O’FALLON, Mo. — Barbara Jane Emly Jordan, 84, died May 30, 2012 at Meadowlands Retirement Center in O’Fallon, Mo. Her body was donated to the KU Medical Center.
She was born June 10, 1927 at Champaign, Ill., the daughter of Andy Joseph and Helen Myra (Corbin) Emly, the oldest of five girls and one brother who died at birth.
She married Wm. Keith Jordan Jan. 20, 1946. He died March 19, 1998.
Barbara was a long-time resident of Ellinwood prior to moving to Overland Park in 2004 and O’Fallon, Mo. in 2008. Barbara graduated from high school just prior to her 16th birthday. Barbara continued her studies at the University of Illinois and in 1948 received her degree in Agricultural Engineering. After moving to the Jordan farm southwest of Claflin the summer of 1949, Barbara was unable to find an engineering position locally. In 1959, she was approached about teaching temporarily, she never intended to become a teacher, but after the two weeks of teaching she was told that she was a born teacher and should go back to college to earn her teaching certificate. Barbara went on to teach mathematics at Ellinwood and Great Bend schools from 1960 to 1989. She tutored at Barton Community College from 1989 to 2004, when she retired. Barbara affected many lives during her teaching career. Many people have mentioned that they would not have made it through their classes without her help.
She was a former member of the United Methodist Church of Ellinwood and was active with the National Foster Parent Association from 1965 to 1988. In that 23-year time span more than 100 foster children lived in the Jordan home, some for only a little while, but several stayed many years. Barbara also loved flowers and butterflies. She spent many hours in her gardens.
Survivors include sons, Joseph (Dorothy) Jordan, O’Fallon, Mo.; and Donald (Kathy) Jordan, Naples, Idaho; a daughter, Patricia (Dan), Great Bend; adopted son, James (Carla) Jordan, Great Bend; sisters, Virginia St. John, Lakeside, Calif.; Alice Hazel, Hockesson, Del.; Mary (Tony) Graham, Champaign, Ill., and Nancy (Tom) Mathis, Urbana, Ill.; 11 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews as well as former foster children and friends.
A celebration of Barbara’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 23 at the United Methodist Church in Ellinwood with a social time following. Remembrances about her are welcome during the celebration. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations sent to Barton Community College scholarship fund, the United Methodist Church in Ellinwood, the National Foster Parent Association or to the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Great Bend (Kan) Tribune, June 7, 2012**