Helen Berniece (Russell) Regan



(December 29, 1939 - November 22, 2012)


The Lusk Herald
November 28, 2012


Helen Berniece Regan

Helen Berniece Regan, 72, of Newcastle, Wyo., died Thursday, November 22, 2012, at the Fallon County Medical Center in Baker, Mont., after courageously battling a lung condition since 1985.

Helen was born Dec. 29, 1939, in Adams County, Corning, Iowa, to Leo and Emily Russell. Her father came to Wyoming for a hunting trip with some friends and liked it so well that he became employed on a road construction crew and the family started west. She lived in many towns and changed many schools along the way, including Corning, Iowa, Clearfield, Iowa, Sargarent, Neb., Wheatland, Wyo., Basin, Wyo., while finally landing in Lander, Wyo, where Helen graduated from high school and met her beloved John. Helen married John Gordon Regan, on June 27, 1957, in Lander, Wyo. They had five children: Judy Lynn Regan Hartinger (Joe) Whitney (Bill), Baker, Mont.; Jolene Marie Regan Benavides, Ft. Sumner, NM; John Gordon Regan Jr. and Jeffery Virgil Regan (Lisa Lam) Newcastle, Wyo.; and Julie Berniece Regan Gaukel (Kevin) of Keeline, Wyo. Each of Helen’s children changed schools about as often as she did because of their father’s occupation as an over-the-road truck driver. After beginning a logging company together, her family ended up making Newcastle, Wyo., their home in May of 1973.

Helen was very active with the Girl Scout program for 10 years and helped establish the first Emergency Management Fan Out program in Newcastle, WY. She loved bowling, and watching and encouraging her children in whatever endeavors they chose. Helen loved learning and started going to college through the night programs that were offered through Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, WY. She earned her Associates Degree in 1999. She worked for the State of Wyoming at the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp as well as serving with the Wyoming Department of Probation and Parole for eleven years. Helen loved serving and caring for others and she demonstrated this often, even by being involved in the Weston County Therapeutic Foster Parent Program. She liked quilting, needlepoint, crocheting, knitting, reading and just about anything having to do with crafts. She was always busy crafting something for someone. Her greatest passion was her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; always striving to live a life pleasing to Him in word and in deed.

She has thirteen Grand (very Grand) Children: Christi Hartinger Layten (Ray) of Gillette, Wyo.; Candi Hartinger Thomas (Beau) of Lingle, Wyo.; Shane Hartinger (Emily) of Newcastle, Wyo.; Sonia Benavides Garcia (Patrick) of Brownfield, Texas; Andrew Benavides of Hagerman, NM, and Melissa Benavides of Clovis, NM; Jessica Regan Wellman (Chris) and Wade Regan of Newcastle, Wyo.; Kaitlin Berniece, Kylee Maureen, and Kaden John Gaukel of Keeline, Wyo.; Jenny Sullivan and Billy Hobbs of Newcastle, WY. The Greatest of Great Grandchildren: Alexis Benavides, Saloma` Garcia, and Ernest Garcia of Clovis, NM; Patricio, Olena, Anthony and Alexander Garcia of Brownfield, NM; Skyler, Kynzi, Makiya and Ashtyn Thomas of Lingle, Wyo.; Addyson and Parker Layten of Gillette, Wyo.

Also surviving Helen is her sister, Janice Verlee Becker of Omaha, Neb., brother, Burdette Russell (Shirley) of Riverton, Wyo., and sister-in-law Janet Russell of Rock Springs, Wyo. Also surviving Helen are many nieces and nephews and her very special foster care child, Amanda Hurtado.

Helen was preceded in death by her beloved husband John Gordon Regan; parents, Leo Virgil Russell and Emily Berniece Yearington Russell, sister, Beverly Allen, brother, Gary Russell, nephew Kurt Becker, Sister- in-law Beverly Florence Russell, son-in-law Joseph Alan Hartinger, and great-granddaughter Tailar Wellman.

Visitation will be from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov., 29, 2012, at the Worden Funeral Home in Newcastle, Wyo.

Services will be at 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, at the First Baptist Church located at 915 South Summit Avenue in Newcastle, WY, with Pastor Gary Anderson officiating. Burial will be held on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Lander, WY, with Pastor Rod Kilsdonk from the Assembly of God Church in Baker, Mont., officiating; once again lying beside her beloved husband.

Pall bearers will be Bill Whitney, Kevin Gaukel, Shane Hartinger, Wade Regan, Kaden Gaukel, Billy Hobbs, Ray Layten, and Beau Thomas. Honorary pall bearers will be her many friends and loved ones.

Helen wanted to convey this message to all her loved ones upon her passing. She said, “I want a celebration of my life. I loved life and I loved my Lord. I want people to be happy and remember the good times (I know bad times will creep in there). God loves each and every one of you and it is my prayer that each of my children, grandchildren, great-grand children, etc., down the line, will come to know the Lord as their Savior. It doesn’t mean everything will be peachy keen, it just means that you will always have someone on your side to give you a helping hand if you call on Him”.




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