In Loving Memory of Michael J. Regnier
Michael J. Regnier, a beloved husband, father, brother, and friend, passed away on the morning of July 26, 2023, at St. Patrick's Hospital in Missoula, MT, at the age of 63. Born on October 13, 1959, to Neal and June Regnier in Billings, MT, Michael's life was a remarkable journey filled with love, music, and a relentless passion for making the world a better place.
At the age of ten, a fall from the Rimrocks in Billings changed Michael's life forever. Despite this event, he never allowed any obstacle to hinder his determination to achieve his dreams. On the contrary, it fueled his advocacy for individuals living with disabilities, becoming a powerful voice for their rights and accessibility. Music played a significant role in Michael's life, and his passion for playing the guitar was unstoppable, offering him solace and connecting him with wonderful friends throughout the years.
In September 1982, Michael's life took a beautiful turn when he married his soulmate, Chris. Together, they embarked on a journey filled with love, music, and a shared purpose to make a difference in the lives of others. Michael graduated college with a double major in Biology and Sociology, and the couple moved to Missoula, where Michael began his inspiring career of helping people with disabilities access education and employment opportunities. He played a crucial role in advocating for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and worked tirelessly to ensure equal access for all individuals, regardless of their abilities.
Many owe the convenience of accessible parking spaces to Michael's dedication and efforts, and his impact on Montana's disabled community was immeasurable. He traveled extensively throughout the state, fighting for the rights of others, putting countless miles on the family's GMC Van.
However, amidst his advocacy work, the greatest joy in Michael's life was the day his son, Alex, was born. Alex completed their family, and Michael took on the role of the proudest and most supportive father. He cherished every moment of watching Alex grow, reveling in each new project, painting, or fireworks display. Alex inherited Michael's gift for playing the guitar, and their shared love for music strengthened their bond.
Michael leaves behind a legacy of love and kindness that will forever live on in the hearts of those who knew him. He is survived by his loving wife, Chris; devoted son, Alex, and daughter-in-law, MaKenzie; caring sisters, Robyn Foret (Aubrey) and Jana Lutton (Randy), along with numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
To honor and celebrate Michael's extraordinary life, a memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 29, 2023, at 11:00 am at St. Anthony's Parish, 217 Tremont St, Missoula, MT 59801. A reception will follow at the family home, where friends and loved ones can come together to share cherished memories and celebrate the life of a truly remarkable man.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to a charity close to Michael's heart, supporting individuals with disabilities.
Michael, your music will forever echo in our souls, and your legacy of compassion and advocacy will continue to inspire us. You have touched countless lives and left an indelible mark on the world. May you rest in eternal peace, knowing that your love and passion will be cherished forever.