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Leonard (Leo) Jacob Regehr

April 17, 1938 - June 1, 2024


Leonard (Leo) Jacob Regehr was born on April 17, 1938 in the Main Centre District of southern Saskatchewan. He was born in the teacherage house of the Funk School with a midwife present. Leo was the second of four children, with an older sister Louise, and a younger brother Walter and sister Viola. His father, Jacob Regehr, was a teacher, and thus during his early years the family often moved as Jacob assumed teaching positions in various schools in southern Saskatchewan.

Leo moved away from home for grade 11 and 12 and lived in a rented room that contained his bed, desk, chair and a hotplate for cooking his meals. After high school graduation, he attended MB Bible College in Winnipeg Manitoba in 1956. After working and saving money for school, he would serve at Christian camp for a minimum of two weeks each summer. Leo put his faith into practice and believed the greatest value was investing in the lives of young people and sharing the love and redemption offered to them by our Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord always provided; he earned the money necessary to return to his education each fall. He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1961 with a degree in Education. His first teaching position was in Birch Hills, Saskatchewan.

Leo and Nettie met in 1959 on a train going to the Urbana InterVarsity Youth Conference where Billy Graham was the speaker. They were married in August 1964. In 1965 Leo completed his Bachelor of Arts degree and took a teaching position at Bedford Road Colligate in Saskatoon where he taught until the spring of 1969.

In 1969, the small family of three moved to Clearbrook where Leo had taken a position as a math and physics teacher at the Mennonite Educational Institute (MEI). This was a logical step for him based on his strong believe in Christian training for youth. In the fall of 1977, he became the Vice Principal of the school, a position he was in until the spring of 1987. In 1987 he accepted the position of Principal of Seacliff Christian School in Richmond where he stayed until 1990. In the fall of 1990, he returned to MEI to serve as the Principal. During these years, there were some very challenging times for Leo and Nettie. A son, Brent, became very sick and passed away in 1979. Colleen spent a lot of time caring for her then little brother David while Leo and Nettie looked after Brent.

In the 1980’s Leo was involved in the Indo-Canadian Ministry of this church working alongside David and Stella Manuel. There was a local church group, an extensive radio ministry, and conferences that people who heard the sermons on the radio travelled great distances to attend in person.

In 1998 Leo retired from MEI. For several years after that he continued to evaluate independent schools on behalf the BC Ministry of Education. Following this, he delivered recreational vehicles from the manufacturer in Abbotsford to places all over Canada and the United States.  He loved this job, often saying that he couldn’t believe that someone would pay him to travel and see new places! He also volunteered with the Fraser Valley Gleaners Society and as driver for the BC Cancer Agency. Nettie and Leo enjoyed travelling and supporting various Christian camps and other ministries in Latvia, Germany and Ukraine.

In later years, when travel and volunteering was more difficult due to health reasons, Leo continued to support his family through prayer. He had physical struggles, including hip replacement surgery due to a fall and open-heart bypass surgery. Regardless, even with pain, he would get up and make the most of each day. His prayers expressed thankfulness to God for the salvation that he had received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, along with all of the many other blessings that God had provided.

Leo passed away peacefully into the presence of the Lord on June 1, 2024. He is survived by his wife Nettie, his daughter Colleen (Gerard), his son David (Teresa), his grandchildren Mason, Kaitlyn, Nathan, Jesse, and by his sisters Louise (Alfred) Wiens and Viola (John) Duff, and his sister in-law Marlene Regehr, and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his son Brent, his parents Jacob and Margaret, and his brother Walter.


A favorite verse, often quoted by Leo, is Psalm 121 v. 1 and 2.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth”.




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From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home

Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Walt and Gaye Toews
Relation: teaching colleague

Our sincere condolences to Nettie and the family. We have many fond memories of Walt’s teaching career at MEI, working alongside Leo.

From: Elizabeth Joyce Kehler
Relation: He was my Math Teacher at MEI

Leo was a very good teacher. Math was so not my favourite subject, so it was hard to see past that sometimes, but he was endlessly patient in trying to explain geometry to me. On the other hand, he called me into his office after I ONCE more had no concept of geometry, despite trying VERY hard and asked me if I was going to take grade 12 Math. I told him that nothing on earth would make me take grade 12 Math as I had been waiting 11 years to stop taking any Math classes. He said, “In that case, I will pass you” and I was able to enter nurses training with that pass. Fortunately, I did understand algebra:-). He was a wonderful Christian example and I remember taking care of Brent on the Pediatric floor of MSA Hospital.

From: Joyce Seniuk
Relation: Friend

To Nettie and family, Leo was such a gracious and nice man. I always enjoyed our lunches together. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to meet for the last time. I’m so sorry for your loss.

From: Doreen Wall Smith
Relation: teacher of mine

So sorry to hear of Leo’s passing. He was my teacher in the 11th and 12th grade at MEI. I was not good at physics and he helped me get my grade from a D to a B. He was patient and kind. I have very pleasant memories of this good man.

From: Harv & Linda Wiens
Relation: Colleague

We would like to express our condolences to your family on Leo’s passing. Nettie, you and Leo were a strong team – we enjoyed serving together with you at MEI. We trust you will be able to cherish the many great memories you have of your husband and father.

Our thoughts & prayers are with you.

From: Joanne Parker
Relation: Friend

Thinking of you, and your family, Nettie.
Joanne and Ted

From: Debbie Howes (Ward)
Relation: Student of deceased’s spouse

Hi Nettie, I just learned of your husband’s passing and wanted to send you and your family, my sincere condolences. Take care. 🤗

Service Schedule

  Celebration of Life

Date & Time:
June 10, 2024
Beginning at 11:00am

South Abbotsford MB Church
32424 Huntingdon Road
Abbotsford, BC Canada

32424 Huntingdon Road
Abbotsford, BC Canada

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