Joy Erline “Minnick” Chrisman from Franklin, Nebraska, passed away on May 6, 2021, surrounded by her three sons and husband.
Joy was born on November 5, 1952, in Red Cloud, Nebraska, to Otto “Gerald” Dean and Winifred Elaine (Kugler) Minnick and was the third of their nine children. As an infant, she and her family lived a few miles Southwest of Riverton, Nebraska. On Joy’s first birthday, her family lost their home to a fire, but thankfully they all escaped safely. After the fire, Joy’s family stayed with Winifred’s parents while her Papa acquired a mobile home for his family to move into.
Joy’s education began at the age of 4 in a one-room schoolhouse, which was the same schoolhouse that her Grandmother Bernice (Gingrich) Minnick also attended in Pleasant Hill, KS. On May 1, 1959, when Joy was six years old, her parents bought a farm between Inavale and Riverton, which remained the Minnick family home throughout her parent’s lives. At that time, Joy began to attend her new school (District 51) a mile from the farmstead, where she started the second grade. She had already completed two years of classes at her prior school in Kansas, but at the time, Kansas did not have kindergarten. So, while she was on track to begin the third grade, her teacher at her new school placed her into second grade because she was so petite. Joy graduated from the 8th grade in May 1966, at which time she advanced into High School in Red Cloud to finish her formative years and graduate with the class of 1970. After high school, Joy attended Hastings Tech in the fall of 1970 and graduated in 1972 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Secretarial Science.
In 1972 Joy’s brother arranged a double date with him and his date and Joy and Richard “Dick” Chrisman. Dick and Joy had their first date at the Cattlemen restaurant in Kearney, NE. From there, God’s plan for the two of them sprang into action. In less than a year, there was a proposal and a wedding on November 3, 1972. They wed at the Assembly of God Church in Riverton, Nebraska, and over the next seven years, they expanded their family with three boys.
As newlyweds, Joy and Dick made their home in Red Cloud, NE, for a year where Dick was employed by Nebraska Natural Gas. The two moved to Franklin when Dick began servicing the Franklin and Naponee area. They have lived in Franklin since that time, and it became their home and the place they raised their three children.
Joy’s career began while she was in college, first as a Secretary at Central Community College in Hastings. After marrying Dick and moving to Franklin, Joy worked as a secretary for Cline Seed & Farm Supply in Franklin from 1973 to 1974. Once her true passion of being a mother began, she focused on that full-time for the next few years. But before long, she began adding more work to her role as a full-time mother. From 1978 to 1981, while caring for her children full time, she also worked as a Secretary and Meter Reader for KNEnergy, the same company where her husband was employed.
Joy’s career for the USPS (United States Postal Service) in Franklin, NE, started in 1985. Over the next nine years, she worked for the USPS in Franklin, Grand Island, and Minden. During this same period of time, to successfully provide for her family, she also took on part-time jobs at Brad’s Supper Club and as a seamstress for a local store, Recollections. From July 1994 to 1997, she decided to leave the United States Postal Service and proudly worked as the manager at the Farmer Country Store in Franklin, NE. During this time, she also took on extra jobs, including a custodian for Midlands Coop, the United Methodist Church, and several other local businesses. In 1997 Joy’s career returned her to the United States Postal Service in Alma, Nebraska. Over the next several years, she worked in several other offices, including in Oxford, Holdrege, Minden, Red Cloud, Orleans, and more. In August 2002, she earned a promotion when she became the Postmaster of Riverton, Nebraska. This post was especially significant to her as she was able to see her Papa on an almost daily basis. However, Joy being a woman who worked to climb the ladder and shatter glass ceilings, soon accepted another promotion as Postmaster in Republican City. Her biggest accomplishment and pride, though, might have been her promotion to Postmaster in Franklin, Nebraska, her hometown and the place where her postal career began. She remained Postmaster here until the end of her life, working full time through the end of November 2020. Her family can account for the fact that her garage, storage room, and attic were often stocked with boxes of various shapes and sizes because she prided herself on always having an appropriately sized box for any of her customers to mail anything they needed to mail.
Joy was a very active member in the Franklin Community as well, where she taught Sunday School for the Missionary Church for several years. She also served as a Board Member at the E Free Church serving as President/VP from 1999-2003 and was an Auxiliary member since 1996 of the American Legion. During the years her boys were in school, she was a Cub Scout Leader for Troop #186 for ten years, Franklin FFA Alumni Treasurer for four years, 4H Leader Member for three years, and a Booster Club Member for six years. Her involvement in these activities allowed her to be even more involved in her boys’ lives, which was always most important.
Joy will always be remembered as a loving and caring mother to her three boys and a kind and caring person for her extended family, community, and customers at the Post Office. Joy’s willingness to love and faithfully sit or stand beside many of her family members was remarkable. The tasks she would engage in to help others were endless and without limits. Just within the last 2-5 years, she was the primary caregiver to both of her parents who lived into their 90’s and provided around-the-clock care to her younger brother immediately after he received a kidney transplant. Joy did all of this while still working a full-time job and single-handedly running a household.
Preceding her in death were her beloved parents Gerald and Winifred Minnick, Her Mother and Father-in-law Ray and Mandy Chrisman, and Her brother Randy Minnick.
Joy is survived by her husband Richard “Dick” Chrisman, and their three sons – Anthony Lyn Chrisman and his wife Shannon Marie (Holmberg) Chrisman of Riverton, NE, her two grandsons Dillon and Anthony Olson; Patrick Dean Chrisman and his partner John Christopher Albert Aragón of Oakland, CA; and Jeffrey Ray Chrisman of Beloit, KS.
She is also survived by one older brother and sister, Bob Minnick and Gayla Disney, and her younger brothers and sisters, Sheila Minnick, Lisa Soflin and husband Robert Soflin, Rick Minnick, Ila Chrisman and husband Tom Chrisman, and Ryan Minnick.
Also, surviving Joy is a number of very loved nieces and nephews, who she adored, and many other beloved relatives and friends.
Funeral services were Saturday, 10:30 am, May 15, 2021, at the Evangelical Free Church, with Pastor Bill Stearns officiating. Interment was at the Greenwood Cemetery in Franklin, Nebraska.
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970
Evangelical Free Church
1705 I Street
Franklin, Nebraska 68939
Phone 308-425-3383 Facebook live stream: https://youtube.com/channel/UCMX49ucwqqTNCZ6Amrg7FHg cut & paste
Please consider donating to the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) Foundation in honor of Joy. You can donate on our family and friends’ Facebook donation page or the CJD Foundation Website.
Click here to learn more about Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and how you can help spread awareness.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joy (Minnick) Chrisman, please visit our floral store.