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Joy Wilson Trichel

By Mrs. Bruce Wilson

religion, articles, christianity

Joy Wilson Trichel lost her battle with cancer December 6, 1991. Joy grew up in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, and graduated from high school there.

She worked at Commerce Union Bank in the Trust Department in Nashville before marrying Edwin B. Trichel and moving to Harrisonburg, Louisiana, where she worked as program assistant for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

Often little-known struggles in remote places go without acclaim.

Joy left middle Tennessee, where the church was strong with fairly large congregations, and found the churches of Christ in that part of Louisiana few, small, and far between.

At first she worshipped with a small group, 15 or 20 in attendance, and no Sunday school. After some members moved and others died, that one just sort of faded away. She with a small group started worshipping at Jonesville (a 10 mile drive) where there was never a congregation of more than 20 or 30 in attendance. She and a few other families kept the church going for many years.

They owned the church building as well as a house for the preacher and had preaching on Sunday and had a Wednesday night Bible study. They also had Gospel meetings and vacation Bible school, which of course necessitated heavy contributions. I know that she also sent to at least one orphan's home. She taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school during the years that her two daughters were growing up. She prepared the Lord's Supper for several years.

Her family often hosted fish fries and get-togethers for members of the church. During the time the preachers were coming from Natchez and Monroe to preach for them, she and one or two of the other families took turns preparing the meals on Sunday for them.

She attended and enjoyed a Christian women's get-together at Natchez each year. We used to go to the bookstore near Nashville when she was at home and she selected materials for Sunday and Wednesday night classes. When the church lost several members they finally had to close the doors. They decided to merge with the church at Ferriday, another 10 miles or so farther away. Joy was already ill at that time. The cancer had spread to her lungs. She was a strong supporter of the "One Nation Under God" undertaking and contributed to it generously. She planned to work with the responses in that area. We enjoyed going on the old homes and plantations tour in Natchez, Mississippi. We had planned to visit St. Francisville last spring. She was too ill. We had taken two bus tours together, the highlight of which was Washington D.C., and our tour of the White House.

We talked on the phone almost every week and visited several times a year. She had missed only one Christmas being home.

We had many discussions concerning the gross immorality to which the country has fallen. She often said she was afraid God would not tolerate it much longer. She said, "It seems Satan has the whole nation in his clutches."

We were both also concerned about the wave of departure sweeping the church today. We exchanged books and articles of interest. Although ill and in pain, she attended her daughter Jan-tie's graduation from pharmacy school last May. She wanted so much to see her other daughter, Kelly, graduate from veterinarian school in May of this year. She had many plans for after her retirement in September 1990. She was looking forward to grandchildren. It was not to be.

Joy was not a talker, trusting in her meek and gentle Christian life to influence others. Her daughter Jamie told her during her illness, "Mama, you just don't know how many lives you have touched." She never wavered in her faith in God's way nor in her service to her (as she always said) "good" Lord. She loved her family dearly and often said her husband, Bert, was one of the best persons she'd ever known. Her boss said at her retirement party he had never heard her say a harmful word about her husband. Their house was the gathering place for the girl's friends as they were growing up. She said she had rather have them at home.

We found this in her Bible:

When I have succeeded in this earthly life in:
  1. being a Christian,
  2. being a good wife to a dear husband and a good mother to two adorable daughters,
  3. being a good neighbor,
then I will be ready to face my Lord on Judgment Day.
She succeeded abundantly. She was also a devoted and loving daughter, a dear and loving sister, and a diligent and dedicated employee. Her office received an administrator's award for services to agriculture in 1989, and traveled to Washington to accept the award.

Many prayers in many places went up for Joy's recovery or remission but, God, who doeth all things well, knew best.

I was with her much of the time last summer and made two trips to Houston with her for treatments, both of which were devastatingly discouraging. She faced it all with strength and courage, and never once, so far as I know, asked, "Why me?"

So be at rest, Dear. We'll see you in the morning.

Published July 1993