Joseph Mitchner, Sr. was born September 25, 1953, in Drew, Mississippi to the late Ruby Mae Sayles and late Roosevelt Mitchner, Sr. He was the 8th of nine children. He confessed and was baptized at 17 years old and began his membership in the Church of Christ Holiness in Drew, Mississippi.
He received his early education at Drew Schools and graduated from Drew High School in 1972. He played all sports football, basketball, and baseball. He was co-captain and played at the All-Conference football game in the Delta Valley Conference (DVC). He was a passionate activist to end racism and gain human rights for all people. He marched to bring awareness to the senseless racial driven death of Jo Etha Colier in 1971.
He was united in holy matrimony to Shirley Mae Evans of Drew, MS on October 6, 1972. To his union were born three children: Sharon (Mitchner) White (PA), Roketa (Mitchner) Tanner (TX), and Joseph Mitchner, Jr. (FL).
He served 21 years in the Air Force, retiring with the rank of Master Sergeant in January 1994. During his military service, he was stationed in Texas, Greece, England, Nebraska, and Washington DC serving tours that allowed family accompaniment. Following his military service, he served 21 years of civil service at Randolph Air Force Base and he proudly retired again under President Barack Obama Administration.
He joined Resurrection Baptist Church on December 1, 1993, and was ordained a deacon on December 10, 1995. He was active in leading and teaching Sunday school, evangelism, youth ministry, and prayer ministry and served Church Family School Superintendent and teacher. He was an avid golfer and huge Spurs fan to his son’s dismay.
Joseph was preceded in death by his parents, brother L. A. Mitchner, and sister Louise Parish. He leaves his lovely and devoted wife Shirley (Evans) Mitchner, 3 adult children: Sharon (Thomas) White in Upper Darby, PA; Roketa (Levon) Tanner in Arlington, TX; Joseph (Tara) Mitchner, Jr. in Tampa, FL. He was a devoted grandfather to his 10 grandchildren: Takeena A. White, Tashea A. White, Thomas Joseph White, Tania T. White, Janiece T. Mitchner, Jasmyn T. Mitchner, Angeliyah M. Tanner, Eliana N. Tanner, Joseph Trinidad Mitchner, Levon Joseph Tanner. Brothers: Roosevelt Mitchner, Jr. from Jackson, MS; Curtis (Susie) Mitchner from Memphis, TN; Louis (Rita) Mitchner from Austin, TX; Amos Mitchner from Ruleville, MS; and Sisters: Minnie Parish from Memphis, TN, Dorothy Holmes from Jackson, MS and Jacklyn Mitchner from Tunica, MS and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.