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Dr. Willie Joyner

The showing of a memorial wall built for Dr. Willie D. Joyner took place Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Greater Shiloh Baptist Church.

The church’s pastor, Reverend Dr. James A. Carey, and the co-pastor, Dr. Carolyn S. Carey, were in charge of the project.

The community learned about Joyner at the event.

“He was a great physician and businessman and no one knows him too much,” Carey said.

Joyner owned Joyner Theater, one of four African American theaters in Virginia, which is no longer there. He advocated for race advancement and fought in World War II.

“I think people need to know who are some of the greats in the city of Emporia,” Carey said.

Joyner built his office, a medical building, the offices of two doctors, the office of Dr. C.W. Cartwright, a drug store and several apartments throughout Emporia.

Joyner died at age 42. He is survived by his daughter Saundra J. Sykes and son Willie D. Joyner Jr.

The ceremony lasted 20 minutes with food served afterward. The Greater Shiloh Baptist Church is located at 615 Clay St.