Celeste P. JOLLY

July 4, 1917 ~ September 20, 2009

Mrs. Celeste P. 'Fowler' Jolly passed away late Sunday morning, Sept. 20, 2009, at the Delmar Gardens on the Green in Chesterfield, Missouri, at the age of 92 years, 2 months & 16 days. Celeste was born on July 4, 1917, in Supply, Arkansas, and was the daughter of Thomas Rex Fowler, Sr., & Bess 'Cunningham' Fowler. Also preceding-in-death were her husband, Rev. Joseph Loren Jolly; a daughter, Paula Jolly Reynolds; a sister, Eileen Fowler Spencer; a brother, Thomas Rex Fowler; 2 babies (at birth), and son-in-law, James Reynolds.

Celeste graduated from high school in Doniphan, MO., in 1935 and from the Kansas School of Nursing in 1938. She married Joseph Loren Jolly on Christmas Day, 1938, at the historic Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Pitman, AR and was the wife of a Baptist minister for more than 60 years until Loren died on April 13, 1999.

Beginning in the fall of 1939, Celeste served as Seminary Nurse during Loren's three years at The Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. Their first church was Riverside Baptist at Cox Creek, KY. This was very special for Celeste because her grandfather, Rev. O. H. L. Cunningham, had been pastor there many years before. After World War II, Loren was pastor at Hanley Road Baptist Church in Clayton, MO., for 8 years until 1954, before accepting the pastorate at First Baptist Church of Farmington, MO. Celeste's grandfather, O.H.L. Cunningham had also been pastor at the Farmington church and was there at the time of the dedication of the old sanctuary in 1917. Celeste was present at the dedication as a 2-month old.

Celeste helped with the quarterly visits of the Red Cross Bloodmobile in Farmington for 30 years and for several years she was camp nurse for girls week at Bates Creek Camp. She served her Lord as a vital part of His church by singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, and dispensing wise counsel when asked.

Survivors Include: 1 Son, James Loren (& Linda) Jolly, of Chesterfield, MO. 1 Brother: C.C. (& Charlene) Fowler, of Sun City Center, FL; 2 Sisters-In-Law: Helen E. Fowler (wife of deceased brother, Thomas R. Fowler) and Norma Jolly (wife of deceased brother-in-law, Bryce Jolly). 2 Brothers-In-Law: Ernest Gutierrez (husband of deceased sister-in-law, Martan Jolly Gutierrez) and Jack Spencer (husband of deceased sister, Eileen Fowler Spencer). 5 Grandchildren: Chad (& Kristen) Jolly, of Liberty, MO. Dana Jolly Seiber (& Ronnie) of Tampa, FL; Teresa Reynolds, of St. Louis; Lauren Reynolds, of St. Louis & Katy Reynolds, of St. Louis. 7 Great-Grandchildren: Ashley Reynolds; Daniel Reynolds; Tevin Reynolds; Noah Jolly; Elias Jolly; Avery Jolly & Jake Seiber. Also surviving are 14 Nieces & Nephews.

Visitation Starts : Saturday, Sept. 26th @ 9:30 a.m. at Farmington First Baptist Church

Funeral : Saturday, Sept. 26th @ 11:00 a.m.

at : Farmington First Baptist Church, with Dr. William C. Miller and Dr. Chad Jolly officiating.

Memorials may be made to : Farmington First Baptist Church.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Mrs. Jolly was a wonderful person. Rev. Jolly married me in 1973 and I was a member of the church when they were pastor of the church..Mrs. Jolly will always hold a special place in my heart along with her husband..God Bless and I know she is happy now she is reunited with Mr. Jolly…

  2. JIM, Sorry to hear of the loss of your mother and Brother Jolly were two of the greatest people I have ever known. Jane and I used to visit them when they were at the home in ironstone. In fact I only learned of your dad passing when I read it on the internet.

  3. I am sorry to hear of the loss of Mrs. Jolly. What lovely memories I have of this beautiful lady. Rev. and Mrs. Jolly came to the First Baptist Church in Farmington the year before I was born. They were there throughout my entire childhood and Rev. Jolly married my husband and me in 1975. I have a mental picture of Mrs. Jolly in the Church choir pretty much every Sunday of my childhood and youth. I always got such a sense of warmth and kindness from Mrs. Jolly. My sympathy to her son, Jim, and his family for the loss of such a wonderful woman.

  4. Our Deepest Sympathy Rev and Mrs Jolly were wonderful people. We loved being in their church in Farmington from 1968-1980. They were precious yrs.

  5. My sympathies for the Jolly family. I remember them both from the Independent Living Apartments at The Baptist Home where I worked in the Actvities Department. They were a wonderful Christian couple and an inspiration to all those who knew them. I remember the little snowman she always kept hanging on the "back" door of her apartment which led out to the commons room. She was a very sweet lady and I know that she's happy to be at home with the Lord and her heavenly family where all is perfect for her once again. God Bless you all!

  6. Jim, Jennie Bertram (Tom's sister) called to let me know of your mother's passing. So many of my memories of growing up at FBC Farmington are of her and your dad. He baptized me, married us, and her life was a wonderful example of all a Christian lady ought to be. They were two very special people. I know you are comforted in the knowledge that she is with the Lord and with your Dad and Paula. I can picture her singing in the heavenly choir right now!

  7. My heartfelt sympathies to the Jolly family. I grew up in Farmington (1967 – 1980) where my family attended First Baptist. I was baptized by Rev. Jolly and have fond memories of both he Mrs. Jolly. She was such a sweet lady. I will always remember the words Rev. Jolly used to close services… "Now may the Lord bless you and keep you, may his face shine upon you and bring you peace. Amen."

  8. Jim, Sharon told me of your mother's death. She lived a long life. It doesn't matter how old our parents are we still are not ready to give them up. I have so many fond memories of your mother and dad. I used to come to your house when you were little with my Aunt Alma and her family. Your mother was a wonderful lady. When my mother had a mastectomy in Poplar Bluff back in 1968 your mother and dad came down to be with us for the surgery. Your dad was a great man too. I have not seen you since Alma's funeral but I do keep up with you through Sharon. May God Bless all of you, Carolyn Huber

  9. Jim —I just wanted to let you know what a positive influence your mom and dad had on my in my early years at the First Baptist church. Your mother was such a big part of that church, especially with Bible School. And your dad, Brother Jolly, married me and my husband, Bob Benham, in 1971

  10. Rev. and Mrs. Jolly were long-time friends of my family. I enjoyed our little "reunions" as we attended various church and associational functions. Since my father was the pastor at FBC Flat River when Rev. Jolly was the pastor at FBC Farmington, there were many of those times. I will always hold the Jollys in high regard for their strong Christian faith and witness. I'm thankful to have known them and I value their friendship. My prayers are with you during this time.

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