Regina “Regi” Ahrens

Regina “Regi” (Taylor) Ahrens, 72, of Mission Hills, Kansas, passed away on October 23, 2019.  Regi was born in November 1946 to James and VaNeta (Wyatt) Taylor in Kansas City, MO.  Raised by a village of families in the Hale Cook Elementary, Bingham Middle and Southwest High Schools areas, Regi excelled in all facets of schooling.  At Mizzou Regi majored in art education and was a Golden Girl and member of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority.  Regi was the art teacher for Eastwood Hills School in the Raytown School District 1968-1972.  She became very active in tennis and rehabbed homes.  She was a member of the Junior League of Kansas City 1972-1986, on the board of directors of the Kansas City Zoo 1983-1985 and taught art classes to children through the John Wornall House Museum, Johnson County Libraries and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 1973-1979. In 1979 she became the project designer at Hallmark Card’s Kaleidoscope.  In 1985 she became the administrator of Kaleidoscope, a role in which she continued until retiring in 2014.  Under her incredible and dedicated leadership, with the strong support of the Hall Family, Kaleidoscope became THE destination in the region for children to express their creativity.  In 1992 Regi married Chris Ahrens, with whom she enjoyed many years at Lake Lotawana, travels to various locations around the world and within the US, and time with children and grandchildren.  Regi is survived by her husband Chris, daughters Shannon (Lance) LeMay (grandchildren Lauren, Taylor, Finley, Georgia and Henry) and Allison (Brian) Bloch (grandchildren Macy, Charlotte and Harrison), Chris’s daughters, Jennifer Ahrens and Rebecca (David) Bushong (grandchildren Emerson and Easton), Regi’s sister, Patricia (Paul) McLynch, and wonderful nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Regi was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Rob (Becky) Taylor, and her former in-laws, Floyd and Nellie Early (who Regi felt were her true parents).  Regi fought several serious illnesses, breast cancer and blood cancers polycythemia vera and myeloid fibrosis.  As her prognosis with myeloid fibrosis worsened, Regi chose to undergo a bone marrow transplant in the hope of adding time to continue her many experiences and time with family.  Complications from the transplant proved too much.  Regi lived life boldly and expressed herself through art, either by direct expression or teaching others. Her art was varied, from steel pieces she welded and forged, to incredibly bright colors reflected in her fashion, beads, flower gardens, mosaic countertops, mosaiced glass pieces, and walls of her homes. Everything she did she did with flair and a joy in living. Regi will live on through her many accomplishments and in the hearts and memories of her family and many circles of friends:  Southwest High, Mizzou, tennis, sorority, Hallmark Cards, Prairie Planters and Social Butterflies at Lake Lotawana.  Her beautiful smile, incredible creativity, love of color and all-embracing disposition will never be forgotten.  Her family wishes to especially thank her many friends for their love and support and the doctors, nurses and staff of the hematologic oncology and blood and marrow transplant departments of The University of Kansas Health System, units 41 and 42 at The University of Kansas Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospice House.  In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to KC Pet Project, 4400 Raytown Road, Kansas City, MO 64129, Jackson County CASA, 2544 Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO 64108, or St. Luke’s Hospice House, 3516 Summit, Kansas City, MO 64111.  A Celebration of Regi’s Life will be held 3-6p on Saturday, November 16, at Indian Hills Country Club, 6847 Tomahawk Rd, Mission Hills, KS 66208.


  1. Patricia Schere on October 28, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    A light has dimmed in our world. But as someone wrote there will b brighter sunsets ? and rainbows ? believing Regi possessed such bright light and dreams.

  2. Tammy Ojeda on October 28, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    My Heartfelt Condolences to The Family of this Beautiful Woman, and All who knew her….Fly Beautiful Butterfly, Fly~

  3. Jacqueline Monnier on October 28, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. She was a warm, creative and special person. I only met her once but I’ll never forget how welcome she made me feel.

  4. Nathalie and Homar on October 29, 2019 at 4:39 am

    What a beautiful woman Regi was! Her beauty resided from within and shone through her beautiful eyes and smile. You only needed to meet her once to feel her kindness, passion, zest for life and love for her family! Now she will watch over you all in a different way surrounding you with love and blessings. Until you meet again! Our heartfelt sympathy to the family and all who love her. Take good care Jenn and family ??

