Publication Date: June 27, 2006
SAN ANGELO ? We celebrate the life and times of Bennett Anderson Joiner, M.D., who passed away on Saturday, June 24, 2006, in San Angelo, Texas.
He was born Aug. 31, 1920, to Mable Anderson Joiner and James Roe Joiner in Sherman, Texas. He was the third child after brother James Robert Joiner and sister Rebecca Joiner Richards. His mother died when he was 7 years old, and his father died four months later. Bennett and James moved to Seguin, Texas, to be reared by their grandfather, Dr. Reuben Anderson and his wife, Pearl. Rebecca was reared by their great aunt, Leska Murphy Roberts and her husband Stanly Roberts in Sherman.
Bennett spent Christmas and one month each summer in Sherman with Aunt Leska and family. While in the eighth grade, his grandfather died and Pearl continued to take care of him until she was too frail. He moved to Sherman to live with Aunt Leska and Uncle Stanly and their sons, Royston Murphy Roberts and Charles Stanly Roberts Jr. In Sherman, he completed his fourth year of high school. That year, he had his first date to a dance with his future wife, Charlie Marie Harrell.
He graduated from Sherman High School in 1938 and from Austin College in 1941. He attended the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston. He was studying for an anatomy exam when Pearl Harbor was bombed; the next day the test was cancelled and he enlisted. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1944 and completed a quick wartime internship and surgery residency at the University of Iowa. After two years of naval service, he returned to the University of Iowa for six years of general and thoracic surgery. He began practicing medicine in San Angelo in 1954.
He was a former chief of surgery at Shannon, where he performed the first corrective heart surgery in San Angelo. He was the 251st surgeon in the United States to be certified to do this type of surgery. ?Shannon provided the facilities for this surgery to be done in San Angelo,? he said. ?Starting with no instruments and equipment, they bought all of the necessary items for corrective heart surgery in the mid-1950s.?
He served as the president of the Cancer Society and the Heart Association, and he was chairman of the search committee to bring the first family counselor to San Angelo.
He has served as regional and state examining surgeon for the American College of Surgeons, a diplomat for the Board of Surgery and Thoracic Surgery, a member of the College of Surgeons and the Texas Surgical Society.
He was clerk of the Session at St. Mark Presbyterian Church for 20 years.
In 1987, he retired from 33 years of the practice of medicine in San Angelo.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Charlie Marie Joiner and their children, Dr. Bennett Anderson Joiner Jr. and wife Sharon of Austin, Ann Marie Evans and husband Mike of Houston, Dr. Charles Steven Joiner and wife Margaret Ann of Cupertino, Calif., and Carol Lynn Doggett and husband Scott of Dallas; and grandchildren Sara Rouelle and Thomas Bennett Joiner of Austin, Julie Evans Schaferling and husband Jim of Montgomery, Michelle Evans Schwabe and husband Nick of Dallas, Charles Steven, Michael Bennett and David Gordon Joiner of Cupertino, Calif., and Turner Anderson Doggett of Dallas.
He followed a family tradition of writing a letter once a week to his family that contained the news from all family members and a Bible verse. In a letter to his children in 1985, he wrote:
?I wish to share with you my love of God, how grateful I am to Him for giving me Charlie and 43 wonderful years of happily married life, four wonderful children that I am very proud of, beautiful grandchildren to nurture. As a child I wondered why it was necessary for me to lose my parents at age 7 ? yet I would not have grown up with my grandfather and perhaps would not have been in medicine ? yet I can imagine no other occupation I would have been happy in. I would not have known the tremendous influence of Aunt Leska and Uncle Stanly, and you know the tremendous influence they had on me. So with this background, reading a chapter of the Bible most every night, teaching Sunday School class for a few years, I wish to share with you the thoughts that I have about things ? I do not talk well as there are too many other things to talk about and do when we are together, but I seem to be better able to communicate by letter. ? To know me you must know my God.?
We believe that he served God?s purpose.