Thomas James Joyner, 17, of Lexington died April 6


Thomas James Joyner - beloved son of Jamie and Laura and brother of Caroline; dreamer; artist; lover of books, ideas, and children; seeker of wisdom and defender of the vulnerable –died Friday, April 6, 2018.

Born in Hawaii on April 29, 2000, Thomas lived in Lexington since 2006 and attended Waddell Elementary, Lylburn Downing Middle, and (at the time of his death) Rockbridge County High School.

A joy to his teachers, Thomas hated small talk and small ideas, but loved to consider “what ifs?” and to dredge up interesting information - from all subjects and quarters - to share with family and friends.  He spoke often of his ambition to become a professional teacher; his joy in discovery made him a gifted amateur teacher already.

He was a three- year employee of The Bookery in downtown Lexington, where he loved both the work and the clientele.  He consumed books voraciously, and once told a friend that choosing a favorite book would be like trying to choose a favorite limb of his body.

Thomas made connections with people quickly and possessed an unceasing curiosity about others, vowing to learn from everyone he met. He had a passion for justice and often advocated for the marginalized and downtrodden.  His intelligence and amiability brought him a wide circle of admirers and a handful of close friends.

He is survived by his grandparents, Jim and Barbara Joyner and Connie and Jim Gianniny, all of Lexington;  aunts, Virginia Joyner West (Ken) and Rachel Gianniny Manetti (Greg); uncle, Matthew Gianniny (Amy); cousins Alex and Hanna West, Will and Cate Gianniny, and John, Ruthie and Nora Manetti; his parents, Jamie and Laura, and his sister Caroline Anne.

There will be a celebration of life honoring Thomas on Saturday, April 14, at 4:30 at Lexington Presbyterian Church.  Attire is casual, and Hawaiian clothes are particularly encouraged.   All are invited to join the family at a picnic reception to follow at 607 Ross Road, with parking available at Waddell Elementary School.  There is no need to bring anything except your memories.  If you are unable to attend the reception, the family will be receiving guests from 3:30 to 4:30 at the church prior to the service. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to Rockbridge Regional Library.

Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.



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