During the week of Thanksgiving 2020, Mia and Jon drove to the Dunton Hot Springs Resort in the San Juan mountains of Colorado for the four-year anniversary of their relationship. They arrived in a snowstorm. The next morning, Jon suggested that they take a walk to a nearby waterfall. There he took a knee in the deep snow and produced an engagement ring that he had been designing for months. Mia said yes.
Mia and Jon met in November 2015 when Jon’s family was travelling in Alabama, joining the Tankersleys for Thanksgiving dinner at their “Two Drifters” farm in Autauga County. Jon’s parents had met Mia’s parents before their children were born, when Jon’s father was the Director of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. After Thanksgiving 2015, Mia and Jon remained in touch over the following year, and they began dating the Fall of 2016 after they reunited at her father’s 60th birthday party.
Mia is a graduate of the Altamont School in Birmingham, Alabama. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard College. Following her graduation, she worked for two years at the Boston Veterans Affairs Hospital as a PTSD researcher. Mia is currently a fifth-year clinical psychology Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech, with a focus on trauma and resilience among underserved adolescents.
Jon is a graduate of Allentown Central Catholic High School in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Alabama, where he was a Blount Scholar. After college, he spent a year in Sri Lanka as a Fulbright Scholar, researching the counter-insurgency tactics used during the Sri Lankan civil war. He has since published a book based on his findings. Jon was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army in the fall of 2018. He is Ranger and Airborne qualified. Jon has been serving as a platoon leader with the U.S. 4th Infantry Division in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was recently selected to join the U.S. 3rd Infantry Regiment known as “The Old Guard,” the oldest active-duty unit in the Army, in Washington, D.C.
The bride-elect’s grandparents were the late Major General Will Hill Tankersley, Sr. and Theda Clark Ball Tankersley as well as the late Henry Tompkins (“Tom”) Fitzpatrick, Jr. and Lillian Deloach Fitzpatrick (all of Montgomery, Alabama). The bride-elect’s father is Will Hill Tankersley, Jr. and her stepmother is Dr. Kristin Henson Tankersley (Autauga County, Alabama). The bride-elect’s mother is Dr. Karen Fitzpatrick and her stepfather is Robert Kunzig (of Birmingham, Alabama, and Washington, D.C.). The groom-elect’s grandparents were the late Joseph Brooks Joyner and Majel Ethel Joyner (of Baltimore, Maryland,) as well as the late Dr. Michael Davis (formerly with the British Royal Air Force)and his widow, Mrs. Miren Davis of Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. The groom-elect’s father is the late John Brooks (“Brooks”) Joyner and his widow Mrs. Georgiana Louise (“Louise”) Davis Joyner of Woodbridge, Connecticut.
The engagement ring features a diamond from jewelry that General Tankersley gave to his beloved wife of 60 years, Theda. (Her daughter, Mia’s Aunt Theda, worked covertly with Jon to select and prepare the diamond.) Inside the band, an engraved Cahaba Lily commemorates Mia’s childhood near the Cahaba River. The engraving is so tiny that Jon had to have the gold band 3-D printed by a jeweler in Israel.
The happy couple is planning a wedding in Montgomery as soon as it is safe for family and friends to gather to celebrate their union, likely in 2022.