Robert Allen Jolly peacefully passed away September 7, 2023 at the age of 96 in his Riverwoods Apartment in Lewisburg. He is survived by his beloved wife of 73 years, Jeanne (nee Dotts), his daughter Kathleen Jolly, and his sons Jeffrey D. Jolly (Jenny) and Mark R. Jolly (Karen), along with ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his eldest son, Michael A. Jolly, and his son-in-law, Nelson L. Burke.
Bob was born on February 13, 1927, in Milton, the only child of Charles Allen and Ruth Berkheimer Jolly. He enlisted in the Navy during his senior year of high school to participate in World War II and to “see the world”. He turned 18 years old and shaved for the first time while at bootcamp in Sampson, NY. A nearly fatal bout of pneumonia delayed his boot camp completion but allowed him to attend his high school graduation with the Class of 1945 in Milton. Prior to VJ day, Bob was near San Francisco on an LST naval ship that was getting upfitted for the invasion of Tokyo. Fortunately, he instead was part of the first wave of occupying forces and spent the next 18 months ferrying people and supplies between the Pacific Islands, Korea, and mainland Japan. In his later years, he regaled his family (or anyone in earshot) with his numerous stories of his 19-month adventure in the Navy.
During his time in the Navy, Bob began a regular correspondence with a girl who was a year behind him in high school. He and Jeanne Dotts courted over his time in the service through the US postal service. Each weekly letter communicated a deepening love and affection. Upon Bob's discharge on July 10, 1946, he traveled to New Jersey to reunite with Jeanne who had a summer job in Ocean City. They continued to see each other while Bob worked as a machinist in New York and Jeanne attended nursing school in Philadelphia. On June 17, 1950, they sealed their love in marriage, embarking on an inseparable journey that spanned 73 years.
Bob and Jeanne settled in Lansing, NY where they raised their family along the shore of Cayuga Lake. Bob had a 31-year career as a machinist for the NY State Electric & Gas at the Milliken Station power plant. He actively participated in the United Methodist Church in Lansing serving on the board of trustees and on the Haiti mission committee. Bob and Jeanne created a warm and loving environment for family life. Bob instilled a sense of adventure and love for travel in his children through frequent excursions and camping trips, including an epic four-week journey to California and back.
Bob had a lifelong love of motorcycles. When he retired in 1982 after 31 years with NYSE&G, he and Jeanne embarked on an 8400-mile road trip through southern Canada, up to Alaska, and back through the northern states. This journey marked the beginning of many more motorcycle adventures across the US and Canada. Retirement also brought snow-birding from their Weikert, PA base to various seasonal residences in California, Florida, and North Carolina.
In 2021, Bob viewed his and Jeanne's move back to Lewisburg, as life coming full circle. At the age of 96, he surpassed the family longevity record by more than a decade. Just two weeks before his passing, Bob was shocked and amused when reminded of his age, quipping, "I guess I better stop driving." Bob lived his life with family, church, and community at the forefront, always on his terms. He showed us that the secret to a long life lies in living with love in your heart, a good sense of humor, and a touch of denial.
Bob will be dearly missed by his family and all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Family and friends are welcome from 10 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, September 13, at the Roupp Funeral Home, Inc., 8594 Old Turnpike Rd., Mifflinburg, where the funeral will be conducted at 11, with Pastor Richard DeVett, officiating. Military honors will be accorded by the American Legion Post 410 and VFW Post 1964, both of Mifflinburg.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Hospice of Evangelical, 235 Hospital Drive, Lewisburg, PA 17837 or www.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate.
Leave your condolences online at www.rouppfuneralhome.com.