Regina completed her earthly service to her Lord and others passing peacefully on November 13, 2020 at Dell E. Webb Medical Center at the age of 86. Her courage and optimism during her year-long cancer battle was an inspiring testimony to her strong faith and love for God.
Regina was born on January 21, 1934 in Fairfield, Iowa to John and Margaret (Bailey) McIntire, who died from childbirth complications one day later. Later, her father married Elvena (Hunt) who raised Regina along with halfsiblings Martha Cathey and Fred (LaRue) McIntire in Fairfield, Iowa.
Regina graduated from Wessington Springs High School in South Dakota. She traveled to many reunions there over the years, most recently driving across the country with a girlfriend to enjoy the company of her classmates.
Regina married her high school sweetheart, Charles (Chuck) W. Rasche, Jr. on October 12, 1952. Together they raised three children, Christy (Don) Swanson, Craig (Lori) Rasche, and Janet Wiseman, all of whom survive her. Their careers took them far and wide over the years, from Alaska to Michigan. After managing several LaQuinta Inn locations around the Midwest, they retired and moved to Sun City, Arizona in 2001.
When Chuck was diagnosed with ALS five years later, Regina administered tender and constant care until he died on June 1, 2007, just shy of their 55th wedding anniversary.
Three years later she married Don Wheeler after helping to care for his wife, Marie, who also succumbed to ALS. They settled into an active life of faith and service to others in Sun City, especially through and with Bellevue Heights Church.
Regina had a remarkable work ethic and a vibrant personality that served her well in her many career pursuits over the years. She was especially proud of her success as a realtor with McIntire Real Estate, a company founded by her father in Fairfield, Iowa. Whether buying or listing a house from Regina, she took care to meet the needs of her clients, and many became friends with whom she kept contact over the years.
Regina’s compassionate heart opened wide to others who were grieving, and she soon began to facilitate weekly GriefShare groups at Bellevue Heights Church. She proudly continued serving until two weeks prior to her death. She was active in many other ministries at B.H.C., singing in the choir, serving on the Worship Committee, taking a leadership role on the Cares and Concerns Committee and even driving the church bus for churchgoers on Sunday mornings. She truly had a servant’s heart and she was a very good bus driver, too!
Regina had a gift for making, keeping, and caring for friends, creating a countless number of lasting relationships over the years. She enjoyed the company of her friends in the Lunch Bunch and was delighted to have been well enough to distance-dine with them in October.
Regina’s hands were rarely idle. Whether hard at work knitting baby blankets, dish cloths, or afghans, lovingly arranging her vast Longaberger basket collection, turning the pages of one of the cookbooks in her extensive collection, she dove into hobbies and interests with a fervor and enthusiasm that was hard to match. In her spare time, she enjoyed road trips with Don, “glamping” in their travel trailer. They especially enjoyed their visits to Sedona, AZ in recent years.
Being in Regina’s presence usually involved food - talking about it, shopping for it, preparing it, serving it, and/or enjoying it. All these activities took her to her happy place and luckily, it took others there too. She will be remembered as a wonderful cook, with a special talent for baking desserts and pies. During her last trip to visit her family in Michigan, her carryon item consisted of a ten-pound bag of tart cherries packed in dry ice.
Regina rejoiced in her roles as wife, mother, step-mother, sister, mother-in-law, grandma, great-grandma, daughter, aunt, and friend. Among the many who mourn her passing, she is survived by her husband, Don; her three children and their spouses mentioned above; six grandchildren, Mark (Suzi) Watterson, Marla (Doug) Watkins, Sarah (Patrick) Krapec, Kyle (Amanda) Rasche, Anna (Filipe Navesse) Wiseman, and Michele Wiseman; 13 greatgrandchildren; Don’s children Joshua (Ashley) Wheeler, Bethany Wheeler (Daniel), Debra (Craig) Errington, and four step-grandchildren. Also surviving are her father-in-law, Robert Wheeler, brother-in-law David Wheeler, half-sister Martha Cathey, sisters-in-law LaRue McIntire, Marilyn Juhlin, Carol (Stan) Hoke, Therese Wheeler, and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins with whom she shared life, laughs, and many photos and text messages.
She was preceded in death by Charles “Chuck” Rasche (husband), Margaret McIntire (mother), John McIntire (father), Elvena McIntire (stepmother), Fred McIntire (halfbrother), Lawrence Juhlin and Danny Wheeler (brothers-in-law), along with several cherished aunts, uncles, and cousins.
A Celebration of Life for Regina will be held on Friday, November 20th at 11:00 AM at Bellevue Heights Church, 9440 W. Hutton Dr., Sun City, AZ with Pastor Tim Andersen officiating. A luncheon will be served immediately following the service. At the church and luncheon, CDC guidelines for COVID-19 will be observed. The service will be streamed live and/or available for later viewing at www.bhcsuncity.com. Interment will take place on a later date at both the Bellevue Heights Church and the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, IL.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to the Bellevue Heights Music Program in memory of Regina
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Bellevue Heights Music Program