July 6, 1936 – August 6, 2023
Richard Roch Regnaert, 87, of Mesa, Arizona, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on August 6, 2023. He was born on July 6, 1936, in Detroit, Michigan, to the late Armand Raymond Regnaert and Romayne Augusta Sap, immigrants from Ghent, Belgium.
As a boy, Richard enjoyed playing baseball and collecting coins and comics, as well as going to the movies, and in his youth he worked tirelessly as a paperboy for several years, not missing a single day of his route ever. He graduated East Commerce High School in Detroit, Michigan in 1954.
Richard’s life was forever changed when he was born again at a Jack Van Impe Crusade on January 4, 1959. Afterward, he served proudly in the US Army from 1960 to 1962, being stationed in Germany, and developing a love for apologetics during his service. In addition, he served four more years in the reserves and was then honorably discharged. He soon began to feel called to the ministry, and this, combined with his love for the Lord, led him to Detroit Bible College, where he furthered his knowledge and understanding of his faith, graduating in 1967. He began pastoring his first church shortly thereafter.
In 1969 Richard met his beloved bride, Arlene. The two were married at United Brethren Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan on August 8, 1969. Richard would go on to pastor several more churches, with his devoted wife alongside. The two were blessed to share 54 years of marriage and they enjoyed serving together in the ministry throughout their lifetime together.
In addition to his love of ministry and service, Richard had a deep love for his family. He is survived by his beloved wife, Arlene, and his dear children Grant and Gavin (daughter-in-love Jessica). He was a proud grandfather, or Pépé as they affectionately called him, to Isabella and Milania. Richard is preceded in death by his precious stillborn son, Garrett. He is also survived by his half-brothers, Dave Regnaert, Ron Regnaert, and Doug Regnaert (sister-in law, Lynette), as well his niece Carrie, and nephews Todd, Craig, Brian, and Bradley.
Richard had a keen interest in World War II history and enjoyed watching old cowboy westerns, something that reminded him of his childhood, but the thing he loved most was spending time with his family. He attended every school event with his boys and was always there to help them with school projects and teach them about life, hard work, and putting the Lord first in everything. Playing with his grandkids brought out his youthful spirit, and he found great fulfillment in their laughter and happiness. Richard cherished the time spent with his wife, kids, and grandkids. Richard’s selflessness also extended beyond his family, as he dedicated his time to serving others whenever possible. He was also well known for his great sense of humor and his ability to always make others feel comfortable around him.
Richard loved the Lord and his family very much. He was often found reading his Bible and praying fervently for each member of his family every day until the end. His legacy of faith, love, and commitment to his family and others will forever be cherished.
A private celebration of life will be held for Richard at a later date.