Friends, family mourn loss of Al Joyner - - Jackson, MS

Friends, family mourn loss of Al Joyner

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

People in the surrounding area are mourning the death of local business owner and community leader, Al Joyner.

Joyner is the brother of radio personality Tom Joyner. He's also the owner of more than a dozen local area McDonald's.

Tom Joyner tweeted, “My brother passed away this morning. Great husband, father and brother. We'll miss him.”

Gary Small, President of the Mid-Mississippi McDonald's Owners Association, released this statement:

"I am sure I speak for the members of the Mid-Mississippi McDonald's Owners Association and McDonald's franchisees across the nation who knew and respected Al in sending our sincerest condolences to the Joyner family. In many ways he was a pioneer, a man with courage of his convictions and an ardent supporter of the McDonald's system. His frank opinions and keen wit were a hallmark of his personality. He will be missed."

Jerry Angelotti, McDonald's Regional Vice-President of QSC, also released a statement following the news of Joyner's passing:

Many of you will remember Al for his passion for brand McDonald's and his steady involvement within his restaurants. He was beloved in the Jackson, MS community where he owned and operated his restaurants. Having been an operator since 1972, Al started his career in Birmingham, Al.

I ask that you please keep the Joyner family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

A husband, a father, a brother, a friend, a business owner and a philanthropist - Al Joyner wore many hats and wore all of them well.

And despite his success, we're told he never forgot who he was.

"Even though he had accumulated wealth, he never let it go to his head," says Joyner's friend, Thelman Boyd. "He was just a plain fun loving individual that loved his community."

When Joyner moved his family to the Jackson area in 2004, after he'd purchased 21 McDonald's restaurants in Mississippi, he employed many metro area youth, offering not just a job, but an opportunity.

Then he went into the schools and did even more.

JPS Superintendent Cedrick Grays says, "Mr. Joyner contributed to the district in numerous ways. He was instrumental in the Raring to Read program the we have had two years in a row that we collect donations at the local McDonalds. So we are excited to raise over 50k in two years."

His more famous brother shined in the spotlight, but not Al. He preferred the background.

And even behind the scenes he touched lives in ways that many never knew.

"He got people out of trouble from a financial standpoint," says Fidelis Malembeka of My Joy, Inc., "He was instrumental in assisting families so there are a lot of things the people in the public do not know and will not know."

Joyner provided a lot of financial support to student athletes at Jackson State University. He also made significant contributions to the University band.

We're told he was known as the kind man, with a quick smile and big heart.

Joyner is survived by his wife Danita, and his children Albert. Michael, Allison and Danielle.

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