Dad grew up in what he knew to be Collierville, Tennessee. The Family never moved but as you can see from his father s census records they were in Fayette and Shelby county Tennessee as well as Marshall County, Mississippi.. As I said they never moved, however in that area county lines definitely changed and I got him to believe this by showing him the census sheets. Since I began the research on the Joyner name he has taken me out to the area he lived in and showed me around.He showed me the pond he kept a woman from drowning at and then introduced me to to the lady. (Mrs. Cargill ) Dad showed me where they use to steal watermelons from the Cargill watermelon patch. It was like he was reliving his life right there in front of me. He showed me the dairy his Uncle "Ance" ran while he was alive. He showed me where his dad kept the mules team and buggy for when they went to town. We got on a dirt road and he said everybody told the kids never to be on this road at night because there was a man walking around with his hands. All the man would do is just walk the dirt road. He showed me the old house the Cargills lived in it was still standing in 1996. I went to the back porch of the house and a huge liberty bell like bell was hanging. I do not know why that was so familiar but I asked dad about the bell and he said he and mom had brought us out there as kids. He showed me what he knew to be Coldwater Baptist Church now known as Barton First Baptist Church and showed me in the Cemetery and where he thought his Mother, Father and a Brother were buried in unmarked graves.. Later on he took me to a Cemetery where his Brother Earl was buried. The cemetery is between the Collierville Funeral home and the Methodist church on a hill. It is known as "Powell Cemetery " but in the early days was known as the community cemetery. This little trip was one of the best times I had in my adult life with dad.Through the years dad has told me stories about his parents. He remember his father " Wilks " had a mule team and would hire the team out at timesfor money or he would barter with people as pay. He said the thing that he remembers most about his father was going across the field and his dad breathing real heavy all the time. He doesn't remember what happened at the death of his father. He did remember when his mom died they would not let the kids in the house because his mother was in the house lying in state.He said his mother died after the removal of an 8 lb tumor was removed and they put the body in the " parlor" when she died. Well with both of his parents gone they had no one to take care of the kids.Dad rememberedthis as a scary time because they were just kids. However it happened arrangements were made for his brother Johnny to resign from the military and take care of the kids. Uncle Johnny took care of all of them until they were of age to join the military or get married. Dad met my mom Betty Jean Beckham and her mother Birdie Beckham at what was known as the Toddle House or Dobbs House restaurant in downtown Collierville I forget the name but it was one of the two. On July 13 1946 Dad and mom went to Hernando Mississippi and married. The witness on the license was Birdie Beckham. It was easier to get married in Mississippi than it was in Tennessee, so that s why they went to Hernando. My Aunt Tooley told me they lived with them for a while in downtown Collierville and later moved into the big house on poplar across from the Collierville High School. and lived with the Beckham's. I do know that dad was in they army while Lee Jr. my brother was a baby because of a picture of dad in his uniform with Lee Jr. and Mom. Then I was born at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. Dad joined the army twice. When we were on our trip out to where he lived as a kid he showed me a barn. He said he and my Uncle "Red" sat under the awning and talked about joining the Army. Neither of the 2 wanted to ever milk another cow. So they went and joined the Army. Dad said he was a year too young to join so Uncle Johnny told them he was born a year earlier so they would let him join the Army. Well this was the beginning of Dad doing his Military Service.
Dad and Uncle "Red" went to Memphis, Tennessee and joined the United States Army. He was too young to join so my Uncle Johnny lied to them and told them he was born in 1922 thus dad entered the Army January 6, 1941 according to his service transcript. At the time he enlisted he was single and a farmer. He lived at Route 3 Collierville, Tennessee. In Jan he was sent to Ft. Mcclellan Alabama where he presumedly went through boot camp.
