Kathleen “Kitty” Joyner, 81, passed away Sunday, July 9

Kathleen “Kitty” Joyner, 81, of St. Joseph, passed away Sunday, July 9, 2017, at Lakeland Regional Medical Center. 

Mass of Christian Burial will be Celebrated at 10:30 AM on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, 555 E. Delaware Ave., Benton Harbor, MI, with Fr. Ben Huynh officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery, St. Joseph. Friends may visit with the family on Friday, July 14, 2017 from 5-8 PM at Starks and Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, MI. Prayer Service will be held at 7 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to the National Heart Association or to the Donor’s Choice. Those wishing to send a condolence or sign the guest book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com

Kitty was born May 30, 1936 to Lamondue & Pansy (McCants) Taylor in Evanston, IL. The family moved to Covert Michigan when she was 10 years old serendipitously down the road from her future husband Clarence. Kitty was a High School cheerleader and graduated from Covert High school. After high school she attended Western Michigan University where she received a Bachelor’s degree in social work. Post College, she married  her  childhood sweetheart Clarence Joyner . They lived briefly in Chicago where Mark was born then moved back to Michigan where Jeffrey was born.  After two years of teaching, Kitty went to work as a Berrien county probation officer.  In 1970 she was promoted to non-attorney referee. She later returned to WMU and earned her Master’s in counseling and personnel and from 1977 to 1990 served as deputy director of court services.  Kitty also served as a consultant to Benton harbor area schools and developed a grant program for substance abuse. She retired after 34 years of service, helping troubled teens in the juvenile court system.

Kitty was always active in the community. She regularly attended St. John’s and St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, was an active member of the Benton Harbor-St. Joseph Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.  She served on Beat the Drums and Blossomtime Central Queens Committees and on the Board of the Samaritan Center Counseling Agency. Kitty founded the Westfield Memorial Scholarship Foundation in 1971.

Kitty was appointed to the Michigan Employment Security Commission advisory panel by Governor James Blanchard, was a member of the Mercy Memorial Resource center, Adolescent Health Care Center for Benton Harbor area schools and the Southwestern Michigan Women’s Political Coalition. She loved to dance, sing and stay up late watching old movies.  She also loved to cook and  made the best apple pie on earth.

Kitty is survived by her husband Clarence; sons, Mark (Connie) Joyner of Laguna Niguel, CA, Jeffery (Linda) Joyner of Birmingham, MI; granddaughter, Jessica Joyner; and siblings, Charles Taylor of Country Club Hills, IL, and Jean Towns of Chicago, IL. She was preceded in death by her parents.




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