Theodore Craig Joyner


Died March 18, 1961

These are memories from Craig’s classmates and tennis teammates. They were collected by Steve Anderson and include contributions from Bob Grossman, Bruce McCaul, Peter Moore, Johnny Pearce, Donald Dell ’60 and Tom Freiberg ‘59.

Theodore Craig Joyner was the Yale Tennis captain in 1961. He was killed in a car crash in North Carolina on his way down to Florida for spring training. Teammate Sidney Wood also died in the accident, and Stu Ludlum was seriously injured. Bruce McCaul visited Craig’s family in the summer of ’61 and had a good conversation with them. Steve Anderson, who was elected tennis captain in Craig’s place, spoke with his mother, who wanted Steve to attend a La Jolla party in Craig’s place.

Craig was a fierce tennis competitor, somewhat quiet in his demeanor. When he served the ball, he had a memorable loop at the top of his backswing, which was the style among junior tennis players in Southern California of that era. He was a dedicated, energetic person. His classmates had high hopes for him.

Being at Yale must have been a blessing and a strain. He lived in two different worlds: a fairly traditional life in Southern California, and a more fast-paced college life at Yale. He was a committed Christian Scientist, and he kept to his faith at Yale, including membership in the Christian Science Club. (Somewhat unusual for most college-age students.)

He was short, and wore specs. He had a pleasant sense of humor. A song that he liked to sing was “O do you know the muffin man?” He grew up in La Jolla, which he liked to pronounce “La-JOE-la” to entertain his Eastern friends.


Craig’s mother was a gracious, kindly woman. He was her only child and the apple of her eye.

— By Steve Anderson