Remembering Jory

A Service will be held at 1:30pm on February 2, 2019 at First Baptist Church in Branson, MO.

From Tess

Dear Friends and Family,

We want to thank you for the amazing outpouring of love, support, meals, donations and prayers that have upheld us in these last days!  We know we have been surrounded with much prayer and are being carried in His arms, because His peace is evident.  Phil 4:6-7.

A Celebration of Life Service for Jory Rolf will be held:
Saturday, Feb 2, 2019 at 1:30pm at First Baptist Church in Branson, MO

For those that are not able to make it to Branson, but wanted to see the service, it will be streamed live on the Ozark Mountain Legacy Facebook page.  We will also post a video copy on our website a few days after the service: www.joryrolf.info and www.familyanthem.com

To view the service live online on Feb 2, go to:  https://www.facebook.com/ozarkmountainlegacy

Below is the obituary for Jory.  Thank you again for your amazing prayers and support.  We have a long road ahead of us, but we have a faithful God and King that has promised to never leave us or forsake us and we know that we do not walk alone!

In Christ’s Love,

~ tess rolf and banner, nation, anthem, justus, honour and glorye <><

Rom. 1:16

Jory B. Rolf

Jory Brett Rolf, age 48, entered into Glory on January 19, 2019. Born April 9, 1970, at Battaan Memorial Hospital in Albuquerque, NM, to Jim and Darlene Rolf, Jory traveled as an infant to Cheyenne, WY, where he attended school at Buffalo Ridge Elementary School, Carey Junior High, and Cheyenne East High School. Jory was involved in student government, where he became the student body president at Carey. He was also involved in music programs as a member of the Carey Brave Sounds and the East High Singers. He excelled in baseball, where he pitched and played shortstop in Cheyenne Little League and in Junior and Senior Babe Ruth in Cheyenne. After graduating from high school, Jory attended the University of Wyoming where he was a member of the college vocal group, The Centennial Singers. Jory graduated with a degree in Elementary Education.

After graduating, he became a member of the traveling music ministry group, The Continental Singers, where he met Teresa (Tess) Bloyer in Ventura, CA.

Jory and Tess were married on July 4, 1998. They immediately stepped into fulltime ministry and missionary work, founding and directing AIM Around the World (formerly ACTION Ministry), a discipleship and outreach training ministry for young people. Jory’s ministry trained, discipled, and launched individuals and families in mission work around the globe. Jory led or launched over 40 biblical discipleship mission trips throughout the world and over 30 mission outreach teams and family ministries have been trained and launched as a result of Jory’s vision, passion, training and discipleship.

Jory founded Ozark Mountain Legacy in 2007 in Branson, MO. Having moved to Branson in 2003, Jory felt a burden to ensure that the area’s Christian Culture and Core Values were preserved and intact for future generations. Jory and team helped champion bringing nearly 400 community leaders and citizens together to clearly identify and solidify the core values, mission and vision for Ozark Mountain Country to Champion Family, Faith, Friends, Flag and Future – Guided by Christian Biblical Values. Jory also founded Legacy Youth Institute, to help identify, empower, and introduce young leaders to pass on those same core values to the over 200 high school students that have been trained through this initiative.

Jory excelled as an effective thought-leader offering “The Legacy Leader” training to enable communities, organizations and families to discover and deliver their unique and God-given Legacy and Core Values.

Jory and his family began sharing gospel bluegrass music together in 2011. Jory and family have traveled extensively in the US and Canada sharing the gospel through their family music and ministry as Family Anthem. Jory’s love for music was passed on to his children as they continue to share the Good News in song.

Jory was also involved in many community transformational initiatives in Branson, MO. Jory’s passion was to disciple and challenge every individual and organization God brought across his path to shine for Christ in every area of their life and business.

Jory is preceded in death by his mother, Darlene Ann Rolf and his brother, Brett Fleck.
He is survived by his wife, Teresa Rolf, their children, Banner Kalos Rolf, Nation Shiloh Rolf, Anthem Joy Rolf, Justus Amor Rolf, Honour Chrestos Rolf and Glorye Kharis Rolf, all of Branson, MO; his father, Jim Rolf, of Cheyenne, WY; his older brother, Randy Rolf and sister-in-law, Debbie Rolf of Cathedral City, CA; his younger brother, Travis Rolf, and sister-in-law, Jennefer Rolf; his nieces, Addison and Jacksyn Rolf of Magnolia, TX, and many other family and friends. He greatly loved others and was greatly loved and will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and those he encountered on his short journey on earth. He is in his heavenly home and we rejoice that we will see him again in eternity.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, February 2 at the First Baptist Church in Branson, MO at 1:30pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to an evangelistic ministry of your choice to carry on the legacy that Jory began to spread the Gospel.

My Mentor Goes Home

Written January 20, 2019

Dear friends and family in Christ,
I’m writing to you on behalf of Tess Rolf and the Rolf Family. I am very sorry to have to share that Jory Rolf passed away suddenly in a tragic incident while the family was on the road between bookings for their family music ministry. A fuller account can and will be typed up later, but the main thing I want to convey to you in this moment is that the whole family was there and that Banner and Anthem in particular witnessed their father’s passing. It’s a lot to process and I want them to have the time and space to do that. So while I, like you, wonder a thousand things about the details of time, place, context and efforts taken, the bigger concern for the moment is a grieving family.

