The Statesboro Herald and Morris Multimedia lost a dear friend and treasured employee with the passing of Charles Hilton “Charlie” Joiner, director of technology.
Joiner, 64, died February 28, 2018, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Savannah due to complications from surgery.
The 41-year employee began his career as circulation manager and worked his way up through the ranks, teaching himself about computers and networking, and becoming technology director for Morris Technology Inc., Morris Multimedia Inc. and its owner and CEO Charles H. Morris.
Morris, who was out of state when Joiner passed, told Statesboro Herald President Joe McGlamery Thursday that “Charlie Joiner will be missed by all of us at Morris Multimedia. But this is especially true of me. Over the years there have been scores of occasions when I needed his professional advice and skills and he never failed me – not once.”
He praised Joiner while mourning the loss of a valued friend.
“Charlie was a ‘can do’ kind of employee,” he said. “Whether he was engineering and designing a major installation at one of our newspapers or helping me personally with an issue involving software I was learning or using or a piece of hardware that was not performing as expected, Charlie was the guy to turn to when you wanted it fixed right.”
Joiner was born in Savannah and as a child, traveled with his family during his father’s Air Force career, living in Texas, Hawaii and Mississippi. However, he considered Stilson as his home. He graduated from Southeast Bulloch High School in 1971, and later attended South Georgia College.
Joiner was proud of his career and loved his families - both at work and at home. Several Statesboro Herald and Morris Multimedia employees remembered Joiner with fondness and respect.
“Charlie Joiner was one of the first people I hired when I was named publisher of the Statesboro Herald in the mid-1970’s,”said McGlamery, former Statesboro Herald publisher. “Charlie was dependable, enterprising, and loyal. Furthermore, he was an exceptionally good judge of other people. When Charlie Joiner told me an employee was deserving of a promotion to greater responsibility, I knew I could depend on his recommendations.”
Joiner knew no stranger and quickly set people at ease with his straight-forward and humorous demeanor.
“I knew Charlie even back before he joined the Herald staff years ago,” said Randy Morton, regional manager and Morris Multimedia’s director of Strategic Initiatives. “He just naturally made friends with everyone because he really cared and it showed. Whatever he said, you could count on to be what he really thought. He liked challenges and usually found a way to help others, trying always to stay positive.”
Joiner wasn’t just a coworker. He was a friend.
“Charlie was a great character,” said Jim Healy, operations manager for the Statesboro Herald. “He was someone who was always there for any technical issue in our office and always did it with style and professionalism. And he always let me know what was coming up on the Syfy channel he thought I might like. I will miss him. We all will miss him.”
Henry Westberry, Statesboro Publishing production manager, said “I worked with and for Charlie Joiner for almost 37 years. Whatever project, circumstance or obstacle that may have come up over the years, Charlie’s attitude was to find a way to overcome any challenge. For me he was a dear friend, confidant, sounding board and more. I suspect he was that to for many others. God bless you, Charlie.”
Everybody loved Charlie for his friendly and cheerful disposition, but beyond that, he was an incredibly talented and loyal employee.
“Charlie Joiner was not just my right hand man who ran our Engineering and Support Services team at Morris Technology, but he was responsible for some of the greatest hires in the company as he could see potential when it was a hundred miles off, and that included with interns he would personally take under his wing and do so with leadership and folksy Charlie-isms that would break tension of having to perform at a high level, 24/7,” said Jim Goodlett, Morris Technology president.
“Charlie was one of my first hires when we started the company … as he knew all ends of the media space having come up the ranks in circulation to running press facilities. ... Though I could say it is with a heavy heart that Charlie is gone, his fingerprints are on everything and will be there well past my tenure! He was a good man who loved his family, his colleagues, and what I was going to say was his work, though he always made short shift of it, running out ahead to take us ahead! Thanks for the smarts and travels Charlie! Godspeed on your next one!”
Jenny Starling Foss, Statesboro magazine editor, called Joiner “an original."
“He was not only a mentor to all of us at Statesboro Magazine, he was a true friend,” she said. “We often talked about his younger days living in the Highway 46 area, when he played guitar in a band.”
He was “so down to earth, easy to talk to, and great to work with,” she said. “He was funny, very intelligent, and had a giving disposition and a great spirit. In many ways he was the heart of our company.”
