Airport board presents signs to family of the late Mike Jordan

A stretch of the new Burkart Boulevard bypass that runs through the Freeman Field Industrial Park will honor a Seymour man who dedicated his life to serving his country, state and community.

Two road signs will carry the honorary name of Chief Warrant Officer Michael T. Jordan Veterans Way.

Seymour Airport Authority member Scott Davis proposed the honorary renaming of the road during a board meeting in 2021 to recognize Jordan and all veterans. The board voted in unanimous agreement on Davis’ motion.

Jordan died Sept. 4, 2019, at the age of 75 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

At July’s board meeting, Jordan’s family was presented with the finished road signs.

Davis said it’s a very rare opportunity that the board is in the position to recognize someone who has been recognized by three different governors on both sides of the political aisle for their public service.

“Mike received the Sagamore of the Wabash award from one Republican and two Democrat governors,” he said. “Those recognitions could not be overlooked by even the most casual of observers to be recognized by both parties for his work as a public servant.”

Davis then presented the signs to the family during the board meeting.

“These two signs will be posted on the new bypass by both entrances to Freeman Field,” he said. “We’re honored that Mike will be the foundation for our addition to this airport, and it has been a long time coming.”

Davis said the signs will be placed in the near future by Seymour Department of Public Works employees.

Mike’s son, Brent Jordan, said back in 2021 when he first heard a stretch of the new bypass would honor his dad, he was super excited.

“It wasn’t anything that I ever expected or thought of as a possibility,” Brent said. “So to hear the news that Dad was being considered for this honor was thrilling.”

He said his dad deserves this recognition due to his lifetime of service, having spent 40 years in the military serving his country and spending more than 30 years on the Seymour City Council.

“He always looked to serve others in some capacity, whether it be on community boards, church boards or just acts of kindness to anyone he could,” Brent said. “I think it’s an amazing way to commemorate his impact on the lives in our community.”

As for last month’s sign presentation to the family, he said it was a really emotional moment.

“Scott Davis, who helped make this a reality, had some really nice words to say about Dad,” Brent said. “To hear Scott honor Dad while seeing the signs unveiled just makes me so proud to be Mike Jordan’s son.”

Mike’s other son, Joel Jordan, said back in 2021, his nephew, Gabe, broke the news to the family.

“It was about 19 months after Dad passed away and the world was in the grips of COVID-19,” Joel said. “He said everyone’s way of life was changing by the minute, and the news was always heavy and depressing with statistics of hospitalizations, deaths and debilitating aspects of the pandemic.”

He said every day was dark and gloomy with no appreciable end in sight, but then came the good news plans to honor his dad.

“The news that day brought about a warmth and brightness that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. It was awesome,” Joel said. “It isn’t that I think that Dad deserves this recognition but rather the fact that others in the community feel that he is deserving of this, which is incredibly humbling and appreciated.”

He said he can’t thank Davis enough for all he has done to bring this recognition to fruition.

“Dad loved this town and its people fervently, and almost four years after his passing, he is still highly regarded by many in this community,” Joel said. “This was evident by the power and eloquence conveyed by Mr. Davis at the airport board meeting on July 17, 2023, when the sign presentation was made to the family of Chief Warrant Officer Michael T. Jordan.”

He said Davis’ professionalism throughout this time has been of the highest caliber possible, and his unwavering support of his dad was more than that of a leader but rather an endearing friend to both his dad and the Jordan family.

“Dad was always proud of his military service, and to see his rank and name so prominently displayed (once again) was more powerful than I could have ever imagined,” Joel said. “It was emotional, it made me miss him all the more and it resurrected a plethora of great memories of his military career and some of the times we shared.”

He recalled as a young boy, he would occasionally accompany his dad on his weekend guard drills to Seymour’s National Guard Armory and get to experience the military way of life unlike most other youngsters of the day.

“Another example was when I was a member of the Indiana Air National Guard and my unit would provide operational support for the Indiana Army National Guard,” Joel said. “During many of these military training deployments, our paths would intertwine, and to be able to serve with Dad side by side was immeasurable. It was an opportunity that will forever be treasured.”

He said the one key point that centralized his dad’s support for the Freeman Army Airfield Museum was history.

“Dad loved history, especially that from World War II, and he believed it was essential to preserve and document this short but important time to the best ability possible,” Joel said. “To honor those that served here and to ensure current and future generations can learn, respect and appreciate the contributions of Freeman Army Airfield and its personnel in the pursuit of the defense, prosperity and longevity of this great nation.”

Linda Jordan, Mike’s wife, said when she first learned her husband’s name would be on the road signs, she was stunned.

“I never dreamed of anything that important would happen,” Linda said. “I’m so thrilled that this is a permanent honor and will be part of our community for generations to come.”

She said Mike did everything to the best of his ability, no matter what it was.

“Mike was always concerned with doing things for the betterment of Seymour,” Linda said. “We always had a saying when we were out, ‘I love this town,’ and Mike truly did, giving this city everything he had.”

She said they had talked about the signs and had known it would happen for such a long time, and to actually see it come to fruition was so emotional.

“He served the country, he served the state and he deeply and passionately served our town,” Linda explained. “Mike was a wonderful husband and an amazing father and family man. He really deserves a tribute like this in his honor.”