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Dr. Marilou Joyner unexpectedly passed away at the age of 74 on June, 3, 2023, surrounded by her loved ones. She was the complete package, beautiful, talented, compassionate and inspiring. She had an incredible 40-plus-year career as an educator and businessperson, and was a true leader in her community, region, and the state of Missouri. However, family always came first. She loved them, inspired them, and always, always had their backs.
She was the wife of Randell Moore and devoted mother to three outstanding sons; Scott Rogers and his wife Angelina Kovalenko and their two children, Leo and Marina; Erik Rogers and his wife Natalie and their children, Charlotte, Thomas and Reece; and Brent Rogers and his wife Maria Julia Uchoa Rogers and their children Vincent and Eve. Also surviving Marilou is her sister Bobette Joyner and her three daughters, Amanda, Leandra and Cherise; her niece Kim Graves and her husband Robby and daughter Kobe; her cousin Deborah Sherman, her husband Alan, and their daughter Brittany. She also leaves the daughters of her deceased brother Ross Joyner Jr., Jeanelle, Jayme and Jessica. Proceeding Marilou in death were her parents Ross Joyner Sr. and Dorothy (Byrd) Joyner.
Marilou graduated from Abraham Lincoln high school in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1967 and was selected as Miss Council Bluffs the same year, a fact that family and friends would tease her about. She went on to attend college at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, earning a degree in education in 1975. She subsequently earned a master’s and education specialist degrees from Northwest Missouri State University, a doctorate in education administration from the University of Kansas and an MBA from Belleview University.
She worked as a speech therapist, school counselor, elementary and middle school principal, and superintendent at various school districts in northwest Missouri, then joined the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. There, she served eight years as an assistant commissioner.
She spent four subsequent years as executive director of the Kansas City Higher Education Partnership, advising school districts on accreditation, and three years as president of the Blackwell Education Support Team, a Kansas City consulting firm. For more than 23 years, Marilou owned Cameron Group Care, Inc., which operated an intermediate care facility for developmentally disabled adults and offers other residential and vocational resources and services.
She was the past president of the board of Literacy Kansas City and served on the Northwest Missouri State University Foundation board and the university’s Board of Regents, chairing the latter in 2019-20. She also served on the Kansas City Public Library‘s board of trustees.
Last year, the Marilou Joyner Women in Leadership Scholarship was endowed in her honor at Northwest Missouri State “as a tribute to the leadership she exhibited as a woman in education, business and service roles traditionally held by males.” It was first awarded in fall 2022.
A Celebration of Life event in her memory will be held Saturday afternoon June 24th from 1:00 until 3:00 at the Milburn Country Club, 7501 W. 69th St., Overland Park, Kansas. In lieu of flowers the family wishes that donations be made to the Marilou Joyner Women in Leadership Scholarship at Northwest Missouri State University. Donations can be made at www.nwmissouri.edu/giveonline. Look under designation for Marilou Joyner Women in Leadership Scholarship.