New London - Charles James Jordon, 81, of 597 Ocean Ave., New London, went home to be with the Lord on Friday, March 28, 2014.
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He was born in Thomasville, Ga., the son of the late George and Mammie (Frazier) Jordon. Charles graduated from Northeast Jewish High School in Philadelphia and attended college at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn. Charles served two years in the U.S. Army during Korean War, and was honorably discharged and returned to Philadelphia. Jobs were hard to find during the 1960s, Charles worked whatever jobs he could find; he even worked at Campbell Soup Co. He worked or looked for work during the day and went to trade school at night, where he learned blue print reading, drafting, and welding. He became a first class ship fitter. He would later be known in the trade industry as "one shot Charlie", because when he measured a piece of steel and cut it, it always fit. Charles worked at the Philadelphia Shipyard, New York, and wherever else he could find work. Someone told him about Electric Boat in Connecticut, where came in 1964, and was hired as a shipfitter. He was first class when he came to Connecticut, but EB cut him back to third class. That really upset him and made him angry. He was determined to prove to EB that he was indeed a first class tradesman. He quickly earned a reputation of respect in the Shipyard.
It was during that time when he met Ora Lee Hodges Wilson. After a long courtship, they married and purchased a home at 597 Ocean Avenue where he remained until his departure.
Charles believed in equality and justice for all. In his workplace, he joined ranks with Charles Potter, Lou Cornelius, John Guess, Jim Robinson, Jim Gilliard, and Clarence Faulk to form a bi-racial committee, where weekly meetings were held in his home. The dining room was the classroom and the kitchen table was the teacher's desk. It took a lot of struggling, frustration, and disappointments, and then finally they were able to make things better. Charles used that same room and table to teach blueptint reading, drafting skills, and math to many EB workers, young and old.
Charles was a licensed pilot. He built his own "Flying Machine" (Gyrolopter). He made a solo flight from Waterford Airport to New York to New Jersey and back to Waterford. Charles was a lifetime member of the NAACP. He was a Master Tradesman, a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Besides his wife, he leaves to cherish his memory six children, Stephen, Carmen, David, and Julian, all of Philadelphia, Regina G. Wilson and Marilyn D. Wilson, both of New London; three cousins of Philadelphia; nine grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.
A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1 Garvin St., New London. Interment with military honors will follow in Massachusetts National Cemetery. Bourne, Mass. A calling hour will be from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the church.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Lester Gee Funeral Home, 108 Blinman St., New London.
Lester Gee Funeral Home
108 Blinman St
New London, CT 06320
Published in The Day on Apr. 2, 2014