Rachel Regehr Unruh
Rachel Regehr Unruh, passed away May 19, 2019, at the Sunset Home Assisted Living Facility near Bonners Ferry, Idaho. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 23, 2019, at the Mountain View Mennonite Church.
Rachel Regehr Unruh was born on Oct. 26, 1925, to John D. Regehr and Helena Loewen Regehr in Winton, Calif. Her childhood was happy in sunny California where she enjoyed the hot sandy outdoors, feasting on the many fruits of the land newly claimed from the desert. She had an imaginary playmate in her childhood. Looking back, she realized this friend grew into her Savior, Jesus Christ. Her heart and life were given to Him and in her youth she was baptized upon the confession of her Faith into the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite by Minister Frank Wenger.
She met Lawrence Unruh when he was doing voluntary service in the area. They were married in Winton on Jan. 1, 1947. He took his bride home to Bonners Ferry and they honey-mooned on Pine Island for several years, enjoying the rigors of a pioneer life. Though the conditions were primitive, their love made their home a bit of heaven. At least their views from the top of the knoll where their cabin was perched were glorious — high mountains, fertile valleys and sunset skies.
No children were born to them, but they reached out to many along the way and enjoyed sharing their home with them: Aldo Klassen, Bill Kahn, Willie Peachey, Johnny Regehr, Brian Regehr and Cynthia Beasly James; their niece, Celia Unruh; Judy Spence and Paula Miles Fredlund. Verle and Grace Giesbrecht and family adopted them as Lolo and Lola after their years together in the Philippines, and thereafter often crossed the continent to spend happy days together.
In their mid-life, they were called away to serve in many places both at home and abroad. Together they took in new and exciting scenes, and experiences, learning to know a host of people whom they would hold close in heart for the rest of their days. These were fellow missionaries or Gallup, N.M., girls, and the dear people of other lands. Most precious of all was the experience of being kept in God’s care and directed in His work. Once, on arriving at yet another new home in a far-flung mission field, Rachel awoke on one of the first mornings not quite sure where she was. The feeling was interesting and she felt no fear in the presence of her Master. She knew ‘God knows where I am.’ “In Him we live and move and have our being” became her favorite Bible verse.
Lawrence and Rachel came back from the Philippines to their home, friends and family and garden in Bonners Ferry, and enjoyed nearly 25 more years on the farm. There was plenty to do together on the family homestead, and there was often company coming through for nights and/or meals. They enjoyed this new phase in life. Rachel spent many hours writing letters, gardening and cooking. Always an artist at heart, she found much to absorb in the creation, and much to share with others on the joys and beauty of life from her intense observations out of doors. In her flower garden, she worshiped God, rejoicing in His greatness and majesty and His fabulous handiwork in the intricate details under her fingertips. The shades of color He allowed her to paint using the arrangement of flowers on the canvas of her rich garden soil were a constant delight. “If God so loves the little flowers, then I am sure that God loves me.”
Her health at last began to fail and she found herself becoming more confined. She was cared for in Sunset Home, Bonners Ferry, by many caring workers. These were challenging years, but God was good and carried her through, giving her a bit of work to do until the very end. Her body tired, her journey ended, the Lord called her home on May 19, 2019.
Left to mourn her passing are Cynthia and Everette James; Celia Unruh, Sandy Ashworth, Phyllis Wedell and Judy Spence; Verle and Grace Giesbrecht and their children Roland, Paula, Diana and Wade; one brother, Leonard and Dessie Regehr of Buhl, Idaho; and one sister, Lovina Regehr of Greeley, Colo.; one sister-in-law, Opal Dirks of Bonners Ferry; two brothers-in-law, Odes and Jeraldine Unruh of Bonners Ferry, Chester Unruh of Nampa, Idaho; and a host of much loved nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents and parents-in-law, husband, four sisters, three brothers, one brother-in-law, one sister-in-law and one foster grandson.