  5. Frank Titterington on October 29, 2019 at 6:40 am

    Regi has been a beautiful spirit who has brightened our world with a contagious joy How lucky we were to have walked this world with her. Frank and Barbara TItterington

  6. John Cater on October 29, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Regi-Beautiful in all respects.
    Instrumental in making so many of our SWHS Class of 1964 reunions events to remember. We are so thankful to have known her.
    In our 50th reunion bio updates she expressed an illuminating thought.
    “Love life and life will love you back”
    For all the smiles and hugs-thanks Regi

  7. Ben Turec on October 29, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    I only knew Regi at Southwest High but remember her infectious smile and sweet nature toward everyone. It sounds like she had a fulfilling life and a wonderful family. May she rest in peace.

  8. Wendy W. Costello on October 29, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Regi helped me to enjoy the daunting transfer from one school to another and though I always knew she was destined to shine , in her manner, her ability to lead and her inner warmth I always felt she was open to sharing it all. AS she did with me and SO many others This is too soon . The Family of Southwest HS has lost a wonderful light. Thoughts/love to her family .
    Wendy Winett Costello

  9. Bill Wasserman on October 29, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    A real beauty inside and out.

  10. Mary Ann (Weilert) Branner on October 29, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    I always think of Regi as the Queen of our Southwest class of ’64. She was so warm-hearted and greeted everyone in our class as her close friend. I have a granddaughter who is a varsity cheerleader for BV North High School. Every time I see her out on the field cheering, I flash back to watching Regi cheering out on the field for Southwest High. Her soul and legacy will outlive us all. REGI……. you were one in a billion !!!!

  11. Linda Epstein Kavanaugh on October 29, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Remember Regi from Southwest Class of 1964. Her spirit and kindness is fondly tenembered

  12. Stan Greenberg on October 29, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Though I didn’t know Regi well at Southwest, I was always impressed by her friendly and engaging manor. What a tremendously active and productive life she lived. I’m quite certain she will be terribly missed by her family, all those who were her friends and anyone who came in contact with her during her beautiful life.

  13. Miles Schnaer on October 29, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    Reggie was a person who never met a stranger. I am a better person for knowing her, as we all are that called her a friend and a classmate in high school. She was always brought a bright light with her particularly when we had reunions from Southwest. Her smile in the picture used in her obit was how I will always remember her. May she rest in peace!!

  14. Howard Claussen on October 29, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Regi, you will be remembered in our hearts and in our souls. You touched many. Including me many years ago. Thank you. RIP my friend.

  15. Tamara Brown Stone Durstine on October 29, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you Regi for being such a lovely, delightful beautiful person. You were so loved and admired during those trying school years. I only knew you at school, but my memory of you was only enhanced seeing you at the 50th reunion. You were still a shining star. My deepest regards to your family.

  16. Barbara Wintroub on October 29, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    I am so very sad to hear of Regi’s passing. She was the consummate cheerleader in everything she did and everyone she touched. I will do a cartwheel in her honor and to celebrate knowing her.

  17. Martha Burgheimer Pastcan on October 29, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    I also attended Hale Cook, Bingham and Southwest with Regi, and even though we weren’t friends, she would always greeted me warmly when she saw me or when I brought my children to Kansas City to the Hallmark Kaleidoscope. She didn’t seem to let her popularity make her “stuck up”, but seemed nice to everyone, a “class act” for sure.

  18. Marsha Goodman Soloff on October 29, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    I’m deeply saddened hearing about Regi. She was always a delight to be around. I too went all the way through Hale Cook, Bingham and Southwest with her as my friend. But our time at the reuinions was so special. Rest In Peace dear Regi, your light has dimmed way too soon.

  19. Karen Gilbert Zedek on October 29, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    Regi was in several of my classes at Southwest. I remember her kindness to me and others. She was special, talented, beautiful, smart, gracious and so very kind. When I saw her again at our 50th reunion, she radiated all of those same wonderful qualities. The world is better because of Regi. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones.

  20. Nancy DavisCraig on October 30, 2019 at 8:05 am

    I also went to Hale Cook, Bingham, and Southwest with Regi and even though we were not close friends when I was around her she made me feel welcome! At our 50th reunion in 2014 she would greet everyone as if only a few days had passed since Graduation. I will be thinking about her family and my prayers will be with them in the days ahead!???

  21. Carole Fording Sakach on October 30, 2019 at 10:00 am

    It is very difficult to see someone so uniquely beautiful leave this world where she affected so many people with whom she came into contact. I imagine she fought her last fight with the positive attitude and grace and that defined her life. Regi, you were a friend and such a joy to have known. My prayers and deepest condolences to your family.