Tess and the kids are currently at a camp in Central Florida where they are surrounded by supportive friends with family members arriving by the day. They have several pastors from their church and ministry board who are helping care for them and work through the arrangements. Right now they have to wait for the hospital to finish up with Jory’s body and then make arrangements to have it transported back West. Tess thinks it will take till midweek or more before those things are sorted out, so it’s likely to be two weeks from now before a funeral can be arranged in Branson, MO and burial service either there or perhaps in Cheyenne.

In the meantime, I’d like to ask if you would consider making a financial donation to the Rolfs. This would be to help in the immediate expenses which we don’t even know the sum of just yet (medical costs from the road-side efforts, transportation of the body, funeral). I’d also like you to consider that their financial needs going forward will look very different. Anything we can raise beyond the costs of this difficult moment will give them more time and opportunity to walk through the transition that lays before them as a family. Giving can be done online through the link below and those funds will be available to Tess and the kids right away.

Donation link: https://give.cornerstone.cc/makebelievers

As you pray for the Rolfs, I encourage you to pray over each of the Rolf’s by name, even letting their names prompt how we pray over the whole family: Banner Kalos, Nation Shiloh, Anthem Joy, Justus Amor, Honour Chrestos, Glorye Kharis and Tess Rolf.

With a heavy heart but an unshakeable hope rooted in our victorious Savior,
– tim king
AIM Alumni
Director of Ministries, DRAMA Ministry
Pastor, Christ House

42 thoughts on “Remembering Jory

  1. Thanks for that beautiful commentary. I, also, urge you to pray for each of them by name and to keep Jory’s memory alive.

  2. I had the great privilege of working with Jory at the University of Wyoming in Centennial Singers. His love of people and passion for music radiated from him. His deep faith in God was the solid underpinning of everything else. He dreamed of a life that combined music and God . . . That’s where his life’s path lead him. May the Lord bless and keep my dear friend and his sweet family.
    Dr. Bruce Bishop – formerly of Laramie – now living in Thatcher, AZ.

  3. I was in Centennial Singers with Jory. He was always kind – a true gentleman. I saw his life change dramatically as he committed himself to Christ after college. He was sold out for the Gospel. I am praying for his family and their heavy hearts.

  4. Jory was a great friend an co laborer as we shared in each other’s ministries. Jory always tried to do things with excellence. We talked so many times about ministry and Gods goodness and provision. Tess just know we pray for your family and pray for God’s provision in the days ahead. I will miss Jory a lot and our long talks. His friendship was unmatched. Just know I’m here if needed. I will do what I can.

  5. Jory was the biggest encourager I’ve ever met. He made the time to show appreciation for others, even through letters. Jory’s life was a continual witness for Christ. A kind and loving man. Heartfelt prayers for his beautiful, precious family. I will pray for Tess and each child by name. Love and prayers, Cris

  6. We wish we could write a large commentary for Jory and his family, but we didn’t know Jory and his family very good. But we know his brothers, Travis and Randy. We also know his Dad and we knew his mother. What nice and good and wonderful people. We can’t say enough good things about them. Travis is our son-in-law . We love Travis just like our own son. Travis is the best father any daughter could ask for, and we are sure that Jory was also. We are sure that Jory loved the Lord and Jory will be with the Lord for eternity. Jory will be remembered with loving memories. We will be thinking and praying for each of Jory’s family, Banner, Nation, Anthem, Justus, Honour, Glorye and Tess. Our daughter and grandkids could not have any better father than Travis. We wish we could have known his brother, Jory, more that we did. We understand the kind of worship he was doing for the Lord kept Jory and his family very busy and not much time for family and friends just worshipping the Lord. May God be with Tess and her family. Don and Sheryll

  7. Jory was the mentor to my mentors. My junior high and high school years changed the trajectory of my life and I owe much of that to Jory and Tess. I learned much about ministry from his example – and continue to serve in a pastoral role now as an adult! Thank you, Jory, for the leadership, vision, and care you provided. Tess and family, I cannot imagine your hurt. It doesn’t make sense. But we both rely on a God who is our present hope in our time of need. I grieve with you and I’m praying for you all from here in Phoenix.

  8. Jory was the epitome of a Christian man. He lived for Christ, seeking to bring others to the Savior. He lived a life wholly dependent upon Him. He was a refreshing rebel as he guided in godliness. It was a delight to host the AIM groups at the Fall Festival in Waterford, VA. Jory will be sorely missed. Sending prayers & hugs for sweet Tess and all of their dear children.

  9. Jory always went out of his way to encourage me every time our paths crossed. He left a huge heartprint on our community. His legacy will continue every day in Branson. Thank you Jory for pouring into my life.

