Shelter house officially renamed after Jolly

Kathy Jolly Vance and Gwen Jolly accept a plaque from Aaron Hurt and Steve Marsh. (photo by Steve Woodhouse)

Friends and family of Pleasantville’s Frank Jolly gathered at Cora Shadle Park Saturday afternoon, as the park shelter was officially renamed after the successful doctor.

It was Jolly who, as a student, encouraged local businessmen to purchase the land that became Cora Shadle Park. The park turns 65 this year, and in 2004, its 50th anniversary, Jolly was there to celebrate.

Jolly passed away in late December 2018. After being a standout athlete in football and track for Pleasantville, her earned a scholarship to Iowa State University. He continued his education and went on to earn a doctorate in 14 months. In his adult life, he amassed 51 copyrights, 12 American patents, four European patents, among other accomplishments.

His friend Mel summed Jolly up as “hard work and perseverance” at Saturday’s event. He, Martin Boot and other classmates were there.

Much credit was given to Sally and Leland VanderLinden for their efforts to get the shelter renamed after Jolly. City Manager Joe Mrstik, along with council members Steve Marsh and Aaron Hurt, presented Jolly’s widow, Gwen, with a plaque that officially designated the shelter as the Frank Henry Jolly Park Shelter.

“Thank you for the honor in my dad’s name,” Kathy Jolly Vance, Jolly’s daughter, said. She added that her dad would have preferred the effort go into adding another acre to the. He probably would have preferred everyone spend their time planting, instead of holding the ceremony.

Vance announced that her family has dedicated $25,000 in an endowment, the interest of which will be used each year to pay for renovations to the shelter. The City is matching these funds.

Conservation is something Jolly would have supported, and Vance hopes that the money will be used for plantings, WiFi, solar panels, etc. In addition to the endowment, Vance presented the City with $2,000 to get started.

Sally VanderLinden closed the event by saying that Jolly’s success came through his own hard work. Credit was given to Jolly’s coach, Cooper, who helped put him on the right track in school.