Cleo Joyner came to Philadelphia from her native South Carolina to find work and found a husband along the way.
She married the late Floyd Joyner and went to work for Crown, Cork and Seal, where she remained for 31 years.
"Our parents were devoted to each other and to us," said her daughter, Sandra Freeman-King. "We were blessed to have parents who were married for 34 years before our Dad died."
"Mom was a very hard worker," said her son, Rickey. "She was committed to making the best life possible for us."
Cleo Joyner, a dedicated churchwoman and family matriarch, died Dec. 5 of complications of Parkinson's disease and diabetes. She was 87 and lived in the Glendale Uptown Home, in the Northeast, but was a longtime homeowner in North Philadelphia.
She was born in Denmark, S.C., to Willie and Julia Way Pinkney. In Philadelphia, she joined Jones Memorial Baptist Church, which she served as a deaconess and member of the Widowers' Club.
She enjoyed attending afternoon Bible study and participated in other ministries of the church.
Before she entered the nursing home, she lived at the Phillip Murray House, on Old York Road, where she served as chaplain.
"She was often seen walking for daily exercise in the housing complex area or the eighth-floor hallways during inclement weather or sitting in the lobby arera chatting with other residents," Sandra said.
"Mom led an active but simplified life," her children said. "She always focused on the good in people."
Besides her son and daughter, she is survived by another daughter, Linda Wallace, and five grandchildren.