  10. May God wrap His loving arms around Tess, Banner, Nation, Anthem, Justus, Honour and Glorye.
    My life has been deeply enriched by getting to know the Rolf Family. Sunshine Village Resort has been blessed by their visits, concerts, strong values, and our deep friendship.
    I personally, just this past Friday, was blessed at the Tampa Super Show with a very intimate and comforting conversation with both Jory and Tess, as I have just recently lost my husband. I knew during that time of our hugs, tears, and prayers that day, how deeply this family loves each other, others, and mostly, The Lord.
    Tess, please know I am here for you and your children, and our entire Sunshine Village Resort Family are keeping you all close in our thoughts and prayers.
    Love, Hugs, and Prayers,
    Lori Hoag,
    Activities Director-Sunshine Village

  11. There are no words to express the grief I feel for Tess and the kids, we know Jory is at peace and my prayer is that our Lord blanket the Rolf family with His love, comfort and the peace that passes understanding.
    With love and tears,

  12. If you put the word “encourager” into Google, I believe that Jory’s picture would pop up. He was such an encouragement and example of Godliness. He believed the best in others and was so thankful that God had given him the family. My husband, Jim has recently said that the Lord must have something very special planned in Heaven, He seems to be calling many of the Saints Home recently.

    Be assured of our prayers for the family, and all who have been Blessed by our brother in the Lord.
    Mary West Love INC

  13. Jory had a significant impact on our family and ministry. His encouragement to develop a family mission statement provided a tool that has helped steer the course of our family ministry for the past decade. Jory had a passion for encouraging dads to disciple and lead their families well. I am very thankful for the investment that he made in encouraging, equipping and empowering our family to follow after Christ.

  14. We are broken on behalf of this dear family we love. Jory was a rock of faith and perseverance. He raised a standard of steadfast, Godly service non pareil. Our prayers go out for all of you. We cannot comprehend the pain you must all be feeling. Lord Jesus, give them strength, comfort and direction.
    Please contact us any time. We are here as family in Christ our Lord.
    We love you all,
    Peg, Geoff and Heleena Haberer

  15. On September 19th 2017 I Jory and his family…They came to Cox Hospital to help me start my life over….They welcomed me int there family as one of their own…..I was in a very bad position in my life…He welcomed me by feeding me and taking me to the Gold star Family INN….. there I stayed for for a couple months recuperating and regaining my strength…. He asked nothing of me, just that I heal and pray for my recovery …….He and his family visited me often, I felt like a part of that family…He prayed with me and helped my spiritual strength as well…..He and his family’s faith helped me to make an amazing recovery …..My heart goes out you all in this time of loss……My only Solis is that I know that he is with our god and his son Jesus Christ……………… Thank you brother for all you have done for me and countless others whose lives you touch ……….

  16. We met the Rolfs through vintage base ball. Jory and Tess were instrumental in bringing the sport to Branson. Their love and enthusiasm is all-encompassing and we instantly felt a deep connection with the whole family. Our prayers are with you Tess, Banner, Nation, Anthem, Justus, Honour, and Glorye.

  17. I’ve chatted with several friends about Jory over the past few days. There is a whole bunch of us out here in Pennsylvania that were impacted by his life. Jory and an ACTION team (later to become AIM Around the World), traveled through our area in 1999. Several of us that met them at that time remember how Jory and Tess modeled for us a different kind of passion and commitment. They were actually willing to bet their whole life on the cause of Christ. They were jeopardizing financial security, career and comfort. They lived in a way that said being used for Christ was more valuable. I’d later come to adopt Jory’s own line to explain what happened in that encounter. Jory would say to us, “What you do, you give others permission to do.” Jory gave me permission to break out of the American molds of materialism and the pursuit of prestige. He gave me permission to break free and follow Christ with abandon.

    I had the privilege of traveling with Jory on mission trips in 2000 and 2001. Then he joined me to help me learn to lead my own in the fall of 2001 and again in 2002 or 2003. On those trips He instilled a deep commitment for servant ministry. Again, he modeled it first by taking invisible roles in helping me launch my own ministry. I remember one presentation where our team performed one of the mime routines Jory and Tess had just recently choreographed. We got a standing ovation from the large audience gathered at a regional drama festival. It was the largest audience I’d ever presented in front of. Jory quietly pulled me aside afterwards and told me he’d let the janitors know we’d be willing to help with the cleanup activities that evening when the event ended. And we did. He told me how important it was that we be willing to scrub toilets on the same day we got a standing ovation. We were there to serve as a privilege. We should never be above any task in Christ’s service. He modeled it. He invited us to join him in it. We learned the quiet, invisible labor of servant leadership.

    These are just the first examples to come to mind of the bigger thing Jory modeled and passed onto me. The true legacy of God bringing Jory into my path is discipleship. He believed in an awkward teenager like me, equipped and empowered me to minister at a young age and walked with me in the process to seize the teachable moments that ministry created in order to shape my character more and more into that of Christ. It was this vision and experience of hands-on discipleship that left an indelible mark on my life. As a pastor and ministry director today, I still carry with me in everything I do that same passion and commitment to not merely make converts or give presentations, but to ingrain discipleship into all we do. I’m so thankful that Jory gave me permission to enter that life.

