Fallen Hero: CW5 Ervin Franklin “Pete” Jolly (Ret)


Funeral Home

Jones and Son Funeral Home

Richton, MS


Not listed


First Baptist Church , Richton, 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, 16 August 2023.


Recognizing and Honoring a Fallen Hero, Who Served Within the Mississippi National Guard. “Fallen, Yet Not Forgotten”

In recognition of our proud American tradition of honorable service which our military men and women have given to their country and our State, we honor a Fallen Hero. Our nation, our state, and the National Guard Association of MS (NGAMS) regard the memorializing of its retired military deceased as an honorable and sacred obligation.

Another great Soldier and Fallen Hero has been released from duty, passed from our ranks on August 12, 2023, and has moved on to his heavenly home.  CW4 Pete Jolly (Ret), who served in the MSARNG within the HQ STARC has departed and gone to a better place with our good Lord.  Pete had worked full-time at Shelby in the DOL Maintenance Division’s Readiness Section.

It takes a special person to serve within the military for their country, giving up their family time, comfort, and safety for their country, ultimately for all Americans to enjoy their freedoms, safety, and way of life. We now applaud you for your service to our country. A special message from General Douglas McArthur remains applicable today for our servicemen that have passed: “Old Soldiers never die; they just fade away”.

Rest in Peace Soldier. We applaud your patriotism and brave efforts in serving our country and your family for their support of your service. We thank you for your service. Without your efforts and your families’ support, our country would not stand so boldly, shine so bright and live so free.

You now have earned a rest, so go fly with the Angels, go rest high on that mountain; your work on earth is done. Go to heaven a-shoutin’ Love for the Father and the Son.

Another great Soldier has gone home, “Fallen, Yet Not Forgotten, Soldier for Life”.

Services for Chief Warrant Officer Five (CW5) ARNG (Retired) Ervin Franklin “Pete” Jolly, age 82, of Richton, Mississippi, will be held at First Baptist Church of Richton at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday,16 August 2023Burial will follow at Seminary Baptist Church Cemetery in Hintonville, Mississippi. If you are a military service member, feel free to wear your duty or service uniform.

Pete went home into the loving arms of his Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, 12 August 2023, at Asbury Hospice House after a lengthy illness.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, 15 August 2023, at First Baptist Church of Richton.

Bro. Josh Dunn and Bro. John Allen will officiate the service.  Pallbearers will be David Jolly, Stephen Jolly, James Jolly, Mac McKay, Dan Daniels, and Kenny Bryant.  Honorary pallbearers will be members of Pete’s Sunday School Class and the deacons of First Baptist Church of Richton.

Pete was born in Kemper County, in the town of Rio, Mississippi, on 3 February 1941.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ervie Lee and Wilma Jolly; infant son, John Ervin Jolly; infant twin granddaughters, Kayla Faith Jolly and Kara Hope Jolly; brothers, Tommie Lee Jolly and Jay Hugh Jolly.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 61 years, Virginia “Jenny” Jolly of Richton; sons, David (Teresa) Jolly of Richton, Stephen Jolly of Centennial, Colorado, and James (Angelia) Jolly of Laurel; grandchildren, Franklin Jolly of Clinton, Alana Jolly of Pascagoula; Sydney Jolly Fernandez of Broomfield, Colorado, Ella Jolly of Petal; Elisabeth Jolly, Anna Grace Jolly, and John Allen Jolly of Laurel; great-granddaughter Olivia Fernandez of Broomfield, Colorado; sisters, Mary Alice Jolly of Richton, and Sarah (Tom) Lowry of Long Beach.

He was also very blessed to have a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In July 1958, Pete joined the Mississippi Army National Guard as a Private (E-1) Parts Supply Clerk before he graduated from Richton High School in May 1959.

Pete served in the Army and Air National Guard for a combined total of nearly 38 years.  While enlisted, he rose to the rank of Master Sergeant (E-8).  In January 1985, he was appointed as a warrant officer and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer Five (CW5) in February 2001, as a Communications-Electronics Equipment Repair Technician.

Throughout his military career, he served in numerous units throughout Mississippi, to include the 785th Engineer Detachment in Richton, 186th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 298th Maintenance Battalion, 3656th Maintenance Company, 106th Support Battalion, and Headquarters, State Area Command.

In 1962, he was activated twice; first to assist in the restoration of order during the civil unrest at the University of Mississippi and then to support the emergency response recovery efforts between Natchez and Vidalia, Louisiana for a barge loaded with chlorine tanks that had sunk in the Mississippi River.

Some of his proudest moments occurred during his tenure at the Mississippi Military Academy where he served as a drill instructor and taught leadership skills to young Soldiers.  He was also extremely proud of his service in the Air National Guard where he worked as a Radio Maintenance Specialist on the Republic RF-84 Thunderflash Jet at Key Field in Meridian.

Other memorable experiences included going to Germany during a REFORGER exercise and going to the National Training Center in support of the 155th Armored Brigade.

He worked full-time for more than 27 years at Camp Shelby, culminating as Chief, Maintenance Readiness Branch.

Pete had a knack for thinking logically and troubleshooting problems.  His mechanical expertise, combined with his ability to fix things, were recognized throughout the National Guard and local community.

In addition to his military service, Pete worked in a myriad of jobs over the course of his life that helped define who he was:  Walley’s Gulf Service Station, Nub Henderson’s Service Station, Richton Pole Mill, Roscoe Moore Pontiac and Studebaker, Mississippi State Highway Department Survey Team, Big Star Grocery Store Produce Manager, Borden Milk Company Home Delivery Driver, Marathon Pennington Naheola Paper Mill Finish Line Laborer, Masonite Spline Line Laborer, Reliance Garment Factory, Off-Shore Drilling Roughneck, Hebe Walter’s Auto Parts, Jack’s Auto Parts and OTR Truck Driver.

These work experiences prepared him as a future business owner of Jolly’s Garage.  After operating Jolly’s Garage for several years, he went to work full-time at Camp Shelby Combined Support Maintenance Shop (CSMS).  Upon Pete’s retirement from the National Guard, he owned and operated Jolly’s Backhoe Service.  As a business owner, he developed a reputation of being fair, honest, and hard-working.  These character traits were instrumental in his serving as an Alderman for the Town of Richton.

Pete always liked to farm and was known for growing tomatoes and sharing the harvest.  He also enjoyed fishing with his friends, going to the coast and eating crab legs, watching NASCAR races, and driving his Corvette in parades.

Always active in church, Pete served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, song leader, and on multiple committees.  Pete spent the first half of his life as a member of Seminary Baptist Church and the remainder of his life as a member of First Baptist Church of Richton.

With a gift for storytelling and bringing smiles to others, Pete would often liven up Sunday School parties and family events by telling funny stories about people in the community.

Pete Jolly lived his life as a Christian man who believed in doing his best and doing things right.  With Pete, there were no shortcuts.  Some might even say he was a hard man.  He kept his high standards and principles, maintained his integrity, and if he told you he was going to do something; he did it.

Pete Jolly was not pretentious.  He lived out his faith and served as an inspiration for others to do the same.

Galatians 2:20 — “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

1 Corinthians 11:1 — “Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.”

Philippians 1:21 — “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you embrace the ones you love and focus on the things in life that truly matter.