Dec. 27, 1927 - Jan. 10, 2014
Resident of El Cerrito
William Lee Jolly, professor emeritus of chemistry at UC Berkeley, died of heart failure on Jan. 10, 2014 at Kaiser Medical Center in Richmond, CA. He was 86.
Professor Jolly's research at UC Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory included thermodynamics, volatile hydrides, sulfur-nitrogen compounds, liquid ammonia solutions, and atomic core binding energies. His extensive publishing included a history of the UCB College of Chemistry and two seminal works on inorganic chemistry; Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry and The Synthesis and Characterization of Inorganic Compounds.
A brilliant photographer, and a member of the Berkeley Camera Club, Jolly was renowned for work on the "Sabatier effect" and invented spectacular printing techniques such as chromoskedasic solarization and silver mirror printing. His other passions included bridge (he achieved the ranking of Life Master) and the Sierra Nevada mountains. He took his family, colleagues and grad students backpacking and camping every summer to "the high country," a source for much of his photography. Jolly was also fond of California wines, bawdy limericks, and his VW Bugs.
Jolly was born Dec. 27, 1927 in Chicago, IL. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry at the University of Illinois, where he met his wife of 41 years, Frances Ann Adams Bartholomew Jolly. His college summers at Kodak in Rochester, NY refined his keen focus on photography. Fran and "Bill" married in Berkeley in 1950, settling in El Cerrito where they raised three children. In 1952 Jolly earned his PhD at UC and was appointed an instructor in the College of Chemistry. From 1952-55 he headed the Physical Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry Division at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, where he helped devise compounds used in the testing of thermonuclear devices. Appointed a full faculty member in 1955, he later studied at Heidelberg, Germany as a Guggenheim Fellow. In 1984 he was elected a Fellow of the AAAS. Jolly's retirement in 1991 allowed him to be closer with Frances, who succumbed to cancer in 1992.
Jolly met Jane Vavra Weidringer at the Berkeley Camera Club; they married in 1994 and lived in El Cerrito. Jolly is survived by his wife, Jane; his sister, Jacqueline Getzin; his children, Jeffrey, Steven, and Jennifer Jolly; his granddaughter, Breanna Jolly; and his daughter-in-law, Kimberly Jolly. Per Prof. Jolly's wishes, there will be no memorial. A private interment ceremony was held at Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito, CA.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Feb. 6, 2014