Jeanette Hester Jolly – Nov. 16, 2023
Jeanette Hester Jolly, age 91, of Russellville, passed away Nov. 16 at her residence. She was born June 9, 1932. To know Jeanette is to realize that her four great passions in life were her faith, her love for family and friends, teaching and music.
Jeanette Jolly very proudly called herself a born-again Christian and lived a life of profound faith. She proved her faith through her actions and words. She ministered to others through education and music, teaching Sunday school to high school students and playing the piano for decades at the First Presbyterian Church in Russellville. She enthusiastically shared her faith with friends, acquaintances and strangers she encountered in everyday life. Her most important legacy is her boundless love for Jesus.
Early on, Jeanette aspired to be a professional musician. However, the combined influence of her delight in nature (having grown up on a farm) and excellent instruction in the biology department at Lindenwood College and Vanderbilt University led her to a career in science education with an emphasis in biology.
Jeanette’s teaching career spanned forty-four years, of which she spent eight years at Gordon Lee High School in Chickamauga, Georgia, four years at the Brooke Hill School for Girls in Birmingham and thirty-two years at Northwest Shoals Community College in Phil Campbell.
Jeanette’s expertise was in taking abstract scientific concepts and making them understandable and exciting to the average student. She helped many science-averse students become knowledgeable, and in many cases, even passionate about everything from cellular biology to botany and zoology.
Jeanette had a multi-faceted personality. She was a comforter, counselor, comedian, prayer warrior and sometimes all of these at once – a lover of life whose cheerful outlook brightened the lives of everyone she met.
Jeanette was preceded in death by her parents, William M. and Lena (Hamilton) Hester; mother-in-law, Ara M. Jolly; brother-in-law, James Vernon Jolly; double-first cousins James R. (Jim), William M. (Bill) and Charles M. Hamilton; along with several aunts and uncles.
She was married to retired Circuit Judge John D. Jolly for 54 years. He passed away Nov. 21
She leaves to cherish her memory her daughter, Ginger E. Jolly, double-first cousin Ann Hamilton Houston (Bland) and several honorary nieces and nephews.
The visitation for both Jeanette and Judge Jolly will be from 12-2 p.m. Nov. 26 at Spry Memorial Chapel in Russellville. The funerals will follow at 2:00 p.m. at Spry Memorial Chapel. Dr. Randy Thompson will officiate. The burial will be at Franklin Memory Gardens.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Kay Drummond, Ann Mills, Gayle Davis, Faye Baker and Amy Davis for their faithful friendship and devotion throughout the years. The family would also like to thank Greta Boutwell, Tiona Estavan, Bonnie Dean, Jenny Skipworth, Lorie Knight, Jessica McCray and other staff at Hospice of North Alabama for their commitment and care.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your charity of choice.