Cover photo for Charles Lee Joiner's Obituary
1939 Charles Lee Joiner 2024

Charles Lee Joiner

October 16, 1939 — April 8, 2024

Vestavia Hills, Birmingham

Charles Lee Joiner

October 16, 1939 to April 8, 2024

Charles Lee Joiner was born October 16, 1939, to Florice Johnson Joiner and Kenneth Alexander (Alec) Joiner in Birmingham, Alabama. Their family included big brother Kenneth and grew as they welcomed an adored little sister Elizabeth Ann and baby brother Henry. Their home in Woodlawn was full but always had room for an extended-stay guest as was often the case. They relished their trips to Mentone to visit their beloved Uncle James and Aunt Betty and cousins Sue and Fred Johnson.

Charles graduated from Woodlawn High School and attended Central Wesleyan College, now Southern Wesleyan University, in Central, South Carolina. He left a mark as Student Body President, but his love for music and friends led him to join a men's quartet whose members and memories brought him joy that lasted a lifetime. Recordings of the quartet echoed through the Joiner home constantly in the last few years and brought him great comfort.

Upon graduation from Southern Wesleyan in 1962, Charles attended the University of Alabama where he received a Master's Degree in economics and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration. Rumor has it that during his teaching tenure at Alabama, one of Professor Joiner's student-athletes was not performing well in his class. Charles had the privilege of traveling with the football on an overnight trip to Birmingham, standing on the sidelines during the game in close proximity to the legendary Bear Bryant. No one would be surprised that despite the incredible experience, Professor Joiner was not swayed by his love of Alabama football or Bear Bryant to grant the student an unearned passing grade. His standards were never compromised.

In 1968, Charles began a life-long career at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he became a beloved professor, researcher, author, advisor, colleague, and mentor in the School of Health Related Professions. When asked one time what kind of doctor her Daddy was, young Laura responded that he was " a meeting doctor." During his 32-year career at UAB, Dr. Joiner met and collaborated with countless people who shared his goal for the advancement of higher education to develop or enhance programs to accomplish that goal. He completed leadership programs at Duke University and Harvard University as well as many others. He retired in 2000 after serving as assistant, associate, and dean of the school.

Charles had a deep and tireless love of Christ, learning, music and family. He became a Christian at a young age and this decision shaped who he was in every aspect of his professional and personal life. He served The Wesleyan Church locally as a charter member of Brookview Wesleyan Church in administration and music until it became physically impossible and at the district and national level as a General Board member for 44 years. His love for and commitment to Southern Wesleyan University were unmatched. He served on the SWU Board of Trustees for 45 years and for 23 years he served as Board Chair. Charles was honored with a Presidential Citation and was elected to Emeritus Trustee status. He served as Interim President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Charles and Gloria developed deep and lasting relationships in The Wesleyan Church which reach far and wide and have been a significant source of joy throughout their lives.

Charles Joiner had many titles, awards, and accolades deservingly bestowed upon him during his lifetime but none could compare to his personal favorites: Christian, Husband to Gloria, Daddy, Granddaddy, Son, Brother, Uncle, Friend and Mentor. He was a God-honoring servant-leader at his very core. He didn't have time for many hobbies but no one dared question his love for the Crimson Tide, a good meal surrounded by family and friends, or homemade ice cream. He welcomed anyone who was inclined to join him for a good conversation and a cup of coffee, and many people sought him out for his sound wisdom and counsel. It was very common for Gloria to say to the girls that someone is coming by "to talk to your Daddy." They always left better for the time spent with him.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents Florice and Alec Joiner and his brother Kenneth. He is survived by his wife of 62 years Gloria, who loves him dearly and supported his every endeavor with enthusiasm and grace; his daughters and their families: Amy and Steven Splawn, Katherine and Trey Duncan, Margaret and Madeline; Rebecca and Michael McCracken, Claire and Julia; Laura and Wes McDanal, Maegen and Jordan McClain, Peyton, Amylia, and Nataleigh; Ashley and Thomas George, Elliot and Eliza. He is also sorely missed by his sister Elizabeth Ann and her husband Norman Baker, and his brother Henry and wife Treva Joiner, his sister-in-law Mary Catherine Joiner and their families.

We will celebrate his life on Thursday, April 11 at Brookview Wesleyan Church in Irondale, Alabama. Visitation will begin at 11 am with worship following at noon. Committal will be at Currie-Jefferson Memorial in Hoover at 2:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Charles and Gloria Fund for Honors Program Student Research at Southern Wesleyan University or Brookview Wesleyan Church. 


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