Donald Joiner, 89, Sacramento, Calif., passed away peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, surrounded by his loving family.
Donald Gene Joiner was born in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sept. 10, 1933, to Andrew Charles (A.C.) and Eleanor (Penn) Joiner. He was the eldest of two sons. His younger brother was Hubert lee. He has one step-sister, Patricia Rivers.
As a young man, he enjoyed science, math and sports. After graduating from Jefferson High School in 1951, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Trained as an electrician, he was a proud Koren War veteran and shared many stories about his time at sea. He completed his naval service, with honors in 1955, and began his civilian life career.
After a few years working in the aviation field while earning his bachelor’s degree from California State College at Los Angeles, he began his teaching career in 1964 in the L.A. Unified School District. He moved to northern California in 1970 to teach in the Sacramento City Unified School District. He was a highly respected and gifted educator, spending decades teaching before retiring in 1994 to enjoy time with his greatest joy, his grandkids. His legacy includes the many students who have shared their appreciation for his positive impact on their lives.
In December 1974, he was united in marriage to Elizabeth Lindholm. As a couple, they have enjoyed over four decades of traveling across the country, visiting most states west of the Mississippi River in their motor home with dogs and cats in tow.
Affectionately known as “Grandpa” or “G-Pa,” he loved fishing (especially in the Minnesota lakes), cheering for the Sacramento Kings as a season ticket holder, watching football games as a Rams fan on Sunday afternoon, (loudly) singing Frank Sinatra songs, repeatedly watching his favorite old cowboy movies, and FaceTime calls with his grandkids.
He worshipped and enjoyed fellowship at Harvest Church in Elk Grove, Calif. For over 40 years, he humbly served in his community as an advocate for those afflicted with the disease of alcoholism. He spent countless hours talking with and lending an ear to those in need.
He is survived by: his wife, Elizabeth (Lisa); daughter and son-in-law, Brenda and Ken Fleming; grandchildren, Dawn and KJ Fleming; his sister, Pat Rivers, Denver; brother-in-law, Bob Lindholm, Roseau, Minn.; nephews, Mike and Lori Lindholm, Newfolden, Minn., Rob Lindholm, Roseau; and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and dear friends.
He is preceded by: his parents, A.C. and Eleanor Joiner; brother, Hubert Joiner; and his parents-in-law, Grant and Martha Lindholm.
His family was his greatest joy. We are all grateful for our time with him. His joy, contagious laugh, sense of humor, gregarious personality and his ability to never meet a stranger will be deeply missed.
A celebration of life was held on Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Sacramento with interrment at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, Calif., with military honors.