I met Mike Joyce when I went to work here at Leo High School in 1995. Mike helped coach football and served on the Leo Advisory Board.
He developed a Boxing Program here at Leo that has produced half a score of Golden Gloves Champions, Heavyweight Pro Thomas Hayes ( 27-1) and the Captain of Team U.S.A. Lamar Fenner. More importantly, hundreds of young men developed confidence and dignity in the Square Ring.
Mike Joyce cared for an octogenarian boxing legend, Hermann Mills. Mike took the fighter into his home; bought his clothes, food, medicine and drove him to and from American Legion bingo three nights a week. As a lawyer, Mike helped every person in a jackpot out of the particular jamb. When my wife died in 1998, Mike Joyce helped me through years of self-pity, grief, and folly.
He is the smartest person I have ever met and that includes Steve Allen.
Somehow, this great hearted pug, who used to pull neighborhood kids through Morgan Park streets who attached ropes to the bumper of his car while wearing roller blades, met a stunningly beautiful and gracious girl -Jamillah Ali. Talk about beauty and the beast.
These two talented and generous people bonded in marriage. God bless them!
From Sneed's column:
" 'The Champ' said, 'Yes,' and so did Jamillah," said Joyce's brother, Kevin, who told Sneed: "No one ever thought Mike would get married. For the last two years, he's been the happiest anyone has ever seen him. At the wedding, Mike said, "Muhammad, you'll always be 'The Champ,' but 'The Greatest Ever' is my mother, Mary Joyce, and she's going to pass that title on to my wife, your daughter."
Ali, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, was able to walk his daughter down the aisle at the beachside wedding before 140 friends and dozens of onlookers at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Naples. The wedding was performed by the Rev. George Clements.
"Muhammad Ali sat throughout the whole reception and invited people to come up and take pictures with him," a wedding source said.
Joyce, a former prize fighter known as "Irish Mike Joyce," promotes young boxers and opened a boxing club at his alma mater -- Leo Catholic High School in Auburn Gresham.
"Mike has always been consumed in helping others and has been the best man in at least six weddings," Kevin Joyce said.
Jamillah, one of Ali's family of seven daughters and two sons, works at the Secretary of State's office. Joyce's dad, Jeremiah, was a Chicago alderman for four years and an Illinois state senator for 14 years.
Whether it be a matter of personal relations within a marriage or political initiatives within a peace process, there is no sure-fire do-it-yourself kit.They'll be fine Seamus!