  22. Bill Kanter on October 30, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    I am saddened to learn about Regi’s passing. I enjoyed working with her on the Southwest reunions over the years. My wife, Pam, worked with her at Hallmark. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  23. Stacie Brown on October 30, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    I work with Becca, her step-daughter. Regi sounds like she was a very sweet spirited person. My thoughts and prayers are with Becca and the entire family.

  24. Jamie powell-Smull on October 30, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    I work with Becca, her step-daughter, and Regi’s impact was far reaching. What a wonderful inspiration to future generations, her family, and grandchildren. Becca and her family are in my thoughts and prayers as they navigate this transition.

  25. Jerry Kaplan on October 31, 2019 at 3:50 am

    I traveled the same educational journey as Regi, Hale Cook, Bingham, SW & Mizzou and never met a more warm hearted and friendly person. it was a real pleasure to work with her on the reunions, there was no one more dependable than her.
    May her memory be a blessing.

  26. lynn n richardson on October 31, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    If I had not seen Reggie for months or even a year, the encounter was always the same. I was with her the day before and now, she will greet me in spirit and with the love she always showed. She was responsible for me being a teacher, being an artist and being her friend. I will miss those encounters.

  27. Steve Shlyen on October 31, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    How delicate is the time we share with each other on this earth – thinking life goes on forever, thinking of tomorrow, looking back at the memories as they accumulate, saying farewell to those we have known……………..I met Regi at the dances well before we had our driver’s licenses, privileged in continuing our friendship into high school years, before many of us went our separate ways into adulthood. My childhood was richer knowing Regi, knowing her life continued so successfully with family – friends – career around her. Prayers and blessed thoughts go out to her family and friends.

  28. Jan Marcason on November 1, 2019 at 10:29 am

    A truly beautiful person who I enjoyed sharing experiences with as parents of students at St. Paul’s and as grandparents at Prairie Elementary. So sorry, Allison, Shannon and Chris. I will greatly miss seeing her at school.

  29. Karen Poe on November 1, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Regi will always be the loving heart of Kaleidoscope and all it stands for with children, parents, staff, and volunteers.
    She wove love of life and her creative magic around us all. It’s an honor to have been one of her volunteers and friends
    for decades of Kaleidoscope fun. My deep condolences to her family.

  30. Richard Shrout on November 3, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    I did not have the chance to speak with her at all until the last two reunions. Then she became an instant friend and source of support. Her parents were very wise in naming her Regina. She was a Queen in all the good senses of that word. We will all miss her.

  31. Sheri Jones on November 7, 2019 at 9:43 am

    Reggie was my idol at Southwest. I can’t begin to describe the admiration I have always had for her. I am so sorry to hear of this loss to all who love her.

  32. Gary Brouillette on November 11, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Chris, we were away & unaware of Reggi’s passing until yesterday.
    Know how much she loved her life with you.
    She was a beautiful lady in the broadest meaning of that word & we will miss her.
    Gary & Connie Brouillette

  33. Gail West Hollister on November 16, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Regi was so warm and kind…..always good for a big smile and a hug. She was a tremendous help with our SW class reunions and I will miss her. My deep felt condolences to Chris and the rest of her family. Rest in peace, lovely Regi.

  34. Alana Shniderman Greenstein on November 16, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Reggie was a shining star….I didn’t know her well but was a class or two behind her at Southwest. She was & will always be memorable. My condolences…Alana Shniderman Greenstein

  35. Eliza Ketchum & Viv Hutchison on December 21, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    We just learned of Regie’s passing and wish to express our sincere condolences to her family. Our late mother, Sarah V. Hutchison, worked with Regi at Kaleidoscope for over a decade. Over the years, she shared with us so many examples of Regi’s personal warmth and incredible leadership abilities. She always spoke of Regi’s outer beauty “with her gorgeous blue eyes” but more importantly her beautiful inner soul. Regi was always so kind to us when we came to Kaleidoscope to visit. We were so sorry to learn of her passing, and hope you find solace knowing the incredible impact she had on those around her. With love, Eliza (Hutchison) Ketchum and Vivian B. Hutchison

  36. Ricky Rabicoff on May 31, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Always the girl next door for me. Belated sad news is just as sad. Rest In Peace, lovely girl.

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