Mr. David R. Jolly Jr., 81, of Statesville, N.C., went to his heavenly home on Saturday, December 9, 2023, after a lengthy illness. He was born on November 16, 1942, in Iredell County. He was the son of the late U.S. Army Private First Class David R. Jolly Sr., who was killed in action in WWII, and Mrs. Mary Eveline Byrd Jolly of Statesville, N.C.

David graduated from Statesville Senior High School in 1962, and attended Mitchell College, majoring in Industrial Maintenance Engineering Technology.

He worked at Raylass Department Store during high school. In 1972, he took a job at Hoechst-Celanese, formerly Fiber Industries, in Salisbury, N.C., and worked there in maintenance for 33 years. He always said he was an A-1 mechanic! He enjoyed working in the shop at Celanese with his friends for many years. He also worked at the Statesville Auto Auction for a brief time before finally retiring in 2013.

In the 1980s and 1990s, David attended First Wesleyan Church on Shelton Avenue. He later converted to the Baptist faith, and began attending Calvary Baptist Church. David was a faithful Christian all through his life and loved Jesus.

He loved watching UNC Chapel Hill Tar Heel basketball games, especially during the Dean Smith era. He was a devoted Tar Heels fan since 1957. He would yell “Go Heels!” every time they scored. In the fall months, he also enjoyed listening to Statesville High School football games on the radio.

David always had an interest in studying the weather and space exploration, often saying he wanted to ride the clouds someday. He had a certificate from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for SKYWARN Storm Spotter training. He was also a member of the ALPCA (Automobile License Plate Collector Association), and collected license plates from various places. He enjoyed crafting bluebird boxes, going to bluegrass and gospel concerts, and going on train trips with his son, Eric, with whom he shared an ongoing interest in railroading and model railroading. He also enjoyed taking trips to both the mountains and the beach.

David was a kind and loving father who always there for his son. He was also a good friend, he never met a stranger, and he loved everyone. He often gave away Red Bird mints, replying, “Thank you for thanking me!” He loved nature, animals, and kids. He was a very humble and always thankful fellow, who will surely be missed by all.

Mr. Jolly is survived by one son, Eric D. Jolly of Statesville, who cherishes his memory.

Services for Mr. Jolly will be held on Friday, February 16, 2024, at Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home. Visitation will be held from 12 until 1 p.m. The funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. with Pastors Dermont Crabtree, Randall Mitchell, and Howard Wagoner officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to share a meal with the family after the services.

Eric would like to thank everyone that took care of his father during his time of illness and sickness, especially Dr. John Nicholson.

Donations in Mr. Jolly’s memory may be made to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, 125 Fourth Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401, to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741, or to Calvary Baptist Church, 504 Whites Mill Road, Statesville, NC 28677.

Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of Mr. Jolly.

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