Joiner loved guns, guitars and computers. “I had the pleasure of working with Charlie for over 20 years,” said Statesboro Publishing Post-press Manager Billy Deloach. “He and I had many things in common, but one thing that drew us closer together was the love of guns. Charlie and I went to many gun shows together over the years, and it was always enjoyable sharing the experience with him. Although he always insisted on driving and taking the back roads wherever we were going, I’ll always cherish the conversations we had along the way. Charlie was a good friend and great mentor to me, and I will truly miss him.”
Statesboro Herald circulation manager Darrell Elliott called Joiner “larger than life.
“That’s how he lived; he was my friend, mentor and colleague but above all else he was the go-to guy if I needed help on the job or in life. Charlie and I bonded over our shared love of target shooting and family but if it hadn’t been that it still wouldn’t have mattered because Charlie is the kind of person that anyone would find a reason to like.”
Joiner was “one of a kind, and I mean that in the best way possible,” said Statesboro Herald managing editor Eddie Ledbetter. “He had a quick wit and a great sense of humor. After working with Charlie for more than two decades, I can say that no one cared about his or her profession any more than Charlie. He bent over backwards to help our employees solve problems and I never recall him giving up on anything.”
Jennifer Lewis, Morris Multimedia regional comptroller, said “Charlie was an amazing and knowledgeable coworker, but more importantly he was an amazing friend. We work in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment and Charlie was always up to the task. But he was also always there to ask how you were doing, to check up on you and your family. I will miss my dear friend.”
Joiner made an impact on every department and division at the Statesboro Herald and Morris Multimedia, visiting coworkers and taking an interest in their work.
“He was like a father to those of us who have lost ours,” said Shelby Cone, Pennysaver sales manager.
“Charlie Joiner was a force of nature, possessing an energy that could captivate any room,” said Melissa St. Laurent, director of training. “He was a great man who remained humble despite his many accomplishments. An outstanding mentor and friend, Charlie really had no idea how much he impacted those around him. While I was very fortunate to work for him, I was honored to call him friend.”
He was a well-respected and loved mentor to numerous employees throughout the years.
“When I first came to work for Charlie, I didn’t really understand what I was getting into,” said Will Giddens, Morris Multimedia director of Solutions Development. “My first day I came ready to meet my new boss and was eager to jump into the work, but I was taken aback when the very first order of business was to leave the office and have an hour and a half breakfast at Boyd’s.
“See, Charlie wasn’t adding a new employee to manage - he was adding a new member to his family,” he said. “He was taking the time to get to know me. Immediately, I was part of the Joiner family and have remained from that point on. He showed the same outward focused acceptance and friendship to everyone he met. Every place we traveled we were always greeted by friends of Charlie. One of my favorite things about Charlie is his kindness and acceptance with which he would immediately extend to whomever he met.”
Joiner was preceded in death by parents, Hilton Joiner and Elizabeth “Libby” Hartsfield Joiner Surviving are his wife of 38 years, Gloria Joiner; three daughters, Jennifer Barr, Melanie Joiner and Chrissy Ambler; a son, Alan Joiner; a sister, Charlene Vaughn and six grandchildren.
He was a mason and a member of the Ogeechee Lodge #213 F&AM.
Visitation for Joiner is Saturday, March 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home in Statesboro.
Funeral services will be Sunday at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home with Joe McGlamery, Melissa St. Laurent and Jim Goodlett officiating.
Interment will be in the Brooklet City Cemetery. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the International Board Lottie Moon Christmas Offering at www.imb.org/offering
“It was a pleasure to know and work with this incredible employee,” Morris said. “We extend our deepest sympathy to Charlie’s wife Gloria and his entire family.”
McGlamery added, “Charlie was a self-taught man, taking on the task of learning about computers and the brave, new digital world by checking out books at the regional and Georgia Southern libraries, reading and experimenting until he truly understood how these new tools worked. Later, as head of Engineering and Support Services at our affiliate he was constantly on a mission of self-improvement. Charlie was a one-of-a-kind guy. We will miss him as a friend and as a colleague.”
Morton agreed. “We all will miss him very much. He could certainly light up a room.”
Ledbetter said, “All of us who worked with Charlie will miss him greatly, both as a colleague and a friend.”
Giddens recognized what Joiner taught him about life.
“Charlie made me realize just how important it is to put others first and that life is better when you share it with others,” he said. “I’m glad I got to share a part of mine with him. He is loved and greatly missed.”
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon remembers Joiner as a leader who influenced others with a light from within and a contagious spirit of love for life. She may be reached at (912) 489-9414.