    By Grace,
    – Rev. Timothy King
    Pastor, Christ House
    Director of Ministries, DRAMA Ministry
    AIM Alumni

  18. I first met Jory and Tess almost 20 years ago through what was then Action Ministries. I truly believe the Lord used that meeting to set my life on a path. A path that was no longer merely living for myself, but fully living for the Lord. Through his ministry I learned even though I was young I had a purpose and I could live it out with excellence for the Lord. There are so many things I learned from my time with Action that will forever be a part of my life. Jory was a visionary and inspired many young people,including myself, to make great impact for the Lord. Thank you Jory, and Tess, for the impact you have had on my life and so many others. And to that I know you would say, “to God be the Glory!”

  19. When I first learned of Jory’s passing over the weekend, I was shocked. My first thought was, I had no idea that he had been ill and why I had not I known. Now I know the cause of his death, it is beyond belief. How is it, such a wonderful person as Jory was, for his life to have been taken in such a tragic fashion. My heart goes out to his family who he loved and cherished so much. He was such a Godly man, always having a kind word to say, to every and anyone, whose path he may have crossed. He will be missed by so many. May his soul rest in peace.

  20. Sad day !! I was there the day it happened. My heart goes out to the family!! Hurts my heart! Stay strong family! God always holding you.

  21. How saddened we are to hear about Jory. Over the years the family has played the biggest part in our lives. From the Florida Keys to Cape Breton Island they are loved by all. While in Cape Breton they stayed with Arthur and Ruby Mackay. Jory when looking out their window said to me it’s like looking at Heaven. We know from there it’s just one small step. Jory will always be remembered for the love he showed wherever they traveled.Today your with Jesus. God Bless your family. They will go on and keep spreading the beautiful singing and gospel. How I want to hug your family.

  22. My wife, Cheryl and I had the pleasure of hosting Jory and his family some years ago. I was a pleasure. God our Father works in ways of misters and His ways are not our ways. I am struck from afar at the loss and have no understanding but do know that God is good and He will comfort and care for the family Rolf. With grief and a question in my heart for God alone with faithful assuredness that Jory is home I send our prayers of His peace with His loving comfort. God bless you Tess and each and every arrow in the quiver of the Rolf clan.
    Godspeed and God bless

  23. In moments like these words often fail us in expressing the loss of a godly man such as Jory. We only had the opportunity to host the Rolf family a few times but they became very dear to our hearts over the past few years. I know Jory will be missed but I know God’s plan for him was completed and now he gets to sing with the heavenly choir. While our hearts our heavy, we know it’s not goodbye, rather til we meet again on the other side.

  24. I felt, and feel, a strong kinship with the Rolf family. I admired Jory so much for his commitment to loving people and bringing light into their lives. I loved it when I got a chance to photograph their family as they performed in Downtown Branson, and any time I saw them, I had my camera ready! As Chairperson for the Branson Veterans Task Force, and an Army veteran, I was asked to speak for their group of young people during Veterans Week for the past several years. I loved his patriotism and need to let today’s young people hear about veterans and serving our country firsthand. His enthusiasm was contagious. Jory will be and is already missed. To Tess and the kids, I am here for you. The Task Force is here for you. We are family. We are America.

  25. Our thoughts and prayers are being sent up for you. You are on the church prayer list. We will not soon forget your ministry here in Oak Springs RV park. Gods peace be with you and the family. Bob Adams

  26. Jory, along with his equally treasured other half – Tess, impacted my life in ways I can’t even fully put into words. I remember with joy their entrance onto the stage of God’s work in my life. How with passion, truth, and empathy they drew out young people and challenged them to vibrant, bold, full-of-faith kind of life. My brother was one of those drawn to take up that challenge. He traveled on two tours with what was then called ACTION Ministries. After his first tour, the Lord led him to begin a like-minded ministry in our own area. As a small group of young teenagers, DRAMA Ministries was birthed. The spiritual growth that resulted from all this, significantly impacted my family, peers, church, and community. The ripple effects are an incredible God-be-glorified list.I am certain my direction and purpose in life would not be the same had it not been for the impact of Jory and Tess. I personally went on tour as well. Jory and Tess became spiritual parents to me. They would meet with each member of the teams before and after the tours to talk about their spiritual goals and growth. I remember vividly how Jory’s insightful questions and challenges felt like they pierced right to the heart of what I needed to hear. He wasn’t pushy or rude though. It was genuine, caring, and full of truth. Another significant experience in my life was watching Jory and Tess become parents. Little Banner was the most popular member of the tour team. Copying the mimes, telling us how it’s done, sleeping with cheerios stuck to his face. But even more memorable than this popular little guy’s antics, was the change that came over Jory – every ounce of passion for life in Christ for the youth on the mission trips was now channeled through a conduit of deep affection for his precious son. It wasn’t that he forgot about all the spiritual sons and daughters he and Tess were loving on but it heightened the awareness of the eternal value of their investment.
    As I entered young-adulthood, whenever I would have the opportunity to see the Rolfs, Jory and Tess continued to pour wisdom, discretion, and insight into my life. Jory always communicated a fatherly/big brother kind of protective concern for me and I knew he and Tess were looking out for me.
    As the years have passed I haven’t been able to see them as often or have those deep challenging heart-to-heart talks. They grew their family to a beautiful team of Christ-followers, and I have entered marriage and family as well and my husband and I pour out a passion for life in Christ in our own arena now. But my admiration has remained, and their love and “cheering” for me and my families’ spiritual journey has been constant.
    It would have been 20 years ago this year that this couple walked into my life. I admit, hearing the news that Jory had entered into glory, brought great sorrow to my heart. I wept, worshipped, and prayed earnestly for Tess and their dear family, and I am committed to continue in prayer for each of them.
    I wrote the following on January 1st, the “wise mentor” quote was his.
    “Happy New Year. I saw God in my weaknesses and I saw Him in my abilities. I saw Him in the little details and in the grand plan. I saw Him in the wisdom of elders and in purity of childlike faith. I saw Him in beauty displayed and in the brokenness unveiled. I saw Him in my sorrow and even in death, and I saw Him in joy and the gift of life.
    Truly, the prophet captures this awe, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? ” (Is 40:12)
    And as one wise mentor in my life used to say it – “no other way to explain it but God moments”
    I am so thankful for all the “but God” in a year past and look forward to the testimony the next year holds.”
    Jory was a gift to so many. What the Lord had given to him and did in his life – he poured out onto others without reserve. I pray that this legacy will continue to point others to the Jesus who he followed and who did all these things through him. I pray too that the gift of spiritual passion he instilled in so many would continue to produce fruit. I pray for his sweet family that they would know God’s strong arms of love when they miss their dad and husband. That they would cling to the future hope they have in Christ to see their father and husband again, and as each wave of emotion washes over them in the months and years ahead, that each one would find community, prayer and the Word to bear on their lives and to enter into God’s path to healing.
    Jory has entered perfect joy and even now is free to revel in the unveiled beauty and glory of God the Father on the throne. A time of worship so wonderful our hearts would burst if we could even catch a glimpse. He has entered in.

