Cover photo for Regina M. Potts's Obituary
Regina M. Potts Profile Photo
1947 Regina 2021

Regina M. Potts

February 6, 1947 — November 18, 2021

Regina M. Potts, 74, Loves Park, passed away Thursday, November 18, 2021. She was born in Rockford on February 6, 1947, the daughter of Delmar and Mary Jane (Friel) Long. Regina was a proud graduate of Rockford East High School, class of 65. She completed her bachelor degree in 1969 at Illinois State University, Bloomington and had a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University. She taught at A.C. Thompson grade school for her entire career of 33 years. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, a teaching sorority and active in the AAUW (American Association of University Women).
Survived by her daughter, Melissa (Steve) Bland and grandson Jack of Pecatonica, her brothers, Robert (Janet) Long of Iowa City and Doug (Marla) Long of Rockford; her sister-in-law, Jill Long of Roscoe; her nieces and nephews, Jeff (Tami) Long, Jeanie (Rob) Kochan, Casey (Jo Beck) Long, Adam (Anne) Long, Kelly (Scott) Rogers, Tim (Amanda) Long, Amy (Brad) Scatterday, Robert (Tanja) Sorrentino, and Michael (Cassie) Sorrentino; many great nieces and great nephews; her former husband John (Sue) Potts and sister-in-law Kay (Charles) Sorrentino; exchange student daughter Tatiana Pelikhova and her many friends. Predeceased by her parents and her brother, Steve Long and dear friend Earlynn Mullins.
Regina loved teaching. All her students knew her as a kind teacher who would also threaten to kiss them if they left their gym shoes on the floor. Some of her favorite school activities were making gingerbread houses, Green Eggs and Ham on St. Patrick’s Day, chocolate finger painting and math with shaving cream on the desks. She made some wonderful life-long friends while teaching. Not only was she friends with the teachers, but parents too. Many of these friendships have lasted for decades.
Regina spent many years opening her heart and home to exchange students from around the world. It all started with S.W.A.P – Students Worlds Apart Project – that connected Rockford students with students in Austria. In 1993, Tatiana Pelikhova, from Moscow, lived with Regina and her daughter for an entire school year. Tatiana taught the whole family a lot – that the Cold War was between governments, not people and how two teenage girls, previously only children – get along in one house. Many other wonderful, short term exchange students followed from Japan, Brazil, Austria, and Ukraine. Some of these wonderful students remained life-long friends – even visiting over the years.
Most special of all to Regina was her family. Her parents and brothers were her first loves. We should all be so lucky to have the relationship that she had with her brothers. They’ve spent their lifetimes supporting, loving and teasing one another. Her older brother Bob (first born) is the angel that can do no wrong. Regina was second born, with Steve following 3 years later. She was so proud of Steve and all he accomplished in his business life and as a husband and father. When Steve passed away in 2020, it was a blow to everyone. We will always hold the memories of him in our hearts. The baby of the family, Doug, was the apple of her eye. They even shared a bed when he was little! They had a wonderful, close relationship. Regina was fortunate enough that her brothers married the most delightful women, who became her sisters – Janet, Jill and Marla.
Regina’s daughter, Melissa was her best friend. She was a wonderful mother, cheerleader and constant support for Melissa. Regina was always available to give words of encouragement or just talk (unless it was before 11am!). They conquered the world together. In 2008, Regina officially welcomed her favorite son-in-law into the family. Teasing each other (with love) was their favorite pass time. In 2012, the family was blessed with Jack. Regina was the proudest grandma! Jack could do no wrong – just ask any of her friends. She thought he was the smartest, cutest, nicest kid around. She really loved to play Boggle with him, make him complete the aforementioned “Honey-do list” or reenact her teaching glory days with different crafts and art projects.
In her later years, Regina became more active in social causes and organizations that supported her neurological disease – PLS (Primary Lateral Sclerosis). She was the treasurer of AAUW – the American Associate of University Women. She took on the role without being daunted by her lack of Excel skills. As usual, she powered through and made it work. She was proud of the issues that AAUW championed – even giving her daughter brochures to take to work. One of the projects she had a close connect with was the Women’s Suffrage Mosaic Tower along the Rock River Bike Path, next to the YMCA lodge. She was honored to have her mother, Mary Jane Long, added to the monument for her many years of service as a voting polling judge. Regina was also a regular at the local Spastic Paraplegia Foundation group that was an umbrella organization that included her disease – PLS. In addition to these groups, Regina was a long-time member of Delta Kappa Gamma – a teacher’s sorority. She served many roles over the years, but was most recently the Vice President/Program Chair. She loved supporting other teachers and especially the lunches with the Strictly Social Sisters.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Monday, December 6, 2021, at Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory, Mulford Chapel, 1860 S. Mulford Rd. with Reverend Wendell Maynard officiating. Visitation will be held from 1:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. on Sunday, December 5, 2021, at the funeral home and from 10:00 A.M. until time of service on Monday. Cremation rites have been accorded. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made for a scholarship fund established in her name through Delta Kappa Gamma and the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. If you wish to donate, please make give a check to the family or directly to the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois with Regina Potts in the memo line. You may also donate on-line at the Community Foundation website: Regina M. Potts Memorial (fcsuite.com). The family asks that you wear red, Regina’s favorite color, to remember her. Share online condolences at www.fitzgeraldfh.com.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, December 6, 2021

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Mulford Chapel

1860 South Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Monday, December 6, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Mulford Chapel

1860 South Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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