Cover photo for John L. Jolly's Obituary
John L. Jolly Profile Photo
1930 John 2023

John L. Jolly

September 16, 1930 — November 4, 2023


John L. Jolly was born on September 16, 1930, to Dave and Clara (Zoellner) Jolly in Deer Trail, Colorado, and passed on November 4, 2023, in Hugo, Colorado. He grew up on the family ranch east of Deer Trail and lived his entire life in the Deer Trail area, aside from a short time spent in Gypsum, Colo. after his mother died in a house fire in 1938.


He attended country school until the eighth grade. He completed his high school education at Deer Trail High School, graduating with the class of 1949. On November 28, 1954, he married Jeannie Savage in Ordway, Colorado. Jeannie preceded him in death in 2008. They had three children: Laurie (Rick) Williams, Cindy (Kelly) Downey, and John (Kerri) Jolly.


He spent the majority of his life ranching. He rodeoed and was active in the Deer Trail Jockey Club. He was instrumental in founding the Colorado Cowboys Rodeo Association, which later became the Colorado State Rodeo Association, serving two terms as the president from 1954 to 1959. He was proud to be the second of five generations of rodeo participants.


He traveled to countless rodeos, from gymkhanas to PRCA rodeos and everything in between, cheering on his family members and all their friends. When his grandchildren played high school sports, he had a known spot where he sat to support the team. He did not miss many home or away games. He was known as Grandpa John by family, the community, ballplayers, cowboys, and numerous trick-or-treaters.


He was a true conservative and was extremely proud to be an American. He was very active in politics. He and Jeannie supported many political campaigns and causes.


He is survived by his three children, six grandchildren - Savannah (Jake) Charleston, Shawn (Katlen) Downey, Tyler (Britney) Jolly, Katie Jolly, Jenna (Weston) Rains, and Cara (Gavin) Liggett, ten great-grandchildren plus two on the way, brother Gene Jolly, adopted daughter Tammy (Mark) Anderson, step-granddaughter Kelly (Frank) Hutchinson, four step-great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.


He is preceded in death by his parents, wife Jeannie, brother David, and sister Dorothy.


In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions be made to the Deer Trail Jockey Club or the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund.

To order memorial trees in memory of John L. Jolly, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, November 17, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Mountain time)

Deer Trail School Gymnasium

130 2nd Avenue, Deer Trail, CO 80105

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Friday, November 17, 2023

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