conscientious caregivers who have helped care for him, as well as Ascension Ministry Hospice.
John will be sadly missed by his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and all those whose lives he has touched.