News Release

LDS Saints In Zimbabwe Mourn Passing of Reg Nield

Zimbabwe has lost a great humanitarian, mentor and leader.

LDS saints throughout Africa are mourning the passing of Harare Stake Patriarch, Reginald Joseph Nield, who passed on in the United States on 19 February 2015 at the age of 75.

“Our heartfelt condolences go the Nield family, Church members and the nation at large. We have indeed lost a dear friend and a father. Reg was a great man, one who feared God and lived and served his Father in Heaven well. Ours is now the duty to achieve what Reg achieved in his life. We learned much from him and much is done for him. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” said President Philip Mathemera, Harare South Stake President.

Speaking of him, the Zimbabwe National Public Affairs Director, Ken Sharpe said, “This man was a true rock of unchanging dedication to the Mormon faith in Zimbabwe and joyful obedience to serving the Lord at all times and all places where he was called to.”

Harare Stake President, President Mutariswa, said, “His life was filled with passion to serve humankind. He was not a person who looked at the colour of skin but loved all people alike.”

The Zimbabwe rugby fraternity also expressed sorrow over the death of Nield, who was former Sables captain, and paid tribute to him for his contribution to the game. Former Sables Coach, Godwin “Jaws” Murambiwa, emotionally spoke about the life of Nield whom he described as a legend and said led an expamplary life both on and off the pitch, taking care of all players equally during his coaching days at Old Hararians Sports Club.

“To us he is a legend…a larger than life human being cut from a different mould completely. He is a big loss to the rugby community as a friend, advisor and mentor. Even in death I still see that gentle smile…that poise. At Old Hararians, he knew all of us by name…our wives and our kids, a very special man indeed,” said Murambiwa.

“Reg’s integrity, passion and love of the game meant that he touched the lives of many men, women and young men he coached or mentored. His legacy lives on in those who were blessed and honoured to know him. May he rest in peace,” the Union said.

Reginald Joseph Nield was born May 15th, 1939 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe), to Herbert Vincent Nield and Anna Catherina Benadie.  He married Iris Merle Devine on September 12, 1959 in Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia, sealed in the Salt Lake Temple April 8th, 1975

Reg and Iris are the parents of six daughters, Kelly-Ann, Sharon, Jeannine, Reeve, Josephine, and Rachel and are the Grandparents of eighteen Grandchildren.

Reginald attended Prince Edward High School where he excelled in rugby, water polo and cricket. He was also on the tennis, field hockey and swimming teams. He became captain of Rhodesia’s National Rugby team for which he received national recognition. He received training in Southern Rhodesia’s National police force.  He was the head of large diverse businesses in Zimbabwe.

Reg and Iris joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints July 8th, 1962.  He performed a key role in the extraordinary transition from the essentially all-white Church in pre-1980 Rhodesia to the predominately black LDS Church in Zimbabwe today. Because he was so well known, liked and respected, he was able to develop close working relationships with leading political leaders in Zimbabwe wherein favorable accommodations have been accorded the Church.  Reg loved and served people of every color, ethnicity, and social status without distinction. He provided Humanitarian assistance through large scale initiatives to literally hundreds of thousands of his countrymen over a period of nearly four decades. He helped organize and teach HIV-AIDS prevention to an estimated 114,000 Zimbabwean school children.  He served in many leadership positions in the Church in Zimbabwe. At the time of his passing he was serving as the Patriarch in the Harare Stake of the Church and is beloved by all who were blessed to know him. 

Funeral services for Reggie Nield will be held Friday March 6th at 10:00 a.m. at Prince Edward School, Harare, Zimbabwe.

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