Joy H. Zissler

January 24, 1936 ~ October 10, 2022

Joy Helen (Smith) Zissler, 86, of La Crosse, WI, passed away, on October 10, 2022, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer, at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, WI.

Joy H. Zissler

Joy H. Zissler

Joy was born in Saginaw, Michigan on January 24, 1936, to Winslow and Helen (Loebs) Smith.

She graduated from Arthur Hill High School in 1954 and Central Michigan University in 1958, with a Bachelor of Science degree. At CMU she was a member of Alpha Psi Omega Dramatic Fraternity and the Radio Guild. She was the first female station manager for the campus radio station, WCRG from 1957-58.

Joy was the first female uniformed police officer for the Saginaw City Police Department from 1960 – 1963, and then from 1967 until her retirement in September 1989. She received letters of commendation and was profiled in the paperback Cops and Women by Mickie Siegel. After retirement, she was in charge of security for Delta College at the Downtown Center in Saginaw for five years.

Joy moved to Marathon, WI, in 2007, to be close to her daughter, Melissa, and son-in-law, Kelly. She loved living in Marathon and formed a special bond with the Schumacher family. In the fall of 2018, Joy, Melissa and Kelly, moved to the La Crosse area.

Joy enjoyed the many adventures she had with her daughter, Melissa, especially the fall chairlift rides up and down Granite Peak, to marvel at the fall colors of Wausau, WI. They took the fall chairlift ride, every fall, for the 12 years Joy lived in Marathon, it was a wonderful annual tradition. She also enjoyed spending time with her grandson, Lloyd Young, meeting her great-granddaughter, Katarina, traveling, the casino, and photography. Joy entered her photos in the Saginaw Fair for many years, receiving numerous ribbons and two Best of Show awards.

Joy is survived by two daughters, Melissa (Kelly) Longtine, La Crosse, WI. Rebecca Zissler, Saginaw, MI; grandson, Lloyd Young, Birch Run, MI; great- granddaughter, Katarina Young; her brother, Mark (Ann) Smith, Jackson, MI; sister-in-law, Gail Smith, Jackson, MI; several nieces and nephews; and many dear friends too numerous to mention.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by your brother, David Smith.

Joy’s family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the many nurses and doctors that took care of Joy at Gundersen Health System, La Crosse.

In keeping with Joy’s wishes, she will be cremated and a service will be held at a later date in Saginaw, Michigan.