  27. I am not sure even where or how to begin, Jory was my “big brother” when I was in college. We were dance partners in Singers, and spent road trips talking and laughing. His smile and voice is forever etched in my heart. A person who helped me through some hard times and laughed in the good ones. He loved God as do I, but understanding why this had to happen is not in my ability. He touched everyone who knew him and even some who did not. My prayers are for his family, may God bring the peace that passes all understanding. I miss you but at least I know I will see you in again in heaven. Love to you and your family,

  28. Floods of memories have passed through my mind this past week since I heard the news of Jory’s entrance into heaven. I pretty much ate, slept, and breathed mime through my teenage years and into young adulthood and can remember many encounters with Jory and Tess through that time. I am so grateful for his willingness to follow God’s calling on his life. Not only did his leadership in ACTION Ministries help shape my development as a teenager and follower of Christ but he set an example for me to understand what it is like to follow God’s calling for my own life. There are a few things that stick out as I remember him. I remember him as having an intense passion for whatever he was doing. I can remember the emotion that would exude from him as he poured out his heart and vision for young people on many a late night at Family Camp or mission trip training. I remember just knowing that he was not only a person who believed what he preached but also lived it out. He believed in the power that young people had to build the Kingdom of God and that they didn’t have to wait until they were grown up to do it. This belief still influences me today in my role as a mother and a Youth Pastor’s wife because I look at young people through this lense. Young people are empowered by God to do so much and I expect that they can do great things. My favorite thing that I remember Jory saying was that we can live “impossible, no other way to explain it except for God” kinds of lives. So many years later this phrase still pops up in my thoughts and in my prayer times. We serve a great big God who does “impossible, no other way to explain it” kinds of things every day. Perhaps one of the greatest of those things is choosing to use us for his glory, the way he did with Jory. My heart and prayers are with Tess and the kids. I pray that you are held in God’s loving arms of comfort during this time and that you know how much you are loved by so many people around the world who have been impacted by your legacy.

  29. We were so sorry to hear about the loss of Jory. We knew him when he was in Centennial Singers in Laramie, WY and traveled with the group as “Mom” and “Dad”! It was such a fun time with all the kids, but Jory was a joy. Our prayers are with his family as they deal with this loss. I know that they are in God’s hands, as is Jory.

  30. My husband and I met Jory and Tess when ACTION came through Maryland. Banner was born four months after our first baby. We lost touch some time after Nation was born. I remember Jory telling the kids in the mime troupe we were directing to take care of their leaders! Tess, you may not remember us, but I am so sorry for your unfathomable loss.

  31. My family and I first met Jory and Tess in 1999 when they brought an ACTION group to Camp Ridgedale in Vanleer, TN for training before starting their tour. We instantly fell in love with them. We saw quite a bit of them over the next couple of years, as they moved to Arrington, TN. They finally convinced us to join them on one of their ACTION tours in 2001. So, my wife and I took off from work and took our daughters (4 & 2 at the time) on a 6 week mission trip. I remember picking up teenagers at the Baltimore airport just a day or two after airports reopened after the 9/11 tragedy. I was amazed at how much trust the parents had in Jory and Tess to send their children from all over the country to travel up and down the East coast during such an uncertain time.
    I believe the 2001 East Coast Tour was the largest group ACTION took on tour for a long time (it may still be). It was actually bigger than many know, because we would discover during the tour that Tess was pregnant with Banner and my wife was pregnant with our 3rd child during the trip. It was during this tour, that I saw firsthand, what Jory was all about. Beginning with the training camp, I was amazed at how much he expected out of this group of teenagers. I thought, at the time, that they were unrealistic expectations, but I was proven wrong. I saw 1 Timothy 4:12 come to life before my eyes. Jory told me that people (not just young adults) would live up to or down to whatever level of expectations you held them to.
    Jory held them to the expectation of excellence, and as he predicted they rose to that level. Jory was at the same time gentle and firm. He was patient, yet uncompromising. He could lead by example or stand in the background and let others lead; and know which approach was called for. He was a master at getting the most out of so little. My memories of him, still challenge me today as a man of God, as a husband, and as a father. I cannot even fathom how many lives he has touched and impacted during his life. I thank God the father for sharing him with us for as long as he did. I pray for peace and comfort for Tess and the children.
    God Bless,
    Randall & Celeste Crider

