Regina Elias Champa

Regina Elias Champa

  • Funeral Date: 9/06/16
  • Funeral Time: 11:00am
  • Date of Birth: 12/11/25
  • Date of Death: 8/31/16
  • Funeral Location: Church of St. Dominic

Regina E. Champa, age 90 of Northfield, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at Pleasant Manor in Faribault. A funeral Mass will be held 11:00 am Tuesday, September 6th at Saint Dominic’s Catholic Church in Northfield with visitation at Saint Dominic’s Chapel one hour prior to service. Interment is Wednesday, September 7th at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

Regina was born on the family homestead in Greaney, Minnesota on December 11, 1925, daughter of Martin and Rose (Holicheck) Elias, and sibling to Marie, Frank, John, Bess, Limosa (Libby), Jerry, Edward, Rose, Evelyn, and James. Regina was raised on the homestead in tough times but they always made do. She had often reflected on picking berries and staring down a bear, washing canning jars with sand by the pump, and listening to her brothers playing cribbage well into the night. Regina graduated from Orr High School in 1943, and she recalled most of her male classmates could not attend graduation for they were called to service to help fight in World War II.

On June 22, 1946 Regina was united in marriage to Robert Louis Champa at Saint Stephen’s Catholic Church in Minneapolis, MN. They made their home in Waconia, MN and after Robert completed his master’s degree, he taught veterans agricultural farming and worked for the US government as a land appraiser, while Regina kept busy raising ten children, whom she always guided with abundant love and patience. Because of her experience raising such a large family, she was qualified to substitute teach in a rural school, and the students loved her. Throughout the years, Regina and Robert always seemed to have enough room in their hearts and at their table for friends of their children to gather and be welcomed. She especially was known for her walnut potica, her meat pies, and her Sunday turkey or roast beef dinners. While raising their family, Regina and Robert moved from Minnesota to Iowa, to North Dakota, to Florida, and to Placerville, California, where they retired in 1983.

After 54 years of marriage, in July of 2000 Robert passed away. In 2005, Regina moved to Kenyon, MN to live with her daughter Rebecca and son-in-law Jeff Kunesh, and their children, Regina, Hannah, and Zachary. She lived nine years in Kenyon before moving to Northfield in 2014. Regina loved to be surrounded by her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and friends. She enjoyed being outside in the sunshine, gardening, music, and occasional casino runs. She brought brightness and light to all she met, and she had a clever, quirky wit and a memorable smile. Anyone who met Regina would tell of her warmth, kindness, endearing personality, patience, and her loving heart.

Regina is survived by children Robert (Andrea) Champa of Cook, MN; Jacqueline Champa of Granite Bay, CA; James (Jan) Champa of Darby, MT; John (Val) Champa of Council, ID; Thomas (Judy) Champa of Reno, NV; Mary (Steve) Dunlap of Coral Springs, FL; Kathleen (Randy) Wachendorf of Washburn, ND; Steven (Susan) Champa of Detroit Lakes, MN; William (MaryKaye) Champa of Bloomington, MN; and Rebecca (Jeff) Kunesh of Northfield, MN. ; twenty six grandchildren, and eighteen great grandchildren; and loving nieces and nephews.

Memorials preferred in Regina’s name to an organization that supports the arts, horticulture (gardening) or the outdoors.


  1. Julie Campbell

    All our thought and prayers are with your family

  2. To the entire Family of Regina Champa, we extend our condolences to an amazing Lady who touched so many lives. May your Mother, Regina find rest as her gentle touch remains upon those who loved You, best💖 Know You are on our Hearts and in Prayer💕 Love & God Bless ~ Margo, Roger, Truman, Lexus & PFC Chandler Haut