General News · 12th January 2019
JOSEPH JOHN JORDAN (May 21, 1936 – January 6, 2019)
Surrounded by family, Joe passed away at 82 on January 6, 2018, of heart failure weakened after a 5-year struggle with Wegener's Granulamatosis Disease. He was born May 21, 1936, in New Westminster, BC, to Irene Rosamond (Kerr) and Walter Arnold Jordan.
Raised in Tsawwassen/Point Roberts where the Jordans were early homesteaders & his grandfather Joseph Jordan was the first constable of Delta, BC. Joe's grandmother came across the USA to Ferndale, Wash., in a covered wagon as a child. His grandfather Joseph courted her by horseback, fording three rivers to visit Ferndale. At an early age Joe went fishing and crabbing with his dad. As a child he suffered a mild case of polio which affected his legs in later life. The year he spent home from school, his mother taught him how to garden, cook, clean house, do laundry, and even sew! - superb husband material.
Joe was pre-deceased by his older sister Emily Irene Fairall and also pre-deceased by wives Linda Mary (nee Wade) and Mary Ellen (nee Kimball). Survived by his loving wife of 19 years (to the day!), Mary-Lynne (nee Whittall). Joe leaves 5 children: John (Heather McKenzie), Katherine (David Glass), Irene (Tom Watson), Walter (Sandra Meurs) and Elizabeth (Wayne Kallen). He also leaves 9 Grandchildren (Melissa, Mark, Dina, Glenn, Jade, Alex, Sarah, Nick & Rebecca), 17 Great-grandchildren (Kameron, Curtis, Kaitlyn, Taylor, Julia, Savanna, Aspen, Carmanah, August, Minnie Jo, Duncan, Ryan, Jayden, Jaxon, Skyler, Madison & Caleb) and 2 Great-great-grandsons (Jordan & Jacob )who will all miss his guiding hand and insights very much. Joe will be fondly remembered by his extended families.
After technical college in California, Joe managed a gas station there and worked for Monroe Lytton Industries repairing machines and early computers, later transferring to Seattle, then BC. He owned and operated Sunshine taxis in Delta, before becoming a commercial fisherman. With a strong work ethic, Joe had all the skills to build or fix most anything, large or small.
Until his illness he enjoyed gardening and puttering on his numerous boat, truck, car and engine projects in his yard. He was quick to lend a hand or his expertise to friends on their projects.
Joe built a fishboat and went gillnetting for 45 years from the Fraser River north up the coast to Rivers and Smith Inlets, retiring in his early 70s. Years ago when he realized salmon fishing was waning, so he built rafts and farmed oysters as well, also joined by 2 of his kids in aquaculture. Joe helped his 2 sons Walter and John acquire fishboats, though only Walter is still fishing today.
Joe discovered Cortes Island in 1976 when he needed to repair his fishboat, and Harvey Smith offered his tools at his Cortes home to save Joe running all the way home to Delta. Joe fell in love with the lagoon, purchased acreage along the creek, and between fishing trips he built a home on a bluff overlooking his beloved Manson's Lagoon, often heading to the fishing grounds on Li'l Bit covered in sawdust. Around this time Joe and Harvey installed the boat grid next to Manson's Dock to scrape their boat hulls, scavenging the logs still in place today.
Over the years since grade school, Joe kept in regular touch with his many friends from then, happily attending grad reunions, the last one in 2018 despite being ill. Joe was well known for entertaining friends and even strangers with his numerous interesting stories, recalling infinite statistics stored in the filing cabinets of his brain, particulary about vehicles, motors, boats, fishing, people, history, and all wars.
Joe didn't feel old until he visited his grandson a few years ago, who was babysitting HIS grandson! He traveled south to the Four Corners area where he likened the desert with its scattered mountains to islands in the sea. Joe said he had done all he wanted to do in life and lived everywhere he wanted to.
After cremation, Joe will be returned on his birthday in May to his beloved lagoon by the bluff home he built there 40 years ago in between commercial fishing openings.
He'll rest below the waterfall where salmon spawn, eagles gather, and river otters play.
Joe is going back to the sea where he spent so much of his life & where we all originated from -- to calm seas and great fishing along with pearls in all the oysters!
Joe's wife Lynne wishes to thank the awesome Cortes community for the amazing support and meal deliveries from so many. This gratitude particularly includes exceptional care from Dr. Jenna Creaser, Dr. Ellen Anderson, and Dr. Samantha Stasiuk who made house calls even on weekends. Special thanks to Community Nurse Bernice McGowan for her caring visits and phone calls, as well as those from Community Paramedic Martin Metz. Thanks also to Joe's renal specialists in Nanaimo Dr. Michael Garfinkle and Dr. Alison Croome, as well as the Nanaimo Kidney Care Clinic who were closely tracking Joe with frequent TeleHealth visits and phone calls. And thanks to Dr. L. Jager of Courtenay for Joe's sinus care and to the Cove Pharmacists and Laurel, who kept on top of all Joe's constantly changing medications. Certainly not to forget huge thanks to all the ambulance paramedics, helicopter crews, Coast Guard crews, and to the staff in three different Vancouver Island hospitals for emergency trips, extended visits, and continuing care in the past 2 years.
Sincere belated thanks and much appreciation goes out to Mary-Clare Preston for her considerable efforts and time spent acquiring one of the first Community Paramedic positions in rural BC for Cortes Island. It is an amazing service that links all our Cortes medical staff together.
Later, the family will announce a date in May 2019 for a Celebration of Joe's Life.
If you wish to honour Joe's memory, donations to the Cortes Island Museum & Archives Society would be most appreciated and gratefully received.
Joe & Lynne at Nanoose Bay, c2008
Comment by Sandra Wood on 19th January 2019
Dear Lynne and Family,
I have a happy memory of Joe on an afternoon low tide when digging for clams in the lagoon using a little garden hand-spade. Joe walked over and offered to help with his amazing stone rake -- he already had the bucket of clams he was collecting for your dinner and was happy to share tips on the best spots for clams. He was always friendly, I remember Lynne & Joe coming over to introduce themselves and chat while I was waiting in the ferry line-up shortly after moving to Cortes. Then there was the time during a power outage that Joe & Lynne came to the rescue with BBQs to cook food and blankets to keep elders warm during a public hall meeting. Plus all the times the 2 of you opened your home for museum events like bird watching luncheons. Thanks for the beautifully written tribute to Joe, and for all he contributed to this community with his positive can-do spirit.
Such a Friend
Comment by Patricia King on 15th January 2019
Joe was always such a good friend. Thank you Joe. I shall remember you fondly.
Sending Honour and Respect to Joe
Comment by Ken Hanuse on 12th January 2019
It is with sadness that I say Farewell to Joe.
He was an inspiration and a pleasure to share stories with.
Norman Harry, Mary Harry and their Children and Grandchildren send their prayers and expressions of condolence to the Jordan Family.
Che tumm quin nomah
Sorry to hear
Comment by Derek Armitage on 11th January 2019
Lot's of good talks with Joe in my yard and his about boats and parts. My condolences to all the family. He will be missed.
Comment by Gretchen Zinkan on 10th January 2019
Thank you for such a lovely tribute to a great man. He had a great sense of humour and a twinkle in his eye. He will be missed!