  32. Jory always believed in me no matter what I did and I could see that he did. I could feel it. And that changed my life. He just genuinely loved me. I knew Jory well and he knew me even better then I did myself at the time. He was my mentor in my early years and I didn’t even know it. He was ALWAYS pushing me and expecting more out of me than I ever knew I had in myself. I remember on several occasions getting so mad at him for expecting and believing what I thought was impossible, out of me. Those moments as a kid forced me to learn how to lead, stretched me and made me realize the potential that was inside me. Jory’s story will live on through hundreds of kids like me. Dozens of people I know, he impacting in a big way as a kid and I know there’s dozens times dozens that I don’t know. I traveled the country with this man and am honored to have known him, learn from him and experience the love he showed the youth all around him.

  33. Jory’s legacy will live on for eternity! He touched countless lives. He and Tess encouraged, loved on, and stretched my children and so many others. He taught excellence, honor, and Integrity. And when he and Tess knew of someone with a need, they quietly and personally did what they could to help; careful to give dignity, love, and support. They did this for me and my family. Only in Heave will it be revealed all that they have poured out for others, in the name of our Lord.

    Tess, your strength and endurance through the years has been a shining example to me and others. Late nights and early mornings and full days, and there you would be with joy all over your face, shining through your wonderful smile! I pray you and the children feel your Heavenly Father’s arms wrapped around you. You are being covered in prayer by the many who love you.

  34. The masses of people encouraged, challenged and lovingly put on a path to Holiness by this family are a testimate of Gold.

    We praise God because of all the times we were blessed because of sacrifices that the whole Rolf family made.

    I first met Tess Jory and Baby Banner at a small youth conference presentation at our church – probably 10 local kids were there witnessing this mime thing.
    We learned that this mime thing was actually not really about mime it was about doing something with your faith.

    That was the most powerful interesting thing about this young couple to me. They were people like the characters from the New Testament – I was reading about people like DL Moody and Corrie Ten Boom and CS Lewis and not seeing any real life examples; Until I met Tess and Jory. They made being a missionary something you could actually practice in your community even if you were young. They encouraged leaving everything better than you found it – finding ways to serve others and point to Jesus. This is so needed in every church in every Christian heart and sadly it is not strongly practiced by believers. Tess and Jory strongly practice this heart.

    They encouraged us to live our faith apply, it practice it and actually reach out to help others – to do something.
    Not just go to youth group every week and talk about the good things we should do. But actually go practice the gospel and Act the gospel and that for me among a thousand others nuggets of wisdom and kindness is what I am most thankful for with the Rolf family.
    A strong example as weak human people to shine out many many kingdom lights.

    Their challenge to go make believers and teach others what Jesus taught is very alive.

    Thank you God.

  35. As I have been reflecting on the impact Tess and Jory made on my life and the life of my children, I have come to realize that I have never really looked at how our lives were drastically changed because of this young, (at the time) couple who came to San Diego many years ago to teach our home school group how to mime. Not only the mime but the week they were with us they taught us how to do everything we do with excellence, even taking out the trash or sweeping the floor. I have continued living this way since then. My children live like this (for the most part). I was talking to one of my daughters the other day and this is when I realized that our way of thinking, of living, came from the one short week that Tess and Jory were with us way back in the 90’s. I also remember the unconditional love they poured out on us, especially my son, Patrick. Patrick has several disabilities which made it difficult to get him to conform to the group of kids who were learning to mime. Jory did not try to conform Patrick, he just loved him right where he was and did not concern himself the the look of perfection he wanted…. He allowed Patrick to be a part of the team just the way he was. This was the first time in our lives where Patrick was totally accepted and loved just the way he was. During this week, Patrick hurt himself pretty bad and the ambulance came, as we were in the back of the ambulance, we looked out the door and the whole team was circled up praying for Patrick to this day it still makes me cry. I will be eternally grateful to Tess and Jory for the wonderful memories, for the impact on our lives but mostly for their unconditional love for my sweet boy, Patrick.

  36. My husband & I were privileged to have mentored Jory through catechism & through coaching him on the CYO basketball team at Holy Trinity Church in Cheynne, WY. He was a very loving & kind person. We know his family well. I worked with his mother and know Jim well, as well as Travis & his wonderful family. One would know the boys came from loving parents. Our hearts & prayers go out to all of Jory’s family.

