All who knew Regina Vincer would say that there was absolutely no one like her. She was hardworking and driven with a spirit of independence that was unmatched. Upon meeting her for the first time, it never took long to realize that her life was deeply rooted in her unwavering faith, and her generosity truly had no equal. The matriarch of her family, Regina was deeply devoted to her loved ones, and there was nothing that was of greater significance to her than being surrounded by her family. Life will never be the same without Regina here, but her timeless legacy will be proudly carried on by those who follow in her footsteps.
The 1930s were very much defined by the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, the unemployment rate soared, and countless American families lost their homes and everything they had. Despite the trials around them, Peter and Ursule (Perrault) Phillips were pleased to announce the birth of their twin girls, Regina and Rita, on September 21, 1932, in Town of Lake, Wisconsin. Raised on the family farm in Caledonia, the two girls were joined in their family by their older siblings, Brad, Milton, and Ursule, and their younger siblings, Chelma “Busse,” Audrey, and Darlene. Regina’s father worked as a carpenter while her mother was a homemaker. Being identical twins, the two girls were almost always dressed alike.
Growing up on the farm instilled within Regina a strong work ethic. It was also while growing up that she developed her love for gardening as well as her love for dogs as each of the Phillips children had their own dog. Regina also learned to play and love baseball on the farm with all of her siblings. She was never a fan of farm chores, however, and she often complained about it, too. Regina attended New Road School in Caledonia through the eighth grade. As a teen, she continued her love of gardening, and her love for dancing came to life. On one occasion, Regina and her twin sister Rita entered a dancing contest in Racine and ended up winning the award for the best Irish Jig!
Not to be forgotten during Regina’s years as a young woman was her introduction to the man who would change the course of her life forever. His name was Peter Charles Vincer, and they met while working at an electric company named Line Material in South Milwaukee. At one point, Peter had been fired, however, Regina talked her boss into rehiring him. It was just a short time later that they were married in 1951 in a church in Milwaukee. Together they were blessed with the births of six children including Maryann, Debbie, Kathy, Pete, Carolynn, and Laurie.
Regina was the matriarch of a family of six children including five girls and one boy. She instilled very strong beliefs of right and wrong within her children, many of which are being passed onto the next generations today. She always had a trick for the trade for almost everything in life like using newspaper to clean widows, putting a whole peeled onion in her homemade pasta sauce as it simmered, and using mayonnaise to remove coffee stains from furniture to name a few. Thanksgiving was Regina’s favorite holiday, and she looked forward to it every year since it was a time to be thankful for loving family. When her family grew to include grandchildren, she was the ultimate grandmother of thirteen, and these grandchildren later gave her 13 great-grandchildren as well. A lifelong dog lover, there was always a dog to complete the family including one named Teke that stole Regina’s heart. She loved being invited on family vacations, and many grandchildren have fond memories of their grandma going along on their adventures. Regina would often be found taking charge, grabbing anything and everything in sight and heading down the beach.
In addition to caring for her family, Regina kept busy in other ways. She had a few random jobs before her primary career with AC/Delco/Delphi began. Regina spent 20 years there on the assembly line until retiring. She was also very active in her church, frequently taking part in church fundraising activities such as making homemade peanut brittle. Regina, along with her eldest daughters, could also be found cleaning the church week after week for many years. Regina absolutely loved cooking and looked forward to making homemade salsa, Christmas cookies, and many other things with her children and grandchildren over the years. Regina was also very independent, and there was nothing she could not fix. One time her daughter, Debbie, had a broken window in her house so Regina came rushing over and replaced the window pane all by herself within minutes. She loved fishing, although as she got older she wasn’t able to go all that often.
Even when not being active, Regina was always busy. Her faith was very strong, and she could be found reading the Bible daily and listening to Christian music as well. An avid sports fan, Regina knew more about the local professional teams than most. The Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Brewers were her favorites, and she watched almost every game from home. Other shows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy were some of her favorites past times as well.
As she got older, Regina just kept right on going. She continued mowing and snow blowing up until the past few years. Even if someone offered to do these things for her, Regina always had it done before anyone could get there. Throughout her life, she was known as a very hard worker who considered tasks done only when they were 100 percent complete according to her standards.
Truly beautiful on the inside and out, Regina Vincer was a blessing to everyone who was within her reach. She was one of the strongest women both physically and mentally that you will ever meet, and much of her strength came from her unshakable faith. Regina lived for her family, and she taught her children so much of what it means to be a person of honor, integrity, and gracious love. She had the most amazing sense of humor that showed up in the most unexpected ways, and her zest for life was contagious. Deeply loved, Regina will be forever missed.
Regina M. Vincer died on November 13, 2015. Regina’s family includes her children, Mary Ann (John) Tatum, Debra (Michael) Stanton, Kathleen (Mark) Thompson, Peter Vincer Jr., Carolynn Henning and Laurie Rohde; grandchildren, John John, Stacy, Melissa, David, Nicole, Scott, PC, Alex, Angie, Kyle, Robert, Mackenzie, and Cole; great-grandchildren, Gianna, Ethan, Austin, Cody, Karlie, Emilee, Emma, Collin, Kourtney, Iana, Liam, Evelyn, and Felix; siblings, Audrey Krukowski and twin sister Rita Fronczak; and other relatives and friends.