Longtime Campbell supporter, grocery chain matriarch Joyce McLamb dies

Joyce Strickland McLamb, the matriarch of the Carlie C’s IGA chain of grocery stores based in Dunn, North Carolina, and a longtime, ardent supporter of Campbell University and its athletic programs, died peacefully on May 9 surrounded by her family.

She was 87 years old.

Joyce McLamb and her husband, Carlie C. McLamb, started Carlie C’s IGA in 1961 in Johnston County, and one year later, moved the grocery store to Dunn. The company would grow to become a chain, priding itself on “fresh, quality meats, fair prices and customer service” with 33 locations in 16 counties. 

“Miss Joyce,” as she was known in her stores, helped train hundreds of young men and women to “become better citizens and professionals in all aspects of life.” Several of their employees were Campbell University students. After she “retired” from the IGAs, McLamb turned to her passions of gardening, farming and baking. Her nine-layer chocolate cake and pecan pies were signature items in Carlie C delis for years. 

The McLambs were dedicated supporters of Campbell University. 

In 2011, the University dedicated the Carlie C. and Joyce McLamb Environmental Science Center, home of four laboratories and equipment for research in environmental sciences, biology, chemistry and physics. In 2013, the Carlie C’s IGA Hometown Proud Press Tower was the finishing touch of a major upgrade and expansion project at Barker-Lane Stadium, home to Campbell’s football and lacrosse programs. And in 2017, Campbell dedicated the Carlie C’s IGA video board at Jim Perry Stadium — the state-of-the-art HD display is the largest in the Big South Conference.

From left: Former Campbell University President Jerry M. Wallace, Joyce McLamb, Carlie C. McLamb and former Campbell Vice President for Advancement Jack Britt. File photo.

“Joyce McLamb was a wonderful friend and supporter of Campbell University,” said President J. Bradley Creed. “It was always a pleasure to see Joyce pulling hard for Campbell football, basketball, baseball and other sports. She was competitive and loved to see the Fighting Camels win. We will miss Joyce and pray for peace and comfort in the McLamb family during this time of loss.”

Carlie C. and Joyce McLamb were parents of two daughters and a son, seven grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Her funeral service is scheduled for today at 11 a.m. at Butler Chapel on Campbell University’s campus in Buies Creek.