  37. My husband Bob and I met Jory, Tess and their wonderful family in April 2014. We were headed down to the Boatshow Branson Belle and heard this wonderful music. We discovered the Rolf family playing at the bandstand so we stopped and listened. When they were done their show we had the opportunity to talk to them. We were very impressed on how knowledgeable the children were about Canada and our part of the country, British Columbia. The conversation turned to the east coast and Cape Breton and the Celtic Colours International Festival and PEI. This conversation led to further conversations by phone and correspondence via email. The Rolf family eventually made it to Cape Breton however we were not there at the same time so didn’t get to see them. We were so happy to hear they had made it to Canada!
    Our hearts were broken when we heard that Jory had passed suddenly and our thoughts and prayers are with Tess and all her children . Perhaps our paths will cross again one day! Until then we hold you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  38. My daddy was a wonderful daddy. He was an encourager, a discipler and a huge influence on my life. I have so many wonderful memories of him: When I was little, my daddy had a small office where he would work at night while my mom got us kids ready for bed. As soon as I was ready, I would skip in to give him a goodnight hug and kiss.

    I remember one time, daddy took me to a thrift store where we found a HUGE stuffed bear for sale. I can still remember the smiles that came from every direction because of the HUGE bear that was riding around the store in a cart. I still have that silly bear! I named her Cherry. I’ve had many fun memories with her: Once on my 4th birthday I woke up to find that Cherry Bear was gone! I was so sad that I started cry. Then daddy came in, got me up and took me to the kitchen and of course there, as proud, happy, safe and content [as any stuffed animal could be] sat Cherry at the kitchen table!

    Daddy used to make up funny hillbilly jokes. For instance, when we were in Canada, he made up this one…
    “Once there was a hillbilly who was in a foreign land with his friend. He stumbled on a dirty tin can and picked it up. As he opened the lid, he was very surprised to hear a loud voice say “DUH”. He quickly closed the lid and reopened it, again the can said “DUH”. “What is that?” Asked the hillbilly’s friend. “That,” said the hillbilly, “is a can-a-duh!” [Canada].

    He was an amazing discipler as well. Every Christmas Eve, he would gather us around the Christmas tree, and we would have a Bible study about the story of Christmas. That night we would all sleep under the Christmas tree!

    Yes, daddy spoiled me a little bit before my little sister came along… I can remember being asked many times if I liked being the only girl. My answer was always the same, I would say… “Yes, I do, because if I had a sister, I would have to share my daddy with her!”

    There are so many great memories that I have of my Larger-Than-Life Father. I loved him very much! He was a wonderful father and a great example. So, daddy I will always remember you as a man who loved God and cherished his family! I love you daddy and although I will miss you, I know that you are in a place where you will never be sad or sick or harmed. You have a new body, a new life, a new home and most importantly you are with your Savior, nothing could be better! I have learned a very important lesson… LIFE IS FRAGILE! Always remember to say “I love you,” because you may never know when you or someone else will draw his last breath! Also, think about what legacy you want to leave behind, how do you want to be remembered?

  39. I had a father who cared about my spiritual growth.
    I had a father that would give almost anything to help me be successful.
    I had a father who cared if he was in God’s will or not.
    I had a father who prayed.
    I had a father that loved old-fashioned.
    I had a father who wasn’t afraid to speak out.
    I had a father who wanted his kid’s to know Christ.
    I had a father that lived by faith.
    I had a father that could trust God.
    I had a father that cared about other’s spiritual growth.
    I had a father that loved intentionality.
    I had a father that strove to be attentive to God’s voice.
    I had a father that risked taking six kids on the road, and trusted God to take care of our needs.
    I had a father who taught what it meant to be a leader.
    I had a father that taught me how to shave.
    I had a father that loved his children.
    I had a father that was a visionary.
    I had a father that was committed.
    I had a father that was creative.
    I had a father that was an encourager. I watched him he talked to others. God would use him to speak life to others.
    I had a father that was thorough.
    I had a father that served others.
    I had a father that loved to leave people better than he found them.
    I had a father that loved excellence.
    I had a father that loved proactive behavior.
    I had a father that loved discipleship.
    I had a father that loved to think different.
    I had a father that loved pictures.
    I had a father that was willing to confront me.
    Most of all, I had a dad that taught me to be a servant leader. He taught me by example to speak the truth. To care about others more than then they care about themselves. To obey God no matter what. The world needs strong Christian leaders that lead with integrity, love and servant hearts. That was my dad. That is who he taught me to be.

    This quote sums up dad and his life: he loved this quote and said it often:
    Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise,
    Risking more than others think is safe,
    Dreaming more than others think is practical and
    Expecting more than others think is possible.

    This was one of dad’s favorite passages. The words here have brought comfort to many, including him. But these words can bring comfort to you today. Right now. In whatever situation you might be in.
    2 Corinthians 4:7-18
    “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
    Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘’I believed, and so I spoke,’’ we also believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
    So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

  40. I want to share one of my dad’s favorite messages. He shared this very often through the years, including in Germany through a translator. This message described him pretty well, it was who he was.

    God Uses Broken Things

    “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Ps. 51:17

    Those people God uses the most to bring glory to Himself are those who are completely broken, for the sacrifice He accepts is a “broken and contrite” heart.

