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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 52
Year of Death: 2005

Gary Wayne Jolley

Submitted by his wife

Although I had known Gary and his family all my life‚ we did not really get together until 1993 when we both joined a Texas Two-Step dance club in Fleming County. We both loved to dance and you could say he two-stepped his way right into my heart. We married February 19‚ 1994. The dance club was always raising funds to help the needy‚ and Gary was always involved.

He was employed as a heavy equipment operator for 28 years by the Kentucky Department of Transportation and took early retirement in June 2003. Gary was a great handy-man. He could do wiring‚ plumbing‚ carpentry and mechanical work. He often said he was ‘a Jack of all trades and master of none.’ But he was my hero and there was little he couldn’t do. He supported me in everything I did as I did him. Gary was a kind‚ loyal‚ loving‚ funny‚ caring family man with an easy grin beneath the mustache he wore. He loved his family and friends and was always ready and willing to help anyone. He also had a really good bass singing voice. Sometimes we would sing old hymns together and for fun we would sing old western theme songs.

When in high school he belonged to Future Farmers of America and was on the track team in which he won medals. Gary loved to tease family members and friends. I remember two years ago one of our nieces was visiting and he sprayed her with a water hose. With him laughing in near hysterics‚ she chased him all over our lawn with a bucket of water‚ bent on revenge…she never caught him! He was still pretty fast after all these years! And I laughed until I cried.

Gary was a big fan of the Kentucky Wildcat basketball team and loved to watch Nascar races with his favorite #29 Kevin Harvick at the wheel. He collected over 100 of Harvick’s model cars. When there was talk of forming a fire department in the Mt. Carmel area‚ Gary was an enthusiastic supporter and soon became a member and first chief of the Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Department in Fleming County‚ Kentucky in 1989. Filling the rank of Chairman of the Board‚ at age 52‚ he left this world attending a fire call on the stormy night of June 28‚ 2005.

He is survived by his wife Brenda Emmons Jolley‚ two children by a previous marriage‚ Holly Hilterbrand and Dennis Jolley‚ with four grandchildren between them‚ parents Raymond and Ruby Jolley‚ two sisters Paul Lee and Patty Tester‚ plus several nieces and nephews‚ aunts and uncles. It is hard for me to describe the loss and gaping hole left in the lives of myself‚ his family and friends and fellow firemen since he has gone. But nothing can take away our pride in him and the happy‚ loving memories of Gary that we will hold in our hearts forever.

He was a fireman…a dedicated volunteer‚ Answering a call‚ he would rush to get his gear.

Sometimes it was a blazing fire‚ others an ambulance call‚ Whatever the case would be‚ he meant to give his all.

From Chief to Chairman of the Board‚ he tried to do his part; Wanting to help the Department grow was a yearning deep in his heart.

He loved to be at the firehouse‚ shooting the breeze with the rest of the crew‚ While he worked with them on the equipment‚ teasing the young boys who were new.

There’s an empty spot within us all‚ who stood for years at his side. I miss him more than words can say‚ but my heart is filled with pride.

He left this world doing what he loved‚ for him there would be no regrets. He would say ‘Of all the things I have done in my life‚ being a fireman was one of the best!’

Submitted by his daughter

My father helped create Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Department. I am not for sure the number of years he served with the Department but it meant almost everything to him.

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  1. Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend. Gary died doing what he loved to do, responding to a call to help others. I’m proud of Gary for his dedication to serve. I love you Gary.

    – Paula Lee
  2. I truly love and miss you dad.

    – Holly Hilterbrand