Albert Lionel Joyner was born February 3, 1946 in Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, to Frances and Hercules Joyner passed away in Jackson, Mississippi on June 3, 2015. Albert’s early childhood education was completed on the campus of Tuskegee Institute for pre-K, nursery school, elementary school, and high school. In high school, Joyner was class president his senior year and most valuable player in the state championship basketball team. He graduated from Tuskegee Institute in 1969 with a bachelor’s of science degree in physical education with a minor in physical science. While in college he became a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and later turned that support into a life membership.
A 43 year veteran of the McDonald’s restaurant system, in 1972 Joyner became the first Black franchisee of a major fast food chain in Alabama. Known for his frankness and wit, the Tuskegee Institute graduate and Alabama native expanded his McDonald’s holdings to several McDonald’s restaurants in the Jackson Mississippi market.
A pioneer in many ways, he was among the first McDonald’s owner-operators to have a Play land in his restaurant, and he developed and opened the first face-to-face drive-thru in the McDonald’s system. He was the first Black McDonald’s owner-operator in the Mobile and Birmingham area and is considered the first African-American to purchase and develop a major shopping center in the state.
On October 20, 1978 he married the former Danita Ely of Mobile, Ala., who became his business partner in McDonald’s restaurants and is a McDonald’s franchisee.
Albert was a fervent family man and is survived by his wife, Danita, and four children – Michael, Allison, Danielle and Albert Jr. He is also survived by his brother, Thomas Joyner, Sr., and nephews Thomas Joyner, Jr (LaToy) and Oscar Joyner (Alem) all of Dallas, Texas. Two aunts Martha Mansker and Helen Cochran both of Gary, Indiana. Mother-in-law, Ethel Moore, Step Father-In-Law, Richard Moore, Brother-In-Law, Rayford Crook (Elaine), two Sisters-In-Law, Charlotte Morrissette, (Wilton) of Mobile, Alabama, Monica Means, (Robert) of Huntsville, Alabama, many nieces, nephews and extended family members.
Albert L. Joyner’s Funeral Arrangements for Jackson, Mississippi will be held on
Monday, June 8, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.
Omega Service at 9:30a.m.
Anderson United Methodist Church
6205 Hanging Moss Road
Jackson, MS 39206
Funeral Arrangements for Tuskegee, Alabama will be held on
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 1:00p.m.
Omega Service at 12:00 p.m.
Tuskegee University Chapel
1200 West Montgomery Road
*Family requests in lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Al Joyner Memorial Scholarship Fund, benefiting students at Tuskegee University, his alma mater.
Donations can be made online here
Or mail donations to
Tom Joyner Foundation
c/o Al Joyner Memorial Scholarship Fund
13760 Noel Road, Suite 750
Dallas, Texas 75240