Obituary of Jolene Sollivan
Jolene (West) Sollivan, age 85, died peacefully at home in the early morning hours of Wednesday, February 17, 2021 and stepped into her eternal promise and the Glorious Presence of Jesus.
In deference to health risk factors, a memorial service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road. There will be a private family inurnment at Elliott-Hamil Garden of Memories.
Jolene was born on March 1, 1935 in Big Spring, Texas to parents Ettie Pearl and Alfred Gordon West. Her childhood and school years were spent with her younger sister and best friend, Shari Lynn, surrounded by many friends and happy adventures. We loved hearing her tell the Tales of the West Sisters. Jolene went on to attend the University of Texas, earning a BBA Degree.
Jolene’s love for adventure and travel went hand in hand. As a young woman, in the late 1950’s, she left West Texas to live and work in San Francisco. A four-block walk in high heels eventually led her to a job where she met her forever love, Richard K. Sollivan. Jolene and Dick married in 1961 and spent the next 7 years making a home in California. The year 1963 brought the next forever-love into Jolene’s life – her daughter Shari Lynn.
A capable business woman, she excelled in every place she worked because of her standard of excellence and administrative skills – as secretary to oil companies and legal firms, then later in life serving the Abilene Women’s Club and Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra as interim director. Other organizations that Jolene enjoyed were the Abilene Woman’s Club, Abilene Philharmonic Guild and Association, and the Academic Foundation of Hardin-Simmons University.
Travel was more than a hobby for her; it was a means to gather and give to others: from accompanying her husband on business trips in France, to prayer trips in the Holy Land with dear friends, to family reunions in Hawaii, and KOA campgrounds all over the US with her parents, aunt and uncle. She was always planning the next travel trip with serious pre-trip research, reservations, and recon! It seemed her goal was to bless her travel companions with sight-seeing experiences and the generosity of a gracious host/tour guide!
Her extreme generosity left its mark. Her confident conviction in conservative and godly values spurred all who knew her to rise to her expectations and be their best selves. She contributed to worthy causes, lead charitable events, wrote letters to her favorite news anchors challenging them to higher verbal standards, took country girls under her wing to school them in the art of being a lady, and gathered her family to bless them and celebrate special occasions.
A natural born leader, Jolene also led her family to the Lord. From the moment her life was changed, she began to model and call others to a life surrendered to Jesus Christ. A visit with her frequently included Bible devotional and prayer.
“Mom, Auntie, Nana, Jolene” – were the names for this Proverbs 31 woman whose heart and strengths continue to impact her family, friends, and community.
Jolene is survived by her daughter Shari Sollivan Fitzhugh, granddaughter Kathleen Pearl (Jonathan) Kovach, and great-grandson Benjamin Miles. Jolene is also survived by her “bonus” daughter Gail (Tom) Carr, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and “bonus” grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jolene was preceded in death by her husband Richard K. Sollivan, as well as her sister Shari Lynn (John) Temple, parents, Pearl and Gordon West, aunt and uncle, Alma and H.W. McIntyre, and son-in-law, Randal K. Fitzhugh.
Jolene was well-loved and will be missed by all.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jolene’s memory may be made to the Abilene Philharmonic Foundation, Abilene Woman’s Club, Hardin-Simmons University and Hendrick Home for Children.