School 19

Deborah Jane (Joyner) McLendon

May 9, 1955 ~ August 22, 2023 (age 68) 68 Years Old


In Loving Memory: 

Deborah “Debbie” Jane Joyner McLendon, 68, passed away on August 22, 2023 with her devoted husband by her side. Debbie was born and raised in Coats, NC by her parents, Cecil and Willie Joyner. She was a thespian, a teacher, and a member of her church choir.

Debbie McLendon is preceded in death by her father, Cecil Harlee Joyner. Debbie is survived by her 101 year old mother, Willie Gray Joyner, her husband of 34 years, Michael Eugene McLendon, her son, Chris McLendon (Gerri McLendon), daughter, Sydnie McLendon Bill (David Bill) and five grandchildren.

Debbie graduated from Atlantic Christian College in 1977 with a bachelors of art in education. She was a beloved art teacher in Wayne County, NC in four different elementary schools where she taught her students a love of art and helped them develop as artists. She taught them there was more to art than “just fingerpainting.”

Debbie’s true passion was theater, and she joined Center Stage Theater of Goldsboro, NC in 1982. She was in countless plays and musicals throughout the years, and was highly regarded by her fellow thespians. She met her husband, Michael “Gene” McLendon, while playing his daughter in Center Stage’s production of You Can’t Take It With You in 1986. Their mutual love of the stage led to true love, and they were married April 8, 1989. Debbie received many awards throughout the years from her fellow Center Stage Theater members for her various roles. She most recently graced the stage as a ghost in Center Stage Theater’s production of The Addams Family in the fall of 2022. 

Throughout her life, Deborah Jane Joyner McLendon was known for her kindness, generosity, love of the theater, and her family and friends were at the heart of her world. Debbie had an unwavering devotion to the theater, her church, and family, becoming her parents caregiver in their later years.  

The family will receive friends on Friday, August 25, 2023 at 10:00 am, followed by the funeral at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church of Goldsboro, NC.  Friends and family are invited to attend to pay their respects and celebrate the life of Deborah Jane Joyner McLendon. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the Paws 4 People Foundation or to Wayne County Animal Services.

As we say goodbye to Deborah Jane Joyner McLendon, let us remember her warm smile, her soft spoken nature, her love of the theater and the profound mark she left on this world in the hearts of her family and community.  May she rest in peace, knowing that her memory will forever live on in the hearts of those who loved her.

Shumate-Faulk Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the McLendon family, and online condolences can be directed to

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August 25, 2023

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
First Baptist Church
125 S John St
Goldsboro, NC 27530

Memorial Service
August 25, 2023

11:00 AM
First Baptist Church
125 S John St
Goldsboro, NC 27530


Wayne County Anmimal Shelter
Goldsboro NC 27530

1121C-324 Military Cutoff Rd, Wilmington NC 28405


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