Jean was born on September 13, 1927, in Ninnekah, Oklahoma. She was the oldest daughter of John and Johnnie Jordan. In 1941, her family left Oklahoma and moved to Fresno, California. At 15, Jean was a cashier at the meat market where her father worked. She attended Roosevelt High School where she was on the Honor Roll, served as the editor of the school newspaper and was on the debate team. The debate team won the regional finals, however, Jean was not allowed to debate in the state finals because she was a woman. |
Jean graduated from Roosevelt High in 1945. She wrote that she wanted to be a Corporate Attorney under "future career". Jean attended UCLA where she joined Theta Upsilon Sorority. She worked in Saudi Arabia for the Aramco Oil Company in the Personnel Department at age 21. In 1956, Jean married Thomas Harvey and they were married 49 years before Tom's death in 2005.
Jean worked as a paralegal and law clerk for Parichan, Renberg & Crossman both before and during law school, transitioning to the position of attorney when she passed the Bar in 1975. Two years later, she became one of the first women, if not the first, to become a partner in a major Fresno law firm. In 2010, she became Of Counsel to Caswell, Bell & Hillison, continuing her representation of agricultural clients, ranging from farmers and packers to commission merchants and other businesses. Her interest in agriculture went beyond the legal sphere; she and her husband owned a small vineyard in Madera, CA.
Jean's involvement with the State Bar and the ABA included serving two terms on the Agribusiness Committee of the State Business Law Section and chairing the Agribusiness Committee of the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Section of the ABA. In addition, she served for nine years on the Board of the Kings View Mental Health Association and also as both legal counsel and President of the Fresno Women's Network.
In 2011, Jean was bestowed two great honors. First, she was inducted into the San Joaquin College of Law, Hall of Fame. Secondly, she was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. She was acknowledged by Chief Justice Roberts in the presence of all eight of the other Justices. Following the Admissions ceremony, a reception was held at the Courthouse attended by Justices' Alito and Ginsburg.
After the death of her husband, Tom, Jean moved to San Diego to live with her daughter, Annette. Her retirement years were filled with travel, the theater, Bunco, lunches with friends and season tickets to the San Diego Symphony.
Ima Jean Harvey leaves behind one daughter, Annette; sister, Clarita Evans; and brothers, John and Ray Jordan. She was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Tom.
Ima Jean's ashes will be placed alongside her husband's at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA, on July 18, 2014. Two memorials will be held. The first is on July 19, 2014, at 11:00am at Cornerstone Church in Poway, CA. The second memorial service will be held in Fresno, CA, on July 24, 2014, at 11:00am, at the Peoples Church.
In lieu of flowers donations can be given to: Pastoral Training of Asia P.O. Box 1136, San Clemente, CA 92674-1136, attention: Pastor Martin & Beth Sanders; Cornerstone Church of Poway; the San Joaquin College of Law; or a
Published in the Pomerado News on July 17, 2014