CLARENCE JORDAN (1924 - 2012)

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Colonel Clarence E. Jordan, Jr., also known as "Zeke" to his friends and "Bubba" to his family, died at the age of 87 at the Broadview Assisted Living Facility in Tallahassee, Florida on April 7thth, 2012 after a long illness. Zeke was born on August 28th, 1924 in Mobile, Alabama to Mr. Clarence E. and Mrs. Ruth Anna Goleman Jordan. His family included two brothers, Alfred (Al) and Kirk and one sister, Eloise ("Sis"). In 1927 the family moved to Montgomery, Alabama, where Zeke graduated from Sidney Lanier High School. After attending Tulane University for one year, Zeke was admitted to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. He graduated from West Point and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry in 1946. Shortly after graduation in June 1946, he married Miss Beulah (Boots) Greer of Montgomery, Alabama at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Montgomery, Alabama on December 23rd, 1946.

Zeke served in the United States Army for over 25 years, including two assignments in Panama, a tour of duty in the Republic of Korea and a combat tour in the Republic of Vietnam. While in Vietnam, Zeke served as the Deputy Brigade Commander of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division and later as the Battalion Commander of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry of the 1st Cavalry Division. Zeke led his battalion in many significant combat engagements, including the relief of U.S. Marine forces at Khe Sanh in April 1968 and during the "Mini-Tet Offensive" in May 1968, both of which were some of the fiercest battles of the Vietnam War. After returning to the United States from Vietnam as a newly promoted Colonel, Zeke served his final military assignment in Quito, Ecuador in a diplomatic post as the Commander of the United States Military Advisory and Assistance Group, assisting the Ecuadorian Armed Forces from 1969 until 1971. During his military career, Zeke and his family moved sixteen times, serving in several overseas assignments and assignments throughout the United States. In recognition of his combat service, Zeke was awarded the Silver Star, one of the Army's highest combat decorations for heroism. In addition to the Silver Star, Zeke received numerous awards for his military service, including two Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, nine Air Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Vietnamese Medal of Honor, Ecuador's highest military award, the Navy Meritorious Service Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, and many other service medals.

After retirement in 1971, Zeke and his family moved to Palatka, Florida where he served as the Senior Army Advisor for the Palatka South High School Junior ROTC, and later in the same position at Palatka High School, serving from 1971 until 1986 when he formally retired. Upon his retirement from teaching, Zeke devoted himself to his many leisure pursuits, including painting, golf at the Palatka Country Club, sailing and traveling with his wife Boots to visit their children and grand-children throughout the country and even in Europe. Throughout the almost thirty years he resided in Palatka, Zeke was very active in community activities, serving as Commodore of the Palatka Yacht Club and on the Parish Council of St. Monica's Catholic Church, among many other positions of responsibility with various civic organizations.

Upon the death of his wife, Boots in 1999, Zeke moved to Montgomery, Alabama where he lived for several years before moving to The Villages in Florida, where he lived for several more. In 2006 he moved to Tallahassee, Florida to live close to his eldest daughter's family. Zeke resided at Cherry Laurel independent living facility in Tallahassee until moving to the Broadview Assisted Living Facility for the final year of his life. Zeke is predeceased by his wife, Mrs. Beulah (Boots) G. Jordan and his youngest son, Philip D. Jordan, both formerly of Palatka, Florida, as well as his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence E. Jordan, Sr. of Montgomery, Alabama and his brother Alfred Jordan and his wife Mrs. Helen E. Jordan, of Montgomery, Alabama.

He is survived by his son Dr. Thomas H. Jordan and his wife Mrs. Margaret Jordan, of Pasadena, California; his daughter Mrs. Valerie Hubbard and her husband Mr. Allen Hubbard, of Tallahassee, Florida; his son Mr. James H. Jordan and his wife Mrs. Angie Jordan, of Cleveland, Tennessee; his son Colonel John J. Jordan (US Army, Retired) and his wife Mrs. Barbara Jordan of Middleburg, Florida; his son Mr. Andrew P. Jordan and his wife Mrs. Kathy Jordan, of Alpharetta, Georgia; his youngest daughter, Mrs. Helen Quinoy, and her husband Mr. Albert Quinoy, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and finally by fifteen grand-children and three great-grandchildren. Zeke is also survived by his sister, Mrs. Eloise J. Taff ("Sis") and her husband Mr. Milton Taff of Montgomery, Alabama and his brother, Mr. Kirk A. Jordan and his wife Mrs. Norma Jordan, of Newark, Ohio.

A Roman Catholic Funeral Mass will be celebrated 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, April 11th at St. Monica Catholic Church with Father Ignatius Plathanam, CMI, officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Hill West Cemetery with the U.S. Army conducting full military honors and a reception will follow at St. Monica Catholic Church Parish Hall. Friends may call Tuesday from 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. Tuesday at the Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka with a Catholic Vigil service at 7:00 P.M. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to: The Boots & Philip Jordan Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o St. Johns River State College Foundation, 5001 St. Johns Avenue, Palatka, Florida, 32177. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at www.JohnsonOverturfFunerals.com

Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka is in charge of arrangements.

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Published in the MontgomeryAdvertiser.com on Apr. 10, 2012
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