Jim Regenfuss was born on May 11, 1918, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He entered into the Lord's presence on April 18, 2007, in Kennewick, WA at the age of 88.
Jim grew up in Milwaukee, attending Gospel Lutheran School and later North Division High School, where he graduated in 1937. His lifelong love of athletics spurred him on to be the all-around gymnastics champion of Milwaukee in his senior year.
On a scholarship, he attended the Normal College of the American Gymnastic Union of Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana, participating in gymnastics, boxing, wrestling and track. He later transferred to Indiana University and earned his bachelor of science degree from the school of education in 1942. His major field was physical education with physiology and english as minors.
During World War II, he served in the United States Navy as a chief specialist A and trained recruits at the San Diego Naval Training Station before transferring to the Naval Training Center in Farragut, Idaho.
In 1946, with the help of the G.I. bill, he enrolled in the University of Southern California, where he earned his master of science in education in 1947.
Jim was gifted by God to be a teacher and a coach. He loved children and youth and was patient to teach them new skills and delighted to see the progress they would make.
He built meaningful relationships as well with the lives that he touched. His teaching and coaching career took him to Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Visalia, CA, and then to Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, CA, where he worked for 27 years.
Several of the boys he coached went all the way to the state championship. In 1998, Jim was honored by being inducted into the High School Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame. He also loved to coach golf, which he continued to play well into his retirement years.
In 1999, he moved to the Tri-Cities to be near his son and loved watching the golfers on the Canyon Lakes Golf Course even though he could no longer golf himself because of a stroke.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years Frances, his son Larry (Glenda) Regenfuss, two grandchildren Christy (Josh) Brooks and David Regenfuss, and one great-grandson Landen Brooks... as well as 15 nieces and nephews.
Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. at Desert Lawn Memorial Park, 1401 S. Union St., Kennewick, with military honors.
Memorial services will follow at the First Baptist Church of Kennewick, 3700 W. 27th Ave., on Saturday, April 21, 2007, at 11 a.m.
Arrangements are being handled by Hillcrest Memorial Center.
There is no profession more valuable to our nation's future than that of being a teacher. A good teacher goes beyond the subject at hand and helps students to see the world beyond their own experience. A good teacher doesn't open a single book, but rather, he opens his students' minds, inspiring them to pick up many books during a lifetime. A good teacher pushes us to go further than we thought we could and helps us turn our dreams into reality.
We are blessed to have many fine teachers who helped us shape our sense of ourselves. Everyday these men and women touched the lives of those around them in positive and meaningful ways. And we say, 'Thank you' for a job well done.
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. -- William Arthur Ward