Albert Rex Joyner, “Rex”, “Rexy”, “Grandad”, departed on his final journey, January 23, 2019 around 9:30 am after a long, arduous fight with Parkinson's. A devoted and beloved husband, father, and grandfather, he is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary Ann Terranova Joyner; his three sons: Gary (Sheila), Michael, and David (Tami Schroeder); and his two grandchildren, Maggie and Nash. He is also survived by his brother, Jay (Pam): his sister, Jacque Drane (Phillip); nephews: Carter Drane (Megan), Kevin Drane (Jodi), Travis Joyner (Bridget), Tyler Joyner and the late, Vlade Joyner; nieces: Sarah Lucas (Blake) and Eleana Lentz (Sam); as well as many cousins, friends, and former colleagues.
Rex was born on March 29, 1939 to Albert and Violet Harrison Joyner. Rex started early on his travels. Before Albert left for Guam in 1944, he was riding on the floorboard and hiding behind the seat in his father’s truck en route between New Orleans and Mobile. It is believed that he may have traveled through all 50 states (but not sure about North Dakota). Traveling abroad, Rex visited Canada, Mexico, most of Europe, some of the Caribbean Islands, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Tibet, and China. Many of the trips were vacations taken with his wife, Mary Ann, and family. It was a gift creating enduring memories and many photographs.
Rex worked his entire professional life for Saia Motor Freight, a career spanning more than 43 years. He retired at age 62 as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In pursuit of the growth and expansion of Saia into other states and markets, Rex crisscrossed the country. He amassed an unparalleled mental map of the highways and byways. Rex could always relate the prevailing industries and infrastructure of a particular area with a vast recall of locations of interesting restaurants and sights. Many were accompaniments for stories and acquaintances gathered along the way.
For over 25 years, Friday nights in the fall were spent on the gridirons of south Louisiana, where Rex worked as a High School Football Official, having a close-up view of many of the areas greatest athletes in the sport. As much as he loved the game, and officiating, he often remarked in later years that he got slower and the boys got bigger and faster.
Reflecting back further to his days at John McDonogh High School, Class of ‘57, he was a four-sport letterman and captain of the football team. Though they never garnered much of a record, he was respected enough to be elected as student body president in his senior year.
At some point, Rex earned the nickname “Sexy Rexy,” though there is some debate where it started. Upon hearing it, a sort of sly half grin would shift his enviable and perfectly manicured Mustache.
During the early, 1970’s Rex served as Cub Master for his sons’ Cub Scout Pack 231, where he led in songs, games, and activities and demonstrated his warm infectious personality and leadership.
His retirement years were spent as a professional Grandad, planning trips, and attending with Grandmama every birthday party, competition, event, play, and graduation. Rex enjoyed golf with his group on their weekly outings touring the area courses.
Having the love of his wife and family was his purpose and legacy. He was the King of the Road (his favorite song), and yet always had an ear to lend, or a few carefully chosen words of wisdom and encouragement.
Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the Memorial Service on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, at the Garden of Memories Funeral Home, 4900 Airline Drive, Metairie, Louisiana 70001. The visitation will begin at 11:00 am with the service beginning at 1:00 pm; Interment will follow in the Garden of Memories Cemetery, with a repast to follow on the premises. Online condolences may be offered at www.gardenofmemoriesmetairie.com.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Parkinson’s Foundation https://www.parkinson.org/ orb the Davis Phinney Foundation www.davisphinneyfoundation.org.