John Eric Jolley, 91, died on Feb 8, 2021 from Covid-19. He was born June 26, 1929 in Blackpool, England to Letitia Mary Louise (Spindelow) Jolley and Arthur Jolley. He moved throughout his youth and had fond memories of living close to the sea.
He completed his PhD in Chemistry from University of Liverpool in 1953 and shortly thereafter immigrated to the U.S. for Post-Doctoral positions at the University of Rochester and UC Berkeley. While in Rochester, he fell for Faith Newkirk Bishop, a lively undergraduate who shared his love of music, travel adventures, a hearty meal and a good laugh. They married soon after Faith’s graduation and enjoyed a 65-year marriage.
Eric spent his entire career at the DuPont Experimental Station retiring as a senior research chemist in 1985. Throughout his career he enjoyed contributing to the scientific knowledge base, writing multiple publications in scientific journals, and receiving four patents.
Eric became an American citizen in 1962 and maintained many friendships with fellow ex-pats. On most days you could find him enjoying a cuppa at 4:00 pm while listening to opera and reading a good book. Eric enjoyed a life of adventure and was fortunate to travel to five continents as well as many tropical islands, a favorite destination. He enjoyed athletic endeavors throughout his life including track and field competition while in college (decathlon) and competing into his 80s in the Senior Olympics. He created many happy memories downhill skiing and those who skied with him will remember his exuberant yodel when he could no longer contain his joy. Eric was also enthusiastic about pickleball, golf and hiking. Spending time with Eric usually meant that a good deal of laughter was involved. He will be greatly missed and remembered for his sense of adventure, quick wit, keen sense of humor, and good nature.
Eric was preceded in death by his wife Faith Jolley, parents, and sister Pamela Jolley Phillips. He is survived by three daughters, Susan Elizabeth Peters, Linda Jolley Herlihy, and Melissa Jane Damon; five grandchildren, Sam, Tom, Alison, Kristin, and Nick; and five nieces and nephews who remember him as a fun uncle.
A private celebration of life will be held in the spring or summer. In honor of Eric’s life, donations may be made to Friends of the Brandywine Hundred Library, 1300 Foulk Road, Wilmington, DE 19803.
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