His Military Occupational Specialty and #Truck Driver Light 345
Military Qualifications (marksmanship, badges, etc.) Rifle M1 mkm3/3/1943 Rifle'03mkm7/16/1943 Motor Vehicle Drivers Award12/31/1943
Battles and Campaigns
The Invasion of Normandy which took place 6/6/1944 - 7/24/1944 Norther France which took place7/25/1944- 9/14/1944 Rhineland which took place9/15/1944 - 3/21/1945 Ardennes which took place 12/16/1944 - 1/23/1945 Central Europewhich took place3/22/1945/ - 5/11/1945
Total Length of Service; Continental 3 years 0 months7 days Foreign Service1 year 5 months 24 days His Highest Grade was a Tec 5
Service Outside the Continental U. S. and return Departed 1/18/1944 to EAMETO*Arrived1/29/1944 Departed 7/3/1945 toUSAArrived 7/11/1945
* Europe, Middle Eastern Theater Of Operations Dad received a Combat Infantry Badge 2/26/1945 Reason and Authority For Separation ; Conv of the GovRR 1-1 Demobilization AR 615-36512/15/1944 Remarks; * Combat Infantry Badge2/26/1945 Lapel Button Issued 67 days lostAW 107**Blood Group B.
Subsequent Service from 4/16/1948 - 3/1/1950 ** Sometimes when you are researching a family you find out things through conversation by accident. One day dad and I went to Uncle "Red" and they got to talking about the war, man could they talk about the war. Uncle "Red" made the comment about dad being AWOL and dad said he had never been as scared as he was when he disappeared. I asked dad later and he brushed it off.But it shows up in his service transcript.
Dad Joined the Army again in Memphis Tennessee 4/16/1948 Lee Jr. was already born June 20, 1947 when dad joined the Army. Mom was 6 month pregnant with me. Mom had me at Ft. Benning in Columbus, Georgia. Dad was discharged 2/14/1950 at Fort Devens, Mass. with an Honorable Discharge with the Rank of Corporal. He was appointed Corporal 10/11/1948. His Most Significant Duty Assignment was Service Company 7th Infantry Regiment. Before Dad joined this time according to his service transcript he was a Cabinet Maker at the Memphis Casket Company in Memphis, Tennessee.
Thing Dad enjoyed in his early days while I was a kid. Playing a guitar and singing. Dad was always pulling out his electric guitar and would sit around singing to us or just playing. Dancing He like Jack Daniels Dad and mom in the years of us as kids would go somewhere every sat night to dance and whoop it up. They mostly went to the old "Silver Slipper" out off Summer avenue in Memphis. Most of the time dad would drink to much and mom drank very little. Hunting with his bird dog Sam and 2 others. Whatever season was going on as far as hunting dad would go hunting especially when we lived on Whitten Rd in Memphis. He would take Sam and two other dogs and go hunting for quail, rabbitt etc. but he never hunted for dear as well as I can remember. He would skin them and cook them sometime. When he didn't cook them mom did. His 1956 2 tone Chevy with pointed tail lights. I remember dad washing this car and keeping it clean all the time. You would have thought it was a Cadillac His boats and camping and campers Dad looked forward to leaving on Fri evenings after work to take the family camping at Pickwick. We would camp on a place called piney point. We started out with just tents and a boat. I didn't realize how good breakfast tasted outdoors. Later dad and mom bought a truck with a camper. They use the camper and us kids used the tent. A lot of good times with the family camping. Dad had 3 boas I think all together through the years. After all the kids left home they went to a winabago then to a trialor they could pull by truck.Dad loved to take rips but he drove straight through to the destination.
Later in Life. He and Mom joined the Moose Club out in Raliegh and they would go there to dance almost every Saturday night. The Christmas Parties he and mom would throw. Live band including him. Him and mom doing the stroll. I think they looked forward to the Christmas Party more than we as kids knew When all they kids left home Dad and Mom Built a house in Wyndike Estates. The had a garden behind the wood fence and planted everything you could think of including no less than 100 tomato plants. Dad would help mom put up things in the freezer and he helped can stuff from the garden. They were like newly wed with all of us kids gone from home. They acted like they were having the time of their life.
On December 19, 1983 Mom died of what was thought to be a heart attack or a blood clot going to her heart. Dad had a very rough time with Mom's death. But things did get better for him.
