May 24, 2024

Ronald Jolly

Ronald Jolly was born on November 7, 1936 in Paisley, Scotland and died at home in Toms River, NJ on May 24, 2024. He was the son of Alexander and Roseanne (McCann) Jolly.

Ron grew up in Scotland during WWII, surviving Hitler’s bombings over Scotland by hiding in a shelter his father had dug out for the family before going off to war. His father served in France with the British Army. Ron’s mother was conscripted to work long hours in a factory making communication equipment and bombs while Ron and his brothers fended for themselves. There was often little to eat at home.

Ron’s father returned from the war to work in the Paisley textile mills while his mother raised Ron and his three brothers. His parents worked hard, never drove a car or owned their own home. Ron had a traditional Scottish education and then trained to become a barber and hair stylist. At 17 Ron joined the British Army and was stationed in Malaya for 3 years, earning medals during the Communist insurgency.

Upon returning home to Scotland after his Army service, Ron joined the rest of his family in emigrating to the United States. Residing in North Arlington and Kearny NJ, Ron worked for Minute Man Missile for about 15 years. Later he enjoyed working as a night manager for the then popular bar and restaurant “Eagan’s” in Kearny. Eventually, he saved enough money to buy a small house in Toms River, where he moved and took care of his elderly widowed father.

Ron married Rhea E. Gualandi on September 10, 1994 at the Union Church in Seaside Park, NJ. On January 18, 1996 he became the proud father of daughter Rosemary R. Jolly whom he helped raise and care for while attending to male patients as a home health aide. He loved being a “Mr. Mom.”

In keeping with Scottish tradition, Ron enjoyed telling long stories about his early life in Scotland, his family and friends and life in the British Army. Ron was also devoted to breeding and raising canaries, gardening and the care of his dogs.

Ron is survived by his wife Rhea and daughter Rosemary; his sister in law Anna Gualandi and husband John Mason and sister in law Paula (Gualandi) Capogna, wife of the late Tony Capogna; and nieces Erica (Mason) West and Teresa (Mason) Leder, and nephew Michael and wife Alesha Capogna and grand nephew Dean Capogna.

Ron is survived by his brother John and his wife Josephine and Josephine’s sister Sarah Maloney. He was preceded in death by his brother and sister in law Alexander and Audrey Jolly, who are survived by their daughter Laura, her husband Frank Muschkat and their son Alexander. Also surviving are Alexander and Audrey’s son Kyle. Ron was also preceded in death by his brother Thomas Jolly, who is survived by his wife Beate and their son Todd.

Ron will be laid to rest at a graveside ceremony for relatives and friends in First Presbyterian Cemetery in Succasunna, NJ at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, May 28.

Arrangements are by the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main Street, Succasunna, NJ 973-584-7264. (

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