BILL JOYNER - 69 - Coach
LAKELAND | Former Lakeland High School golf coach Bill Joyner died at his Lakeland home Thursday night after a lengthy illness.
 Joyner was 69. He died of renal failure. Joyner was a diabetic and had been receiving dialysis treatments for the past seven years, three days a week, said his daughter, Elizabeth Anne Gross of Lakeland. He died peacefully surrounded by family and friends, said his brother-in-law, Les Jackson of Lakeland. "He was at home last night in his recliner. That's where he wanted to be," Jackson said. Joyner and his wife, Cookie, celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary Aug. 23. They have three children, David, Mark and Elizabeth Anne — along with four grandchildren, all of whom live in Lakeland.
Even in declining health, Joyner went to Southern Dunes in Haines City last weekend to watch his granddaughters, Ashlyn and Kate Joyner, win their age groups and player of the year honors on the Central Florida Junior Golf Tour.
 Joyner was a constant presence at golf tournaments around the county. He loved to watch his former players and son David compete. He was a mentor to many golfers.
 He received the Charley Stine Award for unselfish contributions to the game of golf in Polk County earlier this month at Lone Palm.
 "He's probably up in heaven looking for some golf clubs to give somebody because he was always trying to help somebody," Jackson said.
 Joyner turned the Lakeland High boys golf program into a state contender. He coached the Dreadnaughts for 16 years, from 1993 to 2009. Joyner's former players revered him and kept in touch as their college and professional careers developed. Two former players — Logan Blondell and Brian Richey — won on the NGA Pro Golf Tour in back-to-back weeks earlier this month.
"They all loved him," Gross said. "He was well-loved by everybody. He was just a positive person, the kind of person you want to be around." Under Joyner, the Dreadnaughts won 10 district titles, five regional tournaments and numerous Polk County championships.Lakeland qualified for the state high school golf tournament five times, including three straight from 2000 to 2002. Dreadnaught teams placed in the top five at state, but didn't win a title.
 Joyner was a coach in various sports for 45 years — golf, football, baseball, basketball, soccer, wrestling and track and field. He also played all those sports at Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn. — except golf. He took up golf later in life, becoming a 7-handicap. Joyner coached dominant football and basketball teams at Seth McKeel Junior High School, where his football teams never lost a game and all five of his starting basketball players dunked a basketball in one game.
"He lived a great life," said Jackson, who coached baseball and football with Joyner
"Some of his wonderful memories were the fact that he was able to give all his children an education," Jackson said. "That was his dream."Joyner rose from humble beginnings, born in 1944 at Rocky Mount, N.C. He was the only child of the late Joseph William Joyner and Frances Harris Joyner, who moved the family to Orlando. They moved when Joyner was 13 so his father, who was legally blind, could attend the Florida Blind School. He went to Memorial High School in Orlando until his junior year, then at Miami Jackson High.
 Joyner was inducted into the Polk County Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He received the Jock Terry Inspiration Award in 2009 for showing great character through adversity. And he was The Ledger's boys golf coach of the year eight times.
Joyner operated the clock for all of Lakeland High's home football and basketball games for 19 years. Jackson said a moment of silence was planned before kickoff at Lakeland High's game at Bryant Stadium against Treasure Coast Friday night.
 A memorial service is planned on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Lakeland. A reception will follow. No viewing is planned.
>Original Story By: Del Milligan can be reached at or at 863-802-7555.

Obit for Coach Joyner

WILLIAM JOYNER, Jr. – 69 – Coach Joyner - Obit 
LAKELAND - Joseph William Joyner Jr. (Bill), was received by the loving arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as he peacefully passed away Thursday August 28, 2014, in his home from Renal failure. He was surrounded by his loving, devoted family. This home was not his own, he was just a passing through. He has now reached his permanent address at his mansion in the sky.
Bill as he was called, was born November 12, 1944, in Rocky Mount, NC, son of Joseph William and Frances Harris Joyner. He had a passion for sports and truly had a talent and taught himself how to play many sports including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and golf.
 His father was legally blind and there were no provisions for the blind back then. His parents moved to Orlando, FL, when he was 13 so his father would be able to attend the Florida Blind School. While in Orlando Joyner went to Memorial Junior High and played football, baseball, and basketball. At the end of football season his family moved to Miami and he finished out his junior high year. He attended Miami Jackson High School, played football, baseball, and basketball, and graduated in 1962, and went on to attend Bryan College in Dayton, TN, and graduated in 1966.  He was a coach for 45 years, coaching football, basketball, soccer, wrestling, track, and golf. He dedicated many years to helping his students and athletes achieve success, by winning on and off the athletic field. He is best known for his sense of humor and ability to make others laugh. He was loved by all. He was a positive person, the kind of person you want to be around.
 He is survived by his wife Corabel Joyner, of 47 years, sons David Joyner (Carrie), Mark Joyner (Shannon), and daughter Elizabeth Anne Joyner (Marshall Gross) and 4 grandchildren Ashlynn and Kate Joyner, Keagan and Riley Joyner all from Lakeland.
 A Memorial Service will be held Tuesday September 2, 2014, at First Presbyterian Church at 4:30 pm. In Lieu of flowers donations can be made to the National Kidney Foundation 30 East 33rd Street New York, NY, 10016 or to The Bill Joyner Memorial Scholarship Program for future golfers P.O. Box 8003 Lakeland, FL, 33801 – Ledger, Sunday, Aug.31, 2014

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