Joyce Elaine (Higel) Hillman-Kortum 83, of Scottsbluff, went to her heavenly home November 20, 2019. Cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation. A celebration of her life will be held on December 14, 2019 at 2pm at Calvary Lutheran Church with Father Mark Selvey officiating. The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Joyce’s honor to St Francis Episcopal Church, Capstone, or donor’s choice. Online condolences may be made to www.dugankramer.com Dugan-Kramer Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements. Joyce was born on June 10, 1936 in Deshler Nebraska to Harry and Lola Higel. She graduated from Fairbury High School in 1954. Joyce had three loves in her life.
GOD She has always been God’s greatest fan and that is how she lived her life. She loved to tell God’s story and shared that with many people through her Bible studies. She was very active at Calvary Lutheran Church and St Francis Episcopal Church in many ways.
FAMILY She did everything growing up with her younger brother Allen Higel. On June 20, 1954 she married Kenneth Hillman in Fairbury Nebraska. They shared 40 years together. To this marriage was born three children Janine Hergenreder (Bob); Shari (Johnston)Copsey (Monty); and Terry Hillman (Cindy). Six grandchildren Ryan Hergenreder (Shawn), Trevor Hergenreder (Liz); Meggan Rice (Garrett), Stephanie Eardley (Duke); Brian and Brad Johnston. 11 great grandchildren Malaya Osuba-Brown, Noah, Joshua and Emma Hergenreder; Carter and Tanner Hergenreder; Hollen, Hobbs and baby to come Rice; Decker and Dean Eardley; and one great great grandchild Mason. She was a stay at home mom for many years. She played an active role in her grandchildren’s live’s and loved playing with her great grandchildren. She married Judge Alfred Kortum, on November 23, 2001 in Scottsbluff Nebraska. This marriage brought another two children to her family; Phillip Kortum (Rebecca) and Sara Kortum Jones (Frank); eight grandchildren Alexander, Maxwell, Zachary, Kate, Elizabeth and Maggie Kortum; Kylie and Ian Jones.
COMMUNITY Her love for her community is very evident in the positions she held and as a result of what she accomplished in those positions. She started her career with Chester B Brown Bean Company, Executive Director Platte Valley Council of Camp Fire, Executive Director Scottsbluff-Gering United Way, Executive Vice President Scottsbluff-Gering United Chamber of Commerce, and served two, four year terms as State Senator of the 48th District. She served in so many other ways that had an impact on many people. She was voted Scottsbluff Citizen of the year in 1995. She had a very special ability to talk to and listen to people. She lived in Western Nebraska for 55 years.
Joyce is survived by her family, brother Allen Higel (Betty), numerous nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Joyce was proceeded in death by her parents, husbands Kenneth Hillman and Judge Alfred Kortum, son in law Allan Johnston, and sister in law Sally Higel.
She was the matriarch of her family, and although she will be greatly missed, her legacy will live on….