Michael N. Jolley, MD


Michael N. Jolley, MD, of Princeton, died peacefully in the early hours of November 18, after a long and difficult battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

He was the son of Dr. Henry Arden Jolley, and Mary Maureen, nee Begley Jolley.  His father, a British army surgeon from Chile, and his mother, a British army nurse from Ireland, met during World War II, and married in Nairobi, Kenya.  After the war, they returned to Chile, where Mike was born in 1947.  Growing up in a medical family, he knew at an early age that he would follow in his parents’ footsteps

The Jolley family, including Mike’s younger brother and two sisters, moved to the US in 1958, and eventually settled in Oradell, New Jersey.  He was graduated from Riverdell High School, and a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in pre-med studies.  He was graduated with honor from New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry, now Rutgers School of Biomedical and Health Sciences.

While in college, he met his wife, Wendy, nee McCaughan, on a blind date, and they were married in 1973.  They moved to New York, where Mike did an internship and one year of a general surgery residency at NYU Bellevue Hospital.  They then moved to Pasadena, California, for Mike’s four-year orthopedic residency at the University of Southern California.  Their first daughter was born in 1976.  After returning to New Jersey, Mike completed a hip fellowship at The Hospital for Special Surgery.  Their second daughter was born in 1979.

In 1980, the Jolleys moved to Princeton, Wendy’s hometown.  Mike joined the Princeton Orthopedic Group, where he practiced until a merger with Princeton Orthopaedics in 1992.  Their third and fourth daughters were born in 1982 and 1983.  He remained at Princeton Orthopaedic Associates until his retirement in 2016, after practicing for 36 years.

Mike was a consummate professional.  He did everything precisely, and with purpose and skill.  He was a gifted surgeon, specializing in hip and knee replacements, and over the years, he took care of many older patients, both in the office and at various clinics.  He was an “old-fashioned doctor”, in the sense that he treated his patients himself, from start to finish, and developed a lasting relationship with them and their families.  He cared deeply, and always did his best for them.

Mike was generous to a fault, always glad to lend a hand, financial support or just his presence.  He had great respect for many of the excellent doctors and nurses he worked with over the years.  He was a lover of Notre Dame football, classic cars, ‘60’s music, a funny joke, a good cigar and a glass of Chardonnay. He greatly enjoyed spending time on Long Beach Island with friends and family members.  He was a loyal friend to all.  His greatest joy was his family; he was a devoted husband, doting father of four daughters, and he adored his six grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Henry Vernon Jolley.  He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Wendy; daughters Dr. Jennifer Jolley (Dr. Marcelo Hinojosa), of Irvine, CA; Katharine Milford (David), of Lawrenceville; Caroline of Philadelphia; Lindsay Ambriz (Jesse) of Pennington; and his beloved grandchildren; Eve, Alexandra, Landon, Max, Olivia and Scarlett.  He is also survived by his sister, Patricia Orlovsky (Brian) of Newport Richey, FL; and sister, Moira Swallow (Eric), of Saybrook, CT.  He will be greatly missed by his sisters-in-law Carey Hoover (Stuart) and Marny McCaughan, and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Mike’s life will be held at a future date when it is safe to gather.  Burial in Princeton Cemetery will be private.  Donations in his honor may be made to Corner House Behavioral Health, I Monument Drive, Princeton, New Jersey, 08540; or the American Nurses Association.