Marilou Joyner Obituary, Death – Leadership is not popularity or power,” Marilou Joyner said. It’s about wanting to do right and then doing it.” Nearly 40 years. Joyner dominates education, business, and literacy. She pioneered too. She inspired. From 2014 to early 2019, she was a trustee of the Kansas City Public Library, which was recognized locally, regionally, and nationally for its excellence and community value. She worked tirelessly as an advocate for the Library within the community while also advocating for the community as a representative on the board,” her fellow trustees stated in a touching proclamation after her term ended. Joyner died abruptly on Saturday, June 3, 2023, after serving the neighborhood, region, and state. Aged 74.
Throughout her life, Marilou was a constant source of support and encouragement for people she met along the way to continue or go back to school, take a leap of faith on a business, work on a new policy or initiative, and stand up for others in a community or board meeting,” said Carrie Coogan, the Library’s deputy director for public affairs and community engagement, who worked closely with Joyner. With talk, kindness, and teamwork, she could do anything. Her kind, powerful, and loving leadership will be missed. In 1975, Council Bluffs native Joyner graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville with a degree in education.
She became a speech therapist, school counselor, elementary and middle school administrator, and superintendent before joining the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Assistant commissioner, eight years. She was executive director of the Kansas City Higher Education Partnership for four years and Blackwell Education Support Team president for three. Joyner ran Cameron Group Care, Inc., a developmentally impaired residential and vocational service, for 23 years. Her master’s, education specialist, and doctorate in education administration came from Northwest Missouri State and Kansas University, respectively.
Bellevue University in Nebraska granted her MBA. Her talent and dedication inspired her to volunteer. Joyner led the Northwest Missouri State University Foundation and Board of Regents in 2019-20. While she was a trustee, Library Journal designated KCPL a 5-Star library for four years and the Missouri Humanities Council gave it the Humanities Award for Exemplary Community Achievement. Last year, Northwest Missouri State established the Marilou Joyner Women in Leadership Scholarship to honor her leadership in education, business, and service. Fall 2022 saw the first prize.