Georgia Kaperonis Joyner

March 1, 2021

Georgia Kaperonis Joyner
September 4, 1928 – March 1, 2021
Charlotte, North Carolina - Georgia Kaperonis Joyner, age 93, of Charlotte, NC passed away peacefully on March 1, 2021 at Novant-Matthews Healthcare Hospice surrounded by family. Georgia is preceded in death by her father, Paul D. Kaperonis, her mother Maria Demas Kaperonis, and siblings Jimmy P. Kaperonis, Tula Calos, Teddy Kaperonis, Trisevgeni Kaperonis, and Panou Kaperonis. Georgia is survived by her children, Penny Joyner Rush and Maj Gen (Ret.) Timothy R. Rush, Mike A. Joyner, John Joyner, Paul and Susan Joyner; grandchildren, Nick and Lauren Parks, Nick M. Joyner, Grayson Joyner, Philip Joyner, and Patterson Joyner, great-grand daughter Emma A. Parks.
She was born at Mercy Hospital in Charlotte. The family has recently immigrated to Charlotte circa 1920’s with the assistance of her uncle Nicholas Kaperonis, who was established in Charlotte. The family purchased a home on Irwin Ave off of West Trade Street. In short order circa 1930’s the family opened a successful small diner in Davidson on Main Street across from the College, and the family moved to Davidson. Georgia attended Davidson elementary school. Many of the young college students that worked as waiters in the diner went on to successful careers in medicine and law and had stayed in contact with Georgia over the years. Sadly, her father Paul Kaperonis died suddenly of heart failure while working in the diner. The family sold their home and business and moved back to Charlotte.
In Charlotte circa 1940’s the family opened a successful restaurant on Wilkinson Blvd named the BBQ Lodge. She attended Harding High school class of ’46, then attended Salem College in Winston Salem. The entire family worked long hours seven days a week in order to prosper. While working at the Lodge a tall handsome, blue eyed fellow that operated the gas station across the street caught her eye. His name was Bill Joyner. They secretly eloped by driving to York S.C. to be married. In those times it was controversial for a Greek girl to marry an American. She did not tell the family for many months.
The Joyner family arrived circa 1930’s and settled on the waterfront on the Catawba River at York Road and (Hwy 49) next to the Buster Boyd Bridge. They operated a small sandwich shop and boat gas dock on the waterfront. The business was named Joyner’s. She and her husband moved to this location and built a small three-room cabin to live in immediately adjacent to the sandwich shop. They started a family and had three children while living in this small home that did not include an inside bathroom. Circa 1950’s her in-laws soon passed away and Georgia and Bill Joyner were operating the business. In this time there were only a hand full of families living in the area. She would tell that she could name every family that lived on York Road traveling from the River to the Charlotte city limits. York Road (Hwy 49) was a narrow two lane widening country road. Joyner’s was an outpost and this was considered a road trip from Charlotte. Joyner was the only place to get food or gas. Most people had river cabins back then since you could only lease land from Duke Power. In the 1950’s she would tell of the folks from the river cabins lined up at Joyner’s with large water containers since many of the lake cabins did not have a well.
The river and local area continued to grow, and the sandwich shop was expanded into a restaurant with a large patio overlooking the lake. It was the early 1960’s and the restaurant became a popular supper club with live music, jazz concerts, dancing, and waiters dressed in formal jackets. It was the era of Frank Sinatra, white tablecloths, and candlelight. Joyner’s was a most popular place, and the dancing went on into the night. Bill and Georgia Joyner prospered and soon there were four children. She moved the family out of the primitive cabin into a home on Cumberland Avenue near Freedom Park. Unfortunately, her husband Bill Joyner exited the marriage and exited the area. She found herself with four children and a difficult business to operate alone.
She persevered by working fourteen hours a day, seven days a week for the next twenty years. Circa 1970’s the world changed, and Joyner’s changed. No more Sinatra music and white tablecloths. It was the era of Woodstock, hippies, and long hair. Joyner’s because a most popular place for beer, cheeseburgers, and gatherings of young people. Georgia Joyner became a legend. On a given Sunday there would be a hundred chopper motorcycles in the parking lot, another one hundred hippies gathered laying out on blankets; and then there were the college and high school kids, plus the rednecks from Gaston and York county. The place was organized chaos, felt much like Woodstock. The crowds were so thick traffic on Hwy 49 would come to a stand-still. Then the motorcycles would start having drag races across the bridge. A hundred or more hippies would all climb up into the steel truss structure of the old 1960 bridge. Eventually the police would show up and the end the party. Joyner’s was packed wall to wall with fun loving people. Stories of her managing the crowds became folklore. Everyone there had the utmost respect and love for her. Even though there was a mix of families and hippies, motorcycle gangs, there was never an issue. Everybody respected Ms. Joyner and loved Joyner’s.
Circa mid 1980’s She leased out the restaurant and the marina and has lived a well-deserved life of leisure enjoying her grandchildren and the remarkable view of the bridge from her home atop the hill above the marina. She volunteered at Mercy Hospital for years and as an usher at Spirit Square. She took pride and satisfaction that beginning with nothing she created financial success and security, raised four kids, put them through college, all with no support or backup. She was most generous with her wealth She remained devoted to the Greek Orthodox Church on East Blvd and the events with Father C and the Greek Seniors Citizens held in her front year over-looking the lake. Many times, when she is out shopping or dining polite strangers’ approach with kindness wand tell their stories of what Joyner’s Restaurant meant to them and their families. Many times, they come to tears telling their story. She was most proud of holding her new great-grand daughter Emma in her arms just days before her passing. A life well lived.
Funeral services will be 1: 00 PM on Friday. March 5, 2021 at Holy Trinity Green Orthodox Cathedral. The family will receive friends from Noon until 1:00 PM. The interment will be private in Elmwood Cemetery.  The service will be streamed at
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28203.
Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC; 28204 (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at

