Obituary of Armand Jolly
Armand Joseph Jolly, 98, of Pomfret Center, died peacefully on Saturday, December 26. Armand was beloved by his family, friends and many acquaintances; he was a loving husband and father, proud member of the US Navy, dedicated employee of the CT Department of Transportation, and cornerstone of the Pomfret community.
His parents, Beatrice and Noe Joly, were originally from Canada, moving to northeastern CT in the 1920s. Born on September 23, 1922, Armand was one of ten children.
Armand married the love of his life Elsie Murray in 1947 and together they raised two children, Wendy and Dennis. Despite working long and unpredictable hours as a maintainer for the CT Department of Transportation, Armand always made the time to be involved with his children’s many sports and other activities. Armand and Elsie’s love and devotion to each other grew over their 68 years of marriage. It spread as their children married and had their own children and grandchildren. Armand became Dad, Grandpa, Papa, Pop and Great Grampie.
He leaves: his son Dennis Jolly and daughter-in-law Donna; son-in-law, Peter Ciparelli; grandchildren: Jessica, Christopher and his wife Katie, Gregory, Angela, Stephen and his wife Zahra, and Amanda; great-grandchildren: Tyler, Abigail, Beckett, Thea, Nahla, and twins Arlo and Rhys; his sister-in-law Theresa Jolie, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife Elsie, daughter Wendy Jolly Ciparelli, great-grandsonOliver, and his siblings: Albert, Simone, Henry, Joseph, Donat, Robert, Lucille, Omer, and Jean.
Armand served bravely and honorably in the US Navy, enlisting at age 19 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He served as Gunner’s Mate Third Class on the USS Emmons DD-457, DMS-22, a destroyer/minesweeper during World War II. He was part of five invasions – in Africa, Italy, Normandy, southern France, and Okinawa. On D-Day, the Emmons helped to secure the invasion route for US troops on Omaha Beach. On April 6, 1945, during the battle of Okinawa, the Emmons was struck by five kamikaze planes. Sixty of the Emmons’ crew perished and 77 were wounded. Armand survived the attack, suffering injuries to his hands and face. He received several commendations and awards including a Purple Heart. Despite his bravery, he never talked about his experiences until much later in life.
He remained involved with what has become the Emmons Association, an organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Emmons, serving as vice president from 1990-2004 and president from 1990 until recently. He and his family attended every one of the ship's reunions and was proud to have helped initiate a scholarship to help members of the Emmons family attend college.
In July 2019, he had the incredible honor of returning to Normandy 75 years after his first trip there, courtesy of Joe Massaro, regional director with Money Concepts. While there, Armand saw the US Navy monument at Utah Beach that includes the name of the Emmons, and stood on Omaha Beach, where the Emmons was actively engaged on D-Day. He was moved to tears when French military officials honored him during the daily flag-lowering ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
Armand created a US flag program in Pomfret where flags are displayed on street poles. Armand also built lasting relationships among local veterans, regularly attending and supporting the Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse.
Armand was a role model for each of his family members. They were fortunate to have had him in their lives for as long as they did. Happy memories of family gatherings at his home in Pomfret and his beloved cottage at Quaddick Lake in Thompson will be a constant source of joy and comfort. So, too, will be his many words of advice, freely given. They include: Do what you have to do. Don’t be afraid, just do it. Make friends – and get along. Have fun – and don’t hurt anyone. It’s a beautiful world. But his most commonly heard words were, stated simply and emphatically: I am fine! and I love my family!!
A memorial service will be held in late spring/early summer, when it’s safe for all of his family, friends and many acquaintances to come together to remember and celebrate him.
Donations may be made in Armand’s honor to: the Danielson Veterans Coffeehouse, P.O. Box 3, Danielson, CT 06239 or to the USS Emmons Association Scholarship Fund, c/o Tom Hoffman, Treasurer, 36078 Huntington Street, Millville, DE 19967. Share a memory at www.smithandwalkerfh.com