Mike Jordan loved Seymour.
It was evident not only in his words, but in his actions.
He dedicated 32 years of his life to serving on the Seymour City Council, a position he knew was of great importance in making the city a better place to live. For 20 years, he fulfilled the role of president of the council.
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During that time, he helped make decisions that were in the best interest of the community and the people who live here. He worked to address current issues but always considered the future of his hometown and its residents with every vote.
He was instrumental in so many projects, including the building of the new Seymour police station, Crossroads Community Park, the Department of Public Works facility at Freeman Field and many others.
On Dec. 12, 2011, when Jordan retired from the city council, Mayor Craig Luedeman proclaimed it Michael T. Jordan Day in honor of all of his contributions to Seymour.
“I can’t say enough for what Mike did for the city,” Luedeman said. “He was a great leader and champion for our community, and he was a great friend. His legacy will live on in the many projects he helped complete and his service to others.”
Jordan, a son of Seymour, will be laid to rest Monday at Riverview Cemetery after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer on Wednesday. He was 75.
Besides his time on the city council, Jordan also served as the only president of the Seymour Redevelopment Commission, was on the city plan commission and was president of the first Jackson County Public Defender Board.
“Mike was the model of a true public servant, traits that are sorely missing from many elected officials today,” said Alan Marshall, Jackson County’s chief public defender. “Seymour and Jackson County have lost one of its greatest citizens and should be thankful for the many years of wise and dedicated service that Mike provided.”
Jordan spent time on many other boards in the community, including the Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety, Freeman Army Airfield Museum Board, which his late brother, Ted, founded, Jackson County chapter of the American Red Cross board and Girls Inc. of Jackson County board. He also supported and advocated for Smoke Free Seymour and was a member of the American Legion, Seymour Elks Lodge and Columbia Club.
He served on the Indiana Water Pollution Control Board for 15 years with most of that time as chairman. He was a former employee of Fidelity Federal and Home Federal banks and owned his own business, Jordan Appraisal Group, providing residential appraisals for local lenders.
Bonnye Good, a volunteer and board member at the Freeman Army Airfield Museum, said she was deeply saddened by Jordan’s death and would miss his enthusiasm and tireless promotion of the museum and veterans.
“This man helped so many in Seymour, often quietly and always with good humor,” she said. “He personally helped me on numerous occasions, and it was a pleasure to work with him at the museum. Mike was wonderful through and through.”
Jordan was not only committed to the city but also the state and country. He retired after 40 years of service from the Indiana National Guard and received the Sagamore of the Wabash award twice, the state’s highest honor bestowed to a civilian who has rendered distinguished service to the state.
He was a staunch supporter of the Seymour Municipal Airport and was instrumental in bringing the Indiana National Guard to the airport in 1999 for a full-scale military war training exercise. He enjoyed telling people about the exercise.
“Michael was a mentor to thousands and a friend and comrade to all of us in the Indiana National Guard,” said MSG Ret. Steve Weber. “We are all better soldiers because of his leadership.”
Joanne Persinger, who retired from The Tribune in 2012, said what she remembers most about Jordan was his generosity, sincerity and ability to connect with people.
“I retired from The Tribune on a Friday, and the same day, my last weekly column appeared,” she said. “I was still at the paper the next day, finishing up the task of cleaning out my desk. I noticed there was a message on my phone. It was Mike. He had called to tell me how much he and his wife had enjoyed the previous day’s column.”
That was typical Mike, she said.
“He made the effort, took that final step, to let someone else know they were appreciated,” she said. “You were appreciated, too, Mike. I heard many fine things said about you through the years. I especially appreciated the way you stood up and spoke up for what you believed in.”
She hopes his example lives on for many years to come.
When his brother died in 2015, Mike Jordan said he believed “at the end of the day, when everything is over and you look at the bottom of the ledger, you hope that you made a difference.”
Mike certainly did that.
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The funeral service for Mike Jordan will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Voss and Sons Funeral Service in Seymour with the Rev. Michael Riggins officiating. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery with full military honors provided by the Military Department of Indiana Ceremonial Unit.
Family and friends may call from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and from 10 a.m. until time of service Monday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made through the funeral home to the Don and Dana Myers Cancer Center, Freeman Army Airfield Museum or First Presbyterian youth.
Online condolences may be made on the funeral home website at vossfuneralservice.com.