On June 7, 1985 dad married Ruth Viola Stewart. Ruth had been married before but her maiden name was Stewart. Ruth probably had trouble adjusting to all of us but she did get use to us hahahahaha. Dad who always hated flying actually took a 14 hr trip to Australia with Ruth and she took him on several business trips. Dad went to Alabama for Ruth's family Reunion most times. They went to Fl. when the Warmth's met in destine, Fl. sometimes and went with Ruth and her kids to fl sometimes. He actually did not like being in the sun as much as everybody Else. He and Ruth would Play tennis in the family tournament in Destine. Dad and Ruth bought a big RV and they would go to Homer and Mary Janes place in Ar. and Missouri.Dad would have us all out for the 4th of July. We would swim in the pool and eat and have a lot of fun.We are all big eaters so Ruth didn't know what she was in for when in came to feeding us hahahahaha. He and Ruth loved the cabin they bought with the lake right outside the back door. Dad took up fishing again. They would freeze what fish they didn't eat and had a fish fry for the family off and on with the frozen fish. Dad and Ruth decided to sell the Cabin because dad's knees would bother him and he couldn't take care of the property anymore so they sold the cabin. Christmas with dad and Ruth started out Christmas Eve Later switched to a few days before Christmas. But it was Breakfast with dads famous tomato gravy and Ruth's homemade biscuits. There are a lot of good memories Im sure Ruth could add about Dad.
Dad had been wanting to have knee replacement for several years but could not find a Dr. that would do both at the same time nor would medicare pay for both being done at the same time. Later on he found a Dr. that would do both 6 months apart and medicare would pay for both of the surgeries. He got through the first surgery fine and the knee was working fine according to Dad. No problems at all with the first surgery. He went 6 months later to have the 2nd knee done.Surgery went fine and 7 weeks later he was fine, drove himself for his checkup, walked up a flight of stairs at Christmas, was able to go shopping and push basket. At his checkup he asked the nurse to give him a cortisone shot and 2 days later he started getting sick and he was having a lot of pain. He went to Dr.Schrader’s office (knee surgery doctor) and he told him he had an infection. He was in Delta Hospital for one week where they drained the infection and inserted tubes in his knee for it to finish draining for 3 days then he was transferred to Methodist Heathsouth Rehab Hospitalfor 3 weeksand had daily intravenous strong antibiotics there also then he had to go back to Delta Hospital as outpatient for antibiotic treatment 3 or 4 weeks more for a total of 42 intravenous antibiotic treatments.. After all this I think dad didn't want to have anything to do with the Dr. because he figured he would go into the hospital. According to the Methodist Healthsouth Rehab Hospital the infection was cleared up. Later Dad's knee started hurting and the calf of his leg was hurting. Ruth begged dad to go to the Dr. but he said no. At some point an ambulance had to be called because my brother in-law Bill could not get dad out to the car. This was memorial weekend and the VA was not admitting in the emergency room so they went to Delta Hospital . They found infection in his knee and a mass in his thigh that was infected. They believed it to be a SEVERE staff infection and the only way to get rid of both was to remove both. so surgery was planned. Sometime over a 24 hour period Dadhad a heart attack and no one knew it til 24 hrs. AFTER he had the heart attack. When they found this out they also reported dad's kidneys was trying to fail. A lot of conversation went on about surgery but because of the heart attack dad was at a high risk of not surviving but that he would not survive without the surgery. Dad was sent into surgery around 2:45 PM and at 5 PM the Dr, Came in and said dad had made it through surgery ok.They had removed all the infection and removed the knee and replaced it with a block. At 6:15 PM my sister Sherry called and said dad had made it back to the room but that we had lost dad. They were going to wait on a brother who was a couple hours out trying to get to Memphis . He is a trucker. Thanks to Johnny Goetz I got to the hospital. The nurse that took care of dad that day came into the room and she ask him who he was , where he was and to squeeze her finger. Whe he squeezed her finger hetook his last breath. When my brother Joeygot there we all as a family went into the room and viewed the body and said our good bye' s.
Grave Side Service were Military Honors of the Sounding of Taps and the presentation of the American Flag to his wife of 23 years Ruth Joyner. He was laid to rest next to his wife of 37 yearsBetty Jean Beckham Joyner When we were driving away in the Limo I saw Ruth look back and sayBye Baby.
A country and western song sums up the rest of the way I feel.
" Together Again "
Robert Joyner 2nd son and child of Lee P and Betty Jean Beckham Joyner Sr.