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  • Mark Higgins

    Georgia was such a terrific, capable woman of sterling character. Joyner's on Lake Wylie was a huge part of the social life of us counselors across the lake at Camp Thunderbird. She was a good egg, putting up with our antics as we assembled in rowdy fashion on the docks. It was our summer happy place, and Georgia was sort of like another mom to us. What a remarkable lady she was - so hardworking, devoted to her fine family and her unwavering Orthodox Christian faith. Bless you, her family, as you mourn her death while giving thanks for Georgia's long and productive life. May she rest in peace and rise in glory. + Eonia i mnimi +

  • Jean Lee Little

    Sorry to hear that we lost Georgia...I grew up with her ...we played in Irwin Creek together....there was one house between her house and my house...the house in between was the Levite’s and later the Domadurs (No such of the spelling of either of those)....the last time I talked to your mother...we had a good conversation about growing up...she had some problem remember...but I keep reminding her of our neighbors....of my twin sister ....our school days at Harding .....of when I lived at North Myrtle Beach and our class get togethers there.....called our Beach was wonderful talking old times with her......before we hung up she thanked me for helping her remember those good like Georgia to thank me for calling her....she loved her children so of the blessings in my life...were friends like her.....prayers for her family.

  • Kathy Katopodis

    My sincere condolences. Just her name brought a smile to my face. I remember her fondly at family functions growing up, my father was Andrew Kolovos. She will be extremely missed!!!!

  • Paul Dimitras

    She was my first cousin. I am named after her father.
    "Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
    To foundly have I loved the stars to be fearful of the night" Sarah Williams..

  • betty j barnes

    My deepest sympathy to Ms. Joyner's family.

  • Debbie Jarman

    To Paul, Susan, and the entire Joyner family, I'm so sad to hear of Georgia's passing. She was blessed to have such a wonderful family and so much love in a life well lived. I send my sincere condolences to each of you. May God continue to bless you all.

  • Theoni Mandrapilias Carter

    I have fond memories of your mom. She was a wonderful lady. May God provide your family peace at this difficult time. My love to all the family. May her memory be eternal. Hugs to all of you. Theoni Mandrapilias Carter

  • Terri Oley

    We will miss you greatly Ms. Georgia, you were always so kind to us! Prayers to your family!

  • Jimmy Helms

    I knew Georgia form the olden days. She was always friendly and kind to everyone. I spent a lot of time at the marina in my younger day when I had a boat there. She was a beautiful lady.. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family. Jimmy

  • Joyce (McBrayer) Hannon

    Joyner family,

    I remember our fun days living on Cumberland riding bikes. Your mom was so nice and I loved going to the restaurant and yes, it was a road trip! So sorry to hear she passed.

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