1922 ~ 2018
Brigadier General Amos A. "Joe" Jordan, Jr., passed away in Bountiful, Utah on June 7, 2018, at the age of 96. He was born in Twin Falls, Idaho, on February 11, 1922, the first of seven children of Amos A. and Olive Fisher Jordan. His family moved to Burley and then to Heyburn, Idaho, where Amos grew up, and he was always proud of his Cassia and Minidoka County roots. He came of age during the Great Depression and learned early to work hard. That work ethic and tenacity combined with a remarkable intellect to produce an exceptional record of service in education, the military, civilian government, policy making, and business. In a career spanning more than sixty years, he was, among other noteworthy things, First Captain of the Corps of Cadets at the United States Military Academy, a Rhodes Scholar, winner of Columbia University's annual recognition for outstanding doctoral dissertation, the youngest statutory professor in the modern history of the Military Academy, a recipient of the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit Medal, and the Military Academy's Distinguished Graduate Award, recipient of honorary degrees from Utah State University and Southern Utah University and of the President's Medallion from Idaho State University, recipient of the Days of '47 Pioneer of Progress Award for Education, Health and Humanitarian Assistance, an author and lecturer on national security affairs, a leader in the United States Departments of State and Defense, President of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, President of the Pacific Forum, a member of the board of directors of a Fortune 500 company, and a trusted advisor to several Presidents of the United States and cabinet officers.
His many successes were made possible in large measure by the loving support of his wife of 64 years, MarDeane "Polly" Carver Jordan, who preceded him in death in 2010. Together they raised six children (Peggy (m. John Hughes), Diana (m. Dan Paxton), Keith (m. Judy Henley), David (m. Holly Garrett), Linda (m. Dan Mabey), and Kent (m. Michelle Weaver)) and welcomed with enthusiasm 24 grandchildren and dozens of great grandchildren. Family reunions in Deer Valley, Utah, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and trips to Hawaii helped build powerful bonds among their posterity.
After retiring from professional pursuits, Amos and MarDeane served full-time missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, first in Hong Kong and later at BYU-Hawaii. This followed Amos's service as a Bishop, High Councilor, and Gospel Doctrine and Priesthood teacher. When MarDeane's health failed, Amos became her primary caregiver for several years. While providing that example of tenderness, he continued to contribute to education and public policy as a senior advisor to the Wheatley Institution at Brigham Young University, serving in that role until he was 91 years old. Throughout his life he was a role model and a mentor to countless students, friends, and colleagues, as well as to his family. He greeted each day with enthusiasm and taught his children and grandchildren the motto, "this is another day in which to excel!"
The family thanks the kind and skilled professionals at Legacy House of Bountiful, Brighton Home Health and Hospice (especially Mia, whose compassionate care in our father's final days was of particular help), and Amada Senior Care. The owners, operators, and aides of these three organizations provided outstanding service, which was a comfort to all family members. Funeral services will be held at the Mueller Park Stake Center, 1800 Mueller Park Road, Bountiful, Utah 84010, on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Online guest book at www.russonmortuary.com
In lieu of flowers, the family recommends contributions in the name of Amos A. Jordan, Jr. to the Humanitarian Aid Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which can be made online at give.lds.org/humanitarian