Roger Rafael Regelbrugge

November 5, 2020

Roger Rafael Regelbrugge, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and brother, passed away on November 5, 2020. Born in Eeklo, Belgium to Rachel and Victor Regelbrugge, Roger was the sixth of eleven children, the father to nine children of his own, and grandfather to nine grandchildren. A lifelong athlete, Roger played professional soccer in Belgium and was a formidable racquetball player well into his 60’s. He spoke five languages and led a long, successful international business career. However, aside from his unwavering faith in God, there was nothing to which he was more devoted than his family.

After receiving his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from State Technical College in Ghent, Belgium, Roger first came to the United States on a fellowship to attend General Motors Institute, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. He later completed his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University. Roger built his early career at General Motors and at two manufacturing businesses, Hayes Industries and Koehring Company, residing in Belgium, the midwestern United States, and in Germany before returning permanently to the United States in 1969. In 1974, he moved with his family to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he lived for forty-six years. Roger completed his career at Georgetown Industries, the largest steel wire rod producer in North America at the time, where he led the business as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for twenty-five years.

Roger dedicated much of his personal time to board and civic activities, and was particularly devoted to his work on the Board of Trustees for Belmont Abbey College. He was also involved with the Advisory Board of The Duke University Fuqua School of Management, The Advisory Council for the College of Engineering at Notre Dame University, the Board of Trustees for Charlotte Country Day School, and the Finance Council of St. Gabriel Catholic Church.

Roger is survived by his wife of forty years, Dorcas Merchant Regelbrugge; daughters, Anita Regelbrugge Saurer (Curt) of Novi, Michigan, Laurie Regelbrugge Phillips of Alexandria, Virginia, Christiane Regelbrugge Felts (Jason) of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Lauren Regelbrugge Tunnell (Paul) of Atlanta, Georgia; and sons, Marc E. Regelbrugge (Trudy) of Folsom, California, Jon C. Regelbrugge (Roberta) of Idyllwild, California, Craig J. Regelbrugge of Montross, Virginia, and Roger R. Regelbrugge Jr. of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Eric Saurer, Mark Saurer (Kelly Ann), Kellen and Aidan Phillips, Lynn and Charles Regelbrugge, Teresita and Lani Regelbrugge, and Blair Felts; and three of his sisters, José Wille of Eeklo, Belgium, Lieve Van Steenlandt (Albin) of Chicago, Illinois, and Magda De Somere (Werner) of Nieuwpoort, Belgium.

In addition to his parents, Roger was preceded in death by his son, Kurt J. Regelbrugge; son-in-law, Kevin Phillips; sisters, Marie-Louise Legroe, Martha Van Zele, Leona Verstraete, and Jeannine Mostrey; and brothers, Edmond, Armand, and Guido Regelbrugge.

Roger was always exceptionally fond of and grateful to his “Belmont Abbey Buddies”, who provided him not only monthly lunches, but treasured conversations and laughter over the years. The family would also like to thank the cardiac care physicians and nurses at Carolinas Medical Center, as well as the nurses and staff at the Levine & Dickson Hospice House at Southminster, for the phenomenal care they provided Roger during his last days, and the compassion and love they showed the family.

A private funeral service for Roger will be held on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at The Basilica of Belmont Abbey with The Right Reverend Abbot Placid Solari officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made in memory of Roger to Holy Angels of Belmont, 6600 Wilkinson Blvd., PO Box 710, Belmont, NC 28012; 704-825-4161.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at

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  • Pete Shelley

    It is with a heavy heart to have read this about my friend, boss and supporter for many years. We had many laughs and some sad times together over the years. I wish his wife Dorcas and all his children the very best. Gods speed to them. ???