Joy Adkins passed away peacefully Monday, November 13, 2017 at the Renville Health Care Center in Renville, MN after a short illness. Joy was born in Preston, MN to Andrew and Erma (Petersson) Chilson on December 30, 1926. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s (on the hill) in Preston. Joy attended Preston Public School and was Valedictorian of her class receiving a scholarship in 1944. She attended St. Olaf College for two years where she was a member of the St. Olaf Choir. She received her BS ED degree in English and Special Education and her MS ED in Special Education from Mankato State College. Joy taught LD/EBD for 30 years, retiring in 1991. Joy was united in marriage to George D. Adkins on November 23, 1949 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Preston. They made their home in Preston until 1968 and then made several moves until she settled in Rochester. She made her home there for 20 years until moving to The Pines in Richfield, MN in May of 2017. Joy and George had six children, David, Vicky, John, Betsy, Diana, and Amy. Joy’s childhood was spent with her many extended family members that lived in Preston. She spoke lovingly of memories of her childhood with them. Aunty/Grandma Joy was known for her humor and wit. She was, also, an accomplished musician including organist for the church, accompanied choirs, and directed and sang in Sweet Adeline’s. She loved growing plants and flowers, especially African Violets and Orchids. She brought back to life many plants given to her by her children. Her other passion was Genealogy and has volumes of history not only of her family, but also of early families in Fillmore and Winona Counties.
Joy was preceded in death by her parents, Andy and Erma Chilson; brother, Rev. Gale Chilson; brother-in-law Richard Wildgrube; and daughter Victoria Ites. She is survived by George Adkins; sister Garaine Wildgrube; sister-in-law Jane Chilson; sons: David (Patrice) Adkins and John (Jennifer) Adkins; daughters: Betsy (Joe) Hennen, Diana Adkins, and Amy Adkins; grandchildren: Jennifer (Jon) Putney, Sara Joy Adkins, Abraham Wangnoo, Tahira Wangnoo, Zendaya Adkins, Matthew (Holly) Hennen, BrynaJoy (Andy) Kelly, Kellen (Erika) Hennen, Alexander Withrow, and Samuel Adkins; great-grandchildren: Summer Joy Hennen, Luke Hennen, Sam Hennen, Max Kelly, Audrey Victoria Kelly, Drew Kelly, Eleanora Hennen, and William Putney .
She will be laid to rest at Crown Hill Cemetery, Preston, on Friday, December 1. Visitation is at Christ Lutheran Church, Preston from 10:00-11:00 with service and internment following.