James "Jimmy" Joyner

Obituary of James "Jimmy" Joyner

James Lamar “Jimmy” Joyner went to be with the Lord on October 20, 2023, in Cocoa Beach, Florida. He was 87.

Jimmy was born at home in the Nelson Bend Community near Rayville, Louisiana on April 1, 1936. His father died a few months before he was born, and his family moved to Tallulah, Louisiana soon after he was born. He was the youngest of four siblings, including two brothers and a sister. Jimmy contracted polio at the age of nine and spent a year recovering in the Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. During the next few years, he went through six orthopedic surgeries. Jimmy was well known to Tallulah residents because of his newspaper delivery job – he delivered newspapers by bicycle while his legs were still in casts following orthopedic surgeries.

After graduating from Tallulah High School in 1955, Jimmy attended Louisiana Tech University, earning a degree in Industrial Engineering in 1959. He later earned a master’s degree in business from Florida State University. During college, Jimmy worked summer jobs for the Louisiana Department of Highways and the US Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, Mississippi. After graduation, his first job was as a civilian employee of the US Air Force in Warner Robbins, Georgia. In 1962, Jimmy went to work for the US Army Ballistic Missile Agency in Huntsville, Alabama. He worked on the Sergeant, Little John and Pershing Missile Programs.

In 1962, Jimmy began working for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center. He worked Safety, Reliability and Quality Assurance for the Apollo Program, Sky Lab, American Soviet Test Program and the Space Shuttle Program. At the time of his retirement in 1995, he was Chief of the KSC Safety and Reliability Engineering Division. He gave the Launch Ground Safety “go” for eight Space Shuttle Launches before his retirement.

In 1959, Jimmy met his future wife, Virginia Ruth Sinquefield in their home of Tallulah, LA. After a five-year long-distance romance, they were married at the First Baptist Church of Tallulah on June 10, 1964. Jimmy and Virginia had two daughters, Jennie and Julia. They enjoyed raising their daughters in Cocoa Beach, FL and were active in the First United Methodist Church of Cocoa Beach, where Jimmy served on the Administrative Board, Finance Committee and was president of United Methodist Men. Both daughters graduated from the University of Florida, which resulted in Jimmy becoming a loyal Gator fan.

Jimmy was a member of Calvary Chapel in Merritt Island, FL, and he considered being a Christian husband, father and grandfather his best life achievement. Jimmy is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Virginia Joyner, his daughters Jennie Ward (Alan) and Julia Joyner (Jerry Ingleton) and grandsons, Trevor Cummings and Matthew Cummings.

A graveside service will be held 9:00AM, Monday, October 30, 2023 in Florida Memorial Gardens - Rockledge, FL.

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