Rosella Wiens Regier, 88, of North Newton, Kan., died May 30, 2022. She was born Dec. 2, 1933, to Henry W. and Anna Enns Wiens of Inman.
After graduating from Bethel College in 1958, she taught in public schools in Indiana, Mississippi and Newton and Walton, Kan. In 1957 she married Harold Regier. They spent the 1960s in Gulfport, Miss., in a mission-service assignment. She was summer Bible school superintendent, supervising volunteers who taught as many as 1,000 students. She taught youth in winter Bible classes, helped create a community library, facilitated a “Fresh Air” program, taught in Head Start and in public school the first year of school integration in Mississippi when racial tensions were running high.
Returning to Newton in 1970, she concentrated on family life but balanced this with a return to the classroom. She taught at Northridge, Suncrest and Walton schools.
Her love for teaching and children led her from public schools to the Christian nurture of children. In 1984 she became director of children’s ministry for the General Conference Mennonite Church. In 1990 the Anabaptist Curriculum Publishing Council invited her to be executive director of a new children’s curriculum for six Anabaptist denominations.
Retiring in 1999, she continued in Christian education as a presenter for the Church of the Brethren. For three years she traveled to congregations and districts with sermons, workshops and seminars. She stayed active in local church leadership as church moderator, chair of the 50th anniversary celebration committee for Faith Mennonite Church, president of mission circle and member of church council. She served on the Western District Conference Vision 2012 steering committee and as prayer partner coordinator. For 10 years she facilitated a sexual abuse women’s support group.
In 2009 she suffered a stroke that left her with acute aphasia. Robbed of words to communicate her thoughts, she painted some 250 pictures to tell her stories. Using an “aphasia-friendly reading” format, she was able to articulate a few words to participate in a co-reader technique to tell some of her own stories.
Survivors include her husband, Harold; a son, Steve (Marilyn); a daughter, Sharon; and three grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by eight siblings, Nick, Leonard, Simon, Adolph, Eva (Ruben) Wedel, Mary (Bill) Goossen, Esther (Walt) Juhnke and Anna Grace Wiens; and four siblings who died in infancy.
Memorials may be made to Spring Forth, a Sunday school curriculum, or Kidron-Bethel Village.