Mertis "Mert" Estelle Jordan
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Mertis Jordan died on June 2, 2014 after a long spirited battle with Alzheimer's. She was surrounded by the love of her three daughters, her granddaughter and one very special friend in her final days. Her beloved husband of 59 years, David preceded her in death in 2006. Mert was a beautiful woman who gave every ounce of herself to her husband, children, grand-children and friends.She used her incredible energy to make a home that ran like a top, cooked delicious meals for her family and friends, and created festive birthday and holiday celebrations. She had a gift for making everyone in her presence feel welcomed and cared for. Mert was born in Center Hill, Florida on November 10, 1925.She grew up in various towns between Bushnell and Tampa. It was a difficult time but her resourcefulness and determination got her through. At age 15, she found work as a curb girl at the Shea and Prang Drug Store on Central Ave., Tampa. There she made many lifetime friends and met a handsome soda jerk named David, who became her lifetime love.Mert often said that her life did not begin until she met Dave. When World War II began, Dave joined the Navy. Mert decided she would join too. Dave was stationed in Pensacola, Florida and Mert left for boot camp at Hunter College in New York City. When she got her assignment, she was also sent to Pensacola, only 30 miles away from Dave.Let's just say, they made sure they snuck away often to get together. Dave was shipped out to Guam right before the end of the war. Mert remained in Pensacola until the end of the war when she was discharged in 1946. Mert was proud of her Navy service and the fact that she is listed in the Women's Military Museum in Washington, DC. Mert and Dave married when he came home from Guam in Jacksonville and that summer they began their life together.Mert presided over the household and Dave worked hard as an aircraft mechanic at the Navy base. They had three girls Marsha, Jan and Karen. As the girls grew, she realized that more income was necessary. She decided to go to nursing school at age 40 and become an LPN. She worked at Memorial Hospital and was one of the first to work in the new area of Respiratory Therapy.Mert and Dave moved to Tallahassee in 1996 to be closer to their girls. She continued to host family dinners and holidays, and always had food and drink available in her refrigerator. She was especially admired for her homemade biscuits that were served with ham at many Seminole football games. They were legendary.Mert loved people and like to party. The expression "eat, drink, and be merry" fit her to a "T". Mert is survived by her daughters, Marsha, Jordan, Jan Jordan Walters and Karen Passman, her grandchildren, Grayson Walters and Jordan Walters, and a devoted family friend, Nancy Daniels. Mert will always be remembered for her loving nature and positive spirit.The family would like to gratefully thank Big Bend Hospice for their excellent care for Mert in her last days. She went peacefully with the help of gentle music therapists playing old spirituals beautifully. We thank too the staff at Clare Bridge for the compassion care Mert was given over the past five years she spent there.Mert's service will be held at Culley's MeadowWood Funeral Home, 1737 Riggins Rd. Tallahassee, Florida on Saturday, June 7, 2014. There will be a visitation at 11:00am. The service will begin at noon.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on June 6, 2014