Former BCG Vice President Joy Reisinger, RIP

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Guest post by the Rev. Dr. David McDonald, CGSM

It is my sad duty to report that Joy Reisinger, Certified Genealogist Emeritus, died early Tuesday morning, 10 December 2013, in her hometown of Sparta, Wisconsin. A past trustee and vice president of the Board, Joy also served as conference program co-chair for the NGS conferences at Saint Paul and Milwaukee. For many years, she lectured across the United States and Canada on research methods, and Quebecois resources. She last attended a national conference in 2006 at Chicago.

Among the many tasks on which she served so capably was the legislative lobbying effort that kept Wisconsin’s historic vital records accessible and available to the public at a time when pressure was being exerted to close off the materials from public view. She was invited by then-Governor Tommy Thompson to attend the bill-signing ceremony at the state capitol in Madison. She was the longtime editor and publisher of “Lost in Canada,” a newsletter for Canadian-oriented researchers.

In her service to BCG, Joy was actively involved in the development of the first version of the Board’s policy manual. She also began the lecture series for the Family History Library staff during BCG’s October meetings. Most recently, she was a participant in the genealogical community’s Records Access and Preservation Committee collaborative work. First earning her credential as CGRS No. 442 in 1980, and then as CG No. 410 in 1998, she was elected Emeritus in 2007.

Recent ill-health has kept Joy from full participation in the wider life of our genealogical community, but she has kept herself up-to-date on various events and activities as best she has been able. We met as often as possible, given the physical distance between us, usually for a treat of Culver’s frozen chocolate custard with plenty of Diet Pepsi to wash it down. I last visited her on 30 November at the hospital in Sparta, enjoying the chance to share stories of the most recent Board meeting in Salt Lake City and the celebratory events marking the Board’s semi-centennial.

Joy is survived by her husband of 59 years, Jim; three daughters, Barbara and Martha (Brad) of Sparta; and Mary Angelis of LaCrosse; four grandchildren: Emilie and Samantha McKenzie, Ben Reisinger and James Gennaro; and two great-grandchildren. She is further survived by her siblings June (John) Wulff, Linda Deters (Bob Colby) and Lanny (Linda) Deters; and one sister-in-law, Carol Deters. Along with her parents, Joy was preceded in death by a brother and her youngest daughter, Jane, in September.

Details of the visitation and memorial mass will be forthcoming from the family. Burial will be in Saint Patrick’s Cemetery, Sparta. Notes of condolence may be addressed to the family at 1020 Central Avenue, Sparta, Wisconsin 54656.

On a personal note, Joy was indispensible as a mentor in my own certification process, and a trusted friend and ally. I will miss her, and her counsel, tremendously.

2 thoughts on “Former BCG Vice President Joy Reisinger, RIP

  1. It is sad when we lose such talented friends. I am sorry that Joy has passed away. I am sorry that I did not know her, but I have read some of her writings. She will be missed. She sounds like quite a lady. I study Canadian Genealogy although I have links to my family all over British Isles and parts of Europe and Canada also. I live in New Brunswick, Canada and have many ancestors from many areas of the continent. GOD BLESS. Sincere Best Wishes, Paul Morris Hilton

  2. It saddens me to learn of Joy’s death as wel shared so many good times together when she would lecture here in Ontario or we would meet in Salt Lake City. It was a tradition for many years after conferences in the Toronto area that my Mother (Audrey) and I would host dinner parties for the speakers and on one particular occassion we had the late Fred Markwell of the FFHS, the late Doandl J. Steel of the SoG, the late Milton Rubincam of BCG,etc., and Joy. It was always interetsing to see how Joy and Milton enjoyed sparing with one another and the one line zingers flew back and forth across the dining room table. I still have copies of her mimeographed “Lost in Canada”. Joy … you made a difference! Rest Eternal Grant unto her O Lord, and may Light Perpetual sine upon her, Amen!