Nick G. Jolliffe, 62, Bismarck, passed away on Sunday, November 5, 2023, at his home, surrounded by his family after a six-year battle with cancer.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00AM, Friday, November 10 at Faith Lutheran Church, 1402 E. Ave C, Bismarck.
Nick's service livestream will be available at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/faithlutheranbismarck/
Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00PM with a prayer service starting at 7:00PM, Thursday, November 9, at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck.
Nicky Guy Jolliffe, was born on February 14, 1961, in Bottineau, ND, to Monte and Marlene (Ruppelius) Jolliffe. He was raised in Bottineau where the perfect day would include donuts from Bottineau Family Bakery in the morning, baseball in the afternoon and a slice at Denny’s Pizza at night. He graduated from Bottineau High School followed by the University of North Dakota where he majored in Psychology and became a record setting member of the Fighting Sioux baseball team. Following graduation from college, Nick’s first professional job was at Cedric Theel car dealership in Bismarck where his charismatic nature served the business well. These skills later developed into a key leadership position at North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance where he dedicated over 30 years of his life to the citizens of North Dakota. He was known as an incredible mentor to his team and a leader that would always encourage growth.
However, it was during his time at the University of North Dakota that Nick found what his heart would be truly dedicated to for the rest of his life. Nick met Rhonda Dockter during their freshman year on a Christmas trip to Bismarck through a mutual friend. They enjoyed a long friendship before dating in 1985 where some of their favorite times were spent with friends and travelling for softball. Her friends later shared that they still remember the sparkle he put in her eye when they were together. On December 22, 1989, they exchanged vows at Faith Lutheran Church in Bismarck, during a winter blizzard that began a lifelong partnership filled with love, laughs and soon two boys, Nicklaus and Benjamin. His sons were his dearest treasures and best friends from the moment they were born until the day he died calling them “his greatest legacy."
The only other thing that came close to how much Nick loved his family, was his love for sports. From his early days playing amateur baseball in the Canadian Baseball League to his love for fastpitch and slow pitch softball, Nick was a true athlete and even better teammate. Many of the people he played with would turn into some of his closest friends. In recognition of his remarkable skills and contributions to softball in North Dakota, he was honored with induction into the USA Softball Hall of Fame in 2021.
As the years went by, his love for softball bats and dugouts were traded for golf clubs and fairways. His competitive spirit soared on the greenways at his favorite golf courses in Bismarck, northern Minnesota or at his hometown Bottineau Country Club. Everyone gathering for their traditional post-golf bulldog or beer made the experience all the better. The last time he enjoyed his favorite hobby was spent with his boys in September at Hawktree in Bismarck. It was an afternoon that he described as a “miracle day."
It wasn’t just when Nick was competing that he was sporting his passion for competition. He also donated his time to coach football, baseball and basketball whenever his sons were competing in their childhood. As they grew older into high school and college, Nick and Rhonda became their biggest cheerleaders. Often, Nick was also the most vibrant and could easily be seen from the field in his designated spots shouting “Thatta boy Luther!" He was proud to sport the deep maroon of the Bismarck Demons, the vibrant orange and blue of the University of Mary Marauders and finally the Legacy Sabers gold where his sons now coach football themselves. Throughout all of these years though, every Sunday you would see him wear the purple and yellow of the Minnesota Vikings which he was a lifelong fan of. Watching these games with his family were some of their best memories spent together.
There was nothing that brought him greater joy than becoming a grandfather to his precious granddaughter Rayne, born to Nicklaus and Alicia. Although only having two and a half years together, the two developed a deep bond. She would ask her parents almost every day to go to “Bapa’s and Grandma’s house," one of her favorite places.
Nick’s battle with esophageal cancer began in 2017. It was the strongest storm his family would weather together, however much like their wedding day Nick and Rhonda found immense beauty and joy through their fight. Nick’s passion for life burned brighter than ever as he made the most of everyday still enjoying golf, exercise, and every laugh with friends he could bring out. He found a deeper connection to his faith and learned how prayers have no length of distance they can’t travel. Until his last day, he embraced one of his favorite quotes “Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. But it cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul."
Nick’s family would like to acknowledge the amazing care Nick received throughout the last six years from his medical teams at both the Mayo Clinic, Sanford Health and Sanford Hospice here in Bismarck. You all were not just caregivers; you were part of Nick’s team against Cancer and helped him thrive and live life to the fullest since his diagnosis. This is something that will never be forgotten.
Nick’s vibrant spirit and immense love for life will never be forgotten. Nick leaves behind a legacy that will forever be engraved in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Rhonda, Bismarck; his two sons, Nicklaus (Alicia) Jolliffe and their daughter Rayne, and Ben (Kylee) Jolliffe, all of Bismarck; his loving mother, Marlene Jolliffe, Bismarck; his siblings, Kerry (Steve) Tessman, Skip Jolliffe, Reno, NV, Kristie (Milo) Wolding, Mandan, and Robin (John) Halvorson, Bismarck; his mother and father-in-law, Allen and Diane Dockter, Bismarck; and his brothers-in-law, Jason (Brenda) Dockter and Craig (Chris) Dockter, all of Bismarck. He will also be greatly missed by many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.
Nick’s favorite number was 25. He made a list of his favorite 25 charities and all memorials received will be given to those 25 charities in memory of him.
Along with his tenacity for life and huge heart, one of Nick’s strongest traits was his generosity. He challenged perspectives to encourage you to be the best you could be. He would be the first to help out a friend who needed a helping hand, even if it ended in one of his famous DIY projects. But his greatest gift was the energy he brought into a room of people. He made everyone feel the same amount of love and laughter whether it be with people he adored or complete strangers. His devotion to giving is one we will all carry in our hearts and remember to share everyday and as often as possible. This is how Nick Jolliffe lives forever.