Samuel Peele Jordan Jr., died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on May 24, 2006.
He was born Oct. 28, 1942, in Salinas, Calif., the oldest son of Samuel P. and Ann (Wetherton) Jordan. Sam grew up on military bases in Florida, Puerto Rico, Louisiana and England before graduating from Bellevue (Nebraska) High School in 1960. He was a proud and active member of the Virginia Military Institute Class of 1964. His experience at VMI shaped his life and instilled the values of integrity, loyalty, honor and service to country that guided him throughout his life. After graduating from VMI, Sam joined the U.S. Air Force, serving first in Vietnam at Cam Rahn Bay, and then in Madison, Wis., where he met his wife, Mary Jo Anderson. They were married in Tampico, Ill., on April 13, 1968. Following his honorable discharge from the Air Force, Sam attended the University of Denver Law School before beginning his career with The Dow Chemical Co. at Rocky Flats, Colo. In his years with Dow, he worked in the legal departments in Houston, the Louisiana Division, and at the corporate headquarters in Midland. He was a member of the Colorado, Louisiana and Michigan bars, and served as president of the Midland Bar Association in 1994-1995. Sam retired from Dow in 1994, and spent his remaining years pursuing his many interests. He continued his lifelong love of reading about and debating current events and political issues. He and Mary Jo spent several winters enjoying sunshine and golf in Callaway Gardens, Ga. They studied the history of the Civil War as longtime students of the Alumni College at VMI. He served on the board of the Midland Music Society. Most importantly, he spent time with his children and grandchildren, who were the pride of his life. He will be sadly missed by his loving family and friends as well as by his Brother Rats in the VMI Class of 1964.
Sam is survived by his wife, Mary Jo; his daughter and son-in-law, Jo Ellan "Jodie" and Tom Auble of Columbia, Md.; his son, Samuel P. Jordan III of Durham, N.C.; his two grandchildren, Luke and Mary Ellan Auble of Columbia, Md.; his brother, Don Wetherton Jordan of Arvada, Colo.; two aunts, Virginia Bailey of Windsor, Va., and Edna Cornett of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Dan Lightfoot Jordan; and several aunts and uncles.
Memorial services will be held at First United Methodist Church on Sunday, May 28, 2006, at 1 p.m., with the Rev. Susan Kingsley and the Rev. Joe Mortensen officiating.
Sam's family will receive friends at the Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home, 1200 W. Wheeler St. on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m., and at the church on Sunday from 12:30 p.m. until time of service. Graveside services will be held at St. Luke's Cemetery in Smithfield, Va.
Rather than flowers, the family requests expressions of sympathy be made to the VMI Foundation, Lexington, VA 24450-0304; Historic St. Luke's Church Restoration, Inc., 14477 Benn's Church Blvd., Smithfield, VA. 23430-6155; or the American Cancer Society.
If you are unable to visit with the family in person, condolences may be sent through www.waresmithwoolever.com
"Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees."
Published in Midland Daily News on May 26, 2006.