Joy Ryleen (Brown) Heminger, age 84, of Crown Point, IN, passed away on December 27, 2023. She was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on November 5, 1939 to James Riley and Eileen Sauers Brown who preceded her in death.
Joy is survived by her loving husband: Jack R. Heminger; children: Erin Lynne (Joseph) Montemayor and Kendall Elaine (John) Sharpe; step-children: Lee Jules (Bari) Loebman, Heidi Anne (Joseph) Waskow, and Heather Ann (John) Shebel; grandchild: Hannah (Sam) Lansat; step-grandchildren: Courtney Waskow, Blake Waskow, Max Loebman, Gabe Loebman, Aiden Loebman, and Austin Shebel; sister-in-law: Kathy Blaker Cummings (Brown).
She was also preceded in passing by son: Peter Sean Byers; brother: James Brown.
Joy moved to Michiana Shores, Michigan and then to Michigan City, Indiana. When she was employed at St. Jude House in Crown Point, Indiana she moved to Crown Point. Joy and Jack met at a dinner honoring those in Michigan City, Indiana for their dedication to Prevent Child Abuse LaPorte County. After dating for a few months, at a dinner at her home, in Crown Point, Indiana with her children, Jack took her aside and said, “I would like to spend the rest of my life with you.” Joy asked him the next day what he meant by that, and he told her he wanted to marry her. She accepted and they were married on September 21, 2021.
Joy’s career took her from La Porte County, Indiana to Chicago, Illinois where she was employed by the National Committee for The Prevention of Child Abuse, now known as Prevent Child Abuse America. She served as Director of Communications for many years. Under Mr. Buddy Allen, responsible for International Conferences, she represented the organization in her position and attended conferences worldwide for The International Society for The Prevention of Child Abuse. During her tenure she also traveled to cities across the United States lecturing and attending seminars to help educate people on the importance of stopping the abuse of children.
She worked very closely with the singer Michael Bolton and his non-profit organization, The Michael Bolton Foundation. She worked in his studio in Connecticut directing spots for Television commercials for Child Abuse Prevention of which Michael was a big supporter.
In New York Joy worked very closely with The Ad Counsel Public Relations firm that placed nationwide ads on preventing Child Abuse. In the early days of her career Joy had the privilege of working with Oprah Winfrey on promoting prevention of child abuse on her show and in the neighborhoods of cities across the country.
On one of her speaking tours she was invited to the White House, in Washington, DC to meet with the First Lady, Hillary Clinton. After her speaking engagement Mrs. Clinton and Joy took photos together and then toured the White House.
She was highly respected by her colleagues and brought to the table a vast knowledge and understanding of child abuse prevention. As her husband, my vision of my dear wife Joy, is a tear running down her cheek for every violated and abused child that ever lived. She was a warrior when it came to working for children’s rights. The right to have a normal and decent life just as God intended. The executive Director of NCPCA, Ms. Ann Cohn Donnelly, said of Joy, “Joy always was for me a source of joy and possibility. She had a captive smile, a good heart, a love of her family and an active imagination, usually on point, of the ways to educate the public about child abuse.”
Joy was also director of communications for St. Jude House, a domestic violence organization located in Crown Point, Indiana, where she worked for several years. In recent years she was President of Lake County Child Abuse Association. She recently retired from the board. She was known all over Lake County for her lectures at Public Schools, Police Stations, Firehouses, Post Offices, Private Schools and wherever there was a concern with the abuse of a child.
In September she was filled with joy to attend her only paternal granddaughter Hannah’s wedding at the W Hotel in Chicago. She was a large part of Hannah’s life growing up and we were all so happy she was there to witness the marriage of Hannah and her husband Sam Lansat.
In the words of her dear friend Diana, “I lost the best friend I had in my life.” And also, Buddy Allen, “Joy, you will be missed.” I will miss you too, my dear Joy. -Jack Heminger