Mary Marjorie (Arbanas) Joyner, 83, died on April 19, 2011, at St. Elias Specialty Hospital, due to complications following surgery. Marge, as her friends and family knew her, was born on Nov. 29, 1927, in Yakima, Wash., to Walter J. Arbanas and Marguerite O'Brien. She spent her childhood in Wapato, Wash., where she excelled in athletic pursuits of all kinds: swimming, tennis and skiing in particular. She graduated from Wapato High School in 1945, lettering in tennis, the only sport in which girls could letter at the time.
Marge attended Marylhurst College, Oregon's oldest Catholic university, where she gave the nuns a run for their money before graduating in 1949 with a degree in history. She spent her summers during this time working as a bookkeeper for Skone and Conners in Wapato, Wash.
Marge's sense of adventure led her to enlist in the U.S. Air Force in 1950. After attending OCS in San Antonio, Texas, she was commissioned as a second lieutenant. She resigned her commission in 1953 at the rank of first lieutenant.
Marge married Joseph M. Joyner Jr., an officer in the U.S. Air Force, on Dec. 26, 1953, in Pendleton, Ore. They were stationed at various military bases throughout the country and in Japan. It was in Japan that Marge discovered and embarked on what was to become a lifetime devotion to the game of golf.
The family was transferred to Elmendorf Air Force Base in 1965, and Joseph retired and moved his family to South Anchorage in 1968. It was in Alaska that Marge took on a position of leadership in the game she so dearly loved. She served as president of the Moose Run Women's Golf Association in 1967. Marge was an avid promoter and participant, as well as a formidable competitor in women's golf. She played in women's and AGA tournaments, taking home numerous trophies. In her heyday, Marge was a regular fixture at her home away from home, Eagleglen Golf Course, where several of her children inherited a love for the game. Even in Marge's later years, before her failing health prevented her from doing so, she could be found there one or two times per week, swinging away alongside her golfing buddies.
In addition to her love for golf, Marge took every opportunity she could to enjoy the Alaska outdoors. She loved to fish with her friends and family and rarely missed an invitation to socialize with them, often throwing impromptu parties at the family's hillside home. Marge had an irreverent and disarming sense of humor that reflected her passion for life and living. Her smile was her banner, and her laugh was a beacon like none other; it was always easy to find her in a crowd.
Marge was a people magnet, and throughout her life she formed lasting bonds with people of both genders and all ages. Age was never a barrier to her, and barriers were rarely a challenge. Reflecting on this remarkable interpersonal gift, one friend mused that, "A person did not simply know Marge; they experienced her." Indeed, to experience her was to be fully absorbed in turn, and to be embraced in genuine friendship and love. She will be profoundly missed and forever loved, and the many people who experienced our beloved Marge will continue to cherish their joyful memories of her.
Her husband, Joseph, and her brothers, Walter Arbanas, Jr. and Harold Arbanas, preceded Marge in death.
She is survived by her children: Joseph Joyner III, Margaret Joyner, Mitchell Joyner and his wife, Rhonda Gallagher; Daniel Joyner and his wife, Doreen; Kelly Delaney; foster son Michael Mansfield and his wife, Cheri; 15 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and many nephews, nieces, and other relatives.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society in hope that a cure may be found for the disease that affected so many of the people Marge loved.
Arrangements for a memorial service are pending, and an announcement will follow in a future publication. For information, please contact her son, Joe, at 907-345-1065, or at his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the online memorial at legacy.com