Dr. Marvin Ray Joyner, beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, and a friend to many, died on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Carolyn Powell Joyner; son Jon and wife Tamara Dale Joyner of Sanford; daughter Amy and husband Arty Finkelberg of Jackson, MS; sisters Peggy Cockrell and Julia Bissette of Nashville, NC; and many beloved nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
Born and raised on a small farm in Nash County, Marvin Joyner began his official life-long love of learning and teaching at Wilson Community College, where he was a proud member of its inaugural graduating class. After working in industry for two years, Joyner was invited to return to WCC as a teacher, going on to work in a variety of positions, including vice president of instruction. He had been at WCC for 20 years when, in 1983, he was called to serve as president of Central Carolina Community College in Sanford, NC.
For Joyner, being president of CCCC was a calling, an everyday embodiment of his love for God and love for people. His accomplishments during his 21 years at CCCC were many—including establishing campuses in Chatham and Harnett counties and serving a term as president of the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents—but what he would most want to be remembered for was his dedication to and personal concern for the faculty, staff, and students. Joyner knew that education could be a path to a more secure future and fulfilling life, and he was passionate about extending educational opportunities to those who would otherwise not have them.
Retiring from CCCC in 2004, Joyner continued his work for the community college system in a variety of ways, including a stint as interim president of Nash Community College, treasuring the opportunity to be of help to the county that had raised him.
Always active in the community, in retirement Joyner became even more so, especially through his involvement with the Lion’s Club, Highway to Healing, and the Coalition for Families, being honored to serve terms as president of the first two organizations and chair of the board for the latter. Joyner was also a committed blood donor, giving over 11 gallons of blood during the course of his life.
When Joyner and his family moved to Sanford in 1983, he and his family joined First Baptist Church, where he remained a member for the rest of his life. At FBC Joyner taught a couple’s SS class for many years and then, during the past few years, was a member of the Roland Palmer Men’s SS class. During his years at FBC, Joyner also served as chair of the deacon board and the personnel committee, as well as working in a variety of other areas.
Even more important to Joyner than church membership, however, was the Christian journey itself, and in recent times he returned to his Presbyterian roots, visiting First Presbyterian and Buffalo Presbyterian Churches, all the while maintaining his membership at FBC. Though he never attended seminary, Joyner was, in his own right, a theologian, considering it his Christian duty to ponder the beauty and mystery of God in addition to serving God’s people.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be sent to one of the aforementioned community organizations or to a church of the sender’s choice. Donating blood would also be a wonderful way to honor Dr. Joyner.
Visitation will be held Friday, December 21, 2018 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Bridges-Cameron Funeral Home.
Funeral service will be Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 11:00 AM at First Baptist Church of Sanford with Dr. Matt Garrett, Rev. Bruce Benton and Rev. George Walton officiating. A private burial will be held prior to the service at Buffalo Cemetery.