Helen Regnier honors hometown with bronze ram at Mural Park

David Peck
When Helen Doerr Regnier moved to Utah a few years ago to live with her daughter Linda, she left her heart in her beloved hometown of Lovell.

Regnier lived nearly her entire life in Lovell, and when she moved from the home on Nevada Avenue she shared with her husband, Ed, of more than 50 years, she wanted to do something in honor of the family’s many years in the Rose City.

A couple of years ago, an idea formed in Regnier’s mind to honor the town she loves with something permanent, and she commissioned a bronze statue of a bighorn sheep ram that now adorns the Lovell Downtown Mural Park at Main and Nevada.

The bronze rests in front of the dramatic mural of Big Horn Canyon painted by Harry Engstrom.

“Our family lived in Lovell for three or four generations,” said Regnier, now 98 years old. “We all liked living in Lovell, and I wanted to give something back.”

Regnier is the daughter of Alfred J. and Mollie Ungefug Doerr and the granddaughter of John D. Doerr. She shares her grandpa with cousins Phyrn Opp and Phyllis Fringer of Lovell, whose parents are Adolph and Frieda Lohrenz Doerr. Adolph was Alfred’s brother.

Regnier now spends time with both of her daughters, Linda Karlinsey of Willard, Utah, and Christi Regnier of Meridian, Idaho. Stepson Larry Regnier lives in Grand Junction, Colorado. Husband Ed passed away in 2014.

After coming up with the idea for the bronze, Regnier contacted Lovell Town Administrator Jed Nebel, who found a foundry and ordered the bighorn ram. The bronze arrived a few weeks ago and was held in storage while the park was prepared. It was installed by Midway Construction and Dirtwork on August 31.

Opp worked closely with Nebel to see the project through, noting, “We couldn’t have done it without him.”

The shiny new statue now rests in the park on a platform installed by Midway. “I’m glad it turned out,” Regnier said. “I wanted to honor the community. Lovell will always be home to our family. Wherever we go, we’ll remember Lovell as our home.” Mayor Tom Newman, during a visit to the park on Tuesday, said he, too, is pleased by how the bronze looks in the park. “It’s a natural fit,” he said. “I love it. It’s beautiful.”

Opp said she would like to thank Baxendale and his crew at Midway Construction for their work to install the platform and mount the bronze.

“They did a fantastic job matching the colors with the mural,” she said.