John H. Jordan Jr.

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3 entries
  • "Mr. Jordan was one of the best friends (and wonderful..."
    - Mary Ann Tucker
  • "What a wonderful surprise to hear from you, Laura. I was..."
  • "RIP Mr. Jordan. I did not know this man but I am 100%..."
    - Laura Elliott
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1918 - 2015 John H. Jordan, Jr., was born on February 21, 1918, in Bronson, Texas, to parents John Henry Jordan and Lucile Helpinstil Jordan. He died February 17, 2015. John graduated from Bronson High School in 1935 and received a degree in chemistry from the University of Texas in Austin in 1939. John and his high school sweetheart, Ruby Taylor of San Augustine, Texas, eloped on Saturday, Halloween night, October 31, 1936. John often joked that he and Ruby went trick or treating and wound up married, but he often said that it was the best thing that ever happened to him. John found out that getting married on Saturday was not an easy thing to do. All that was needed at that time was a marriage license, but the courthouse was closed. John had a lawyer friend in Orange that he thought could help him get the license, so he and Ruby drove to the lawyer's home in Orange. The lawyer was not at home. He was supposed to be at a carnival in Orange. John and Ruby went looking for him at the carnival, but they could not find him. When John and Ruby could not find the lawyer, John found the name and phone number of the County Clerk. John called him at home. The Clerk said that he would be glad to furnish the required marriage license. John and Ruby then hurried to his home. The County Clerk looked at Ruby and told her that she would have to have someone swear that she was eighteen years old. John and Ruby went back to the carnival to look for the lawyer again, but they still could not find him. As they were leaving the carnival grounds they saw a well-dressed young man, unknown to them, carrying a small package. John told him about their problem, and he agreed to go with them and swear that Ruby was eighteen, even though he had never seen her before. John and Ruby got the license. The young man, whom they have not seen since, handed Ruby the package he was carrying and said to her: You are going to need this worse than I will. It was a pound of bacon which he had won at the carnival. It was getting late at night when Ruby and John arrived back in Beaumont. John called the pastor of South Park Methodist Church, Reverend J.C. Marshall, who graciously agreed to perform the ceremony, even though John had awakened him and his wife. It was almost midnight when John and Ruby arrived at the church parsonage. Reverend and Mrs. Marshall, who was holding a pet cat, were waiting for them. Reverend Marshall performed the ceremony and pronounced them man and wife at midnight. They were never sure if their wedding anniversary was October 31st, or November 1st, each year. Whenever John and Ruby would attend an elaborate wedding ceremony, Ruby would usually mention that her wedding was not like that. John consoled her by telling her that her wedding had something no other wedding had as far as he knew: A cat for a witness. In March 1940, John began work as a chemist for the Magnolia Petroleum Co., now ExxonMobil, in the Company's Analytical Laboratory. In this position he worked on improving old analytical methods and developing new methods for the analysis of petroleum streams and products. In connection with this work he learned the art of glass blowing using Pyrex glass to fabricate glass apparatus for special and research projects. One of John's glass blowing projects, not involving his assigned duties, was reported in the New York Times. This occurred when a young boy got a BB gun pellet lodged in one of his ears. The boy's ear doctor called on the Company through one of its employees, Charles Shelly, for help in fabricating a glass tube to possibly fit in the boy's ear and withdraw the pellet. Otherwise, he would have to perform surgery. The doctor provided John with a human skeleton head and some pellets like the one in the boy's ear. The Company provided soft wax to simulate the real ear. By trial and error the ends of glass tubes were shaped to fit over the pellet until one of the tubes adhered to the pellet and was successfully vacuumed out of the skeleton's ear. The procedure worked on the boy's ear and no surgery was required. John worked for twenty years in the Refinery Laboratory except for a three month assignment in El Palito, Venezuela, where Mobil had built a new refinery. During World War II, John was involved in the production of aviation gasoline for the Air Force and the production of toluene, a basic chemical used to manufacture the explosive TNT, for the Army. John was a member of The American Chemical Society and a member of the American Society for Testing Materials during a portion of his career. In 1960 Mobil Chemical was organized as a separate division of Mobil Oil. John became the one and only supervisor of Mobil Chemical's Olefins-Aromatics Plant Laboratory for thirty-four years, except for an assignment of five months in Naples, Italy, again where Mobil had built a new chemical plant. John was proud of the fact that the Laboratory had no disabling accidents in the thirty-four years he was supervisor. In 1993 Mobil Chemical built a new Olefins - Aromatics Plant Laboratory. The Company presented John with a plaque that reads as follows: The Mobil Chemical OA Plant Laboratory is hereby dedicated to John H. Jordan in Appreciation for 53 Years of Outstanding Service, July 23, 1993. John retired in 1994 after 54 years of service with Mobil. At that time he was the oldest active employee within the Mobil Corporation. One of Ruby's favorite sayings was: God and Mobil have been good to us. John wanted to make it: God, Mobil, and Beaumont have been good to us. John deeply appreciated all the people at Mobil and all of his friends and family. John was a devoted son, husband, father, grandfather, great- grandfather, and great great grandfather. Every personal decision he ever made was based on the best interests of his family. John is predeceased by his wife, Ruby Taylor Jordan, and his parents. He is survived by two daughters, Lynn McGown and husband Mike McGown, of Beaumont, Texas, and Karen Cooper of League City, Texas; two granddaughters, Mallory McGown of League City, Texas, and Cheryl Cooper of New York, New York; two grandsons, Michael McGown of Park City, Utah, and Eric Cooper of New York, New York; and numerous great grandchildren and great great grandchildren, all of whom he dearly loved. Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, 3430 Harrison Avenue, Beaumont, Texas 77706.

Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on June 7, 2015
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