Chris Minor is someone “you always had to catch up with”

PARK RIDGE, Illinois – Veteran News 8 journalist Chris Minor retired after 33 years of beat reporting in the Quad Cities.

But before that, she was Chrissy Minor, the oldest of Wally and Eleanor Minor's children.

She grew up in a nice home on a quiet street in a peaceful Chicago suburb.

"She was one of those who was going to reach out and do things," said her dad, Wally.

The Minor's sat down at the kitchen table to tell us a thing or two about their eldest daughter.

"Oh yeah, oh definitely. Yeah I think she definitely had a strong personality," said her mother, Eleanor.

This is the Chris Minor they remember: the pre-teen, quiet, demure, dressed in white, ready for confirmation.

"No!" her mother corrected us.  "That's not her. You got that wrong."

So maybe she's the big sister who convinced her younger brother to lay on the floor of the car and her younger sister to lay under the back window so she could get the whole back seat to herself during long family trips.

"We had a very pleasant trip so I just let it ride," admitted Wally.

Or maybe she's the daughter who hated the way mom set her hair for pictures.

"And she always said 'Mom, why is it in the pictures my hair is pulled up so tight?' and she says she thinks I affected her brain I think by doing that."

A charge Eleanor Minor vehemently denies, but adds a knowing wink.

If you want to know more about Chris Minor, ask her parents.

"She was always doing her own thing," said Wally Minor.   "You had to catch up with her."

And ask her childhood friends.

"From the minute we met we became friends."

Cindy Morse and Chris met at Franklin Elementary and have been friends ever since.  It gets emotional when Cindy talks about her deep love for her longtime friend.

"She taught me how to live and how to love life and she is the meaning of friendship."

But more than that, ask her sister Tracy.

Tracy's son Ryan is Chris' nephew who died earlier this year of a rare heart condition.

"They were as close as could be."

They were always singing, dancing, sharing time together.  Perhaps knowing they didn't have much time to be together.

"She loved him with all his heart," said Tracy. You could see that."

And it was 'Ry', as Chris called him, who wanted to win the lottery. Not for himself, but for his favorite aunt.

Tracy remembers her son's words.

"If I win the big one, I'm going to give all of the money to you so you can quit your job and buy a house in Park Ridge and live by us."

The loss of Ryan has been a loss for Chris, a moment in time that changed her priorities.

This is the time to retire.

And to heal.

And to sing and dance.

And to make new friends and share new experiences.

"We always joked that if she ever retired, another business for her, we'd call it the "Rent a Friend' business," said Chris' brother-in-law Marc Sernel.

Because she quickly makes new friends, and never forgets the ones she has.

"She lives large and she has a beautiful heart and spirit," added Cindy.