    It was not until Jacob’s natural strength was broken, when his hip was wrenched, that he came to the point where God could clothe him with spiritual power. God uses broken things. (Gen 32: 24-32)

    And it was not until Moses struck the rock at Horeb, breaking its surface, that cool water came out of it for the people to drink – God uses broken things. (Numbers 20:8)

    It was not until Gideon’s three hundred specially chosen soldiers broke the jars that were in their hands, which symbolized brokenness in their lives, that the hidden light of the torches shone forth, bringing terror to their enemies – God uses broken things. (Judges 7:16-35)

    It was once the poor widow broke the seal on her only remaining jar of oil and began to pour it that God miraculously multiplied it to pay her debts and thereby supplied her means of support – God uses broken things. (2 Kings 4:1-7)

    It was once Jesus took the five loaves and broke them that the bread was multiplied to feed the five thousand – God uses broken things. (Matthew 14:13-21)

    It was when Mary broke her beautiful alabaster jar of very expensive perfume destroying its future usefulness and value, that the wonderful fragrance filled the house – God uses broken things. (Mark 14:3)

    And it was when Jesus allowed His precious body to be broken by thorns, nails and spear that His inner life was poured out like an ocean of crystal-clear water, for thirsty sinners to drink and then live – God uses broken things. (1 Peter 2:24/Isaiah 53:4-5)

    Those who have been gripped by the power of the Holy Spirit and are used for God’s glory are those who have been broken in their finances, broken in the self-will, broken in the ambitions, broken in their lofty ideals, and often broken in their health. Yes, He uses those who are despised by the world and who seem totally hopeless and helpless – God uses broken things.

  41. I’m shocked, I’m heartbroken, I’m at a loss, but I’m thankful! Thankful I got the chance to know Jory in high school and to work with him. Thankful for fond memories of Jory’s kindness and warm smile. Thankful and blessed that I was able to call Jory my friend. And most of all, thankful and comforted that Jory was fully prepared to be called home. I’ll miss you my friend! May God bless and comfort your family.

  42. It has taken me awhile to post here, not because I had nothing to say but because I had a lot to say, or rather there was a lot of ways Jory influenced me, and I wanted to express it properly. But I can’t, so I will just say what I can at this time, and I hope it’s helpful to the family.
    Jory had an immense impact on me during my high school years, both directly, at camps and on tour, and indirectly, by starting Action Ministries. He and Tess always held us to a high standard, even as young people, and truly believed we were capable of anything. We were to be an example to the believers in speech, life, love, faith, and purity (1 Tim. 4:12). Action was so helpful to give me confidence and bring me out of my shell as a homeschooler. And it helped me be bold about my walk with God in front of others.
    There have been three people I’ve met in my life who I’d put in a different category than the average person – they are all intensely driven and motivated, focused and passionate. One is a successful businessman, one is a missionary involved in Bible translation in a Muslim country, and the third is Jory. An entrepreneur. A father. A pastor (perhaps not in the traditional sense, but a pastor nonetheless). A visionary. There isn’t one word I can use to describe him, because Jory is so multi-faceted.
    It seemed he was always coming up with a new ministry idea, a new way to reach people, a new way to improve the world at large. Because that’s how big his vision was. “Vision.” “Legacy.” “Dream.” These were words that Jory repeated and believed were important. One summer at camp he spoke about being the refuse of the earth, and illustrated this by stepping into a trash bag. Then he invited anyone who wanted to join him in full time ministry to come up front… and step into their own garbage bags. More people went forward than stayed in their seats. That was the kind of inspiration Jory could impart – he could convince people to stand in garbage bags and pledge their lives to God’s service.
    Jory was such a team player. And his family was his main team. It was really beautiful to see him honor Tess in front of us as teenagers, leading by example as we thought about our futures and marriage. Banner was the only kid I was able to spend much time with, and he was a baby when I went on tour, but Jory had such great love for him. I know he loved all his kids that way, passionately. He had great hopes and expectations for them, and wanted to support them as well as he was able. Because he left earlier than we would have wished doesn’t change that. I remember my family visiting the Rolfs in Branson one summer, and we got to meet a few of the younger kids. They were all so sweet. I know he was proud of each of them for growing up so well.
    Even though Jory was so driven and wanted to serve God to the best of his ability, he knew that once in awhile people needed to have a little fun. I remember him intentionally slowing down so others around him could have a good time, even though we could tell he wanted to keep right on working and making a difference in the world. I remember him showing my family that when the Krispy Kreme light came on, we could go and get free donuts! What a treat.
    I am absolutely privileged and thankful I got to know Jory the little bit that I did. I wish I’d also known his time on earth was going to be shorter than expected, but I know that he crammed it full and lived as vibrantly as he could. His legacy isn’t diminished in my mind by knowing now of his struggles – it helps me understand his humility and the urgency with which he lived. God is ultimately in charge, and he knows everything from the beginning. He takes many of his brightest lights home early, and it is better to burn brightly while you are here than flicker slowly and die out.
    Rolf family, you are loved. You are loved by God, still, and you were loved by Jory. You are loved by those of us still here, and we pray for you, not as much as we ought to, but you are remembered. Remember that we all stumble sometimes. Remember that imperfect people can still make a difference. Continue to live well and live passionately. Finally, “cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7).

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