Floral 13

Velma Wardene Jordan

November 3, 1935 ~ January 7, 2024 (age 88) 88 Years Old

Velma Jordan Obituary

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Meeting ID: 447 960 4051

Passcode: 676851

Velma Wardene Jordan aka Mrs. J departed this world peacefully while at her home in Great Falls, MT on Jan 7, 2024, after a decline in her health and a brief hospitalization due to complications from dementia. She was 88 years of age. She had her last hurrah over the New Year’s weekend with her children and a few of her grandchildren at her bedside. She had us laughing, crying, and even scolded some of us. She is now reunited with her sweetheart Harley and eldest son Rudy.  

Velma (Wardene) was born in Tooele, UT November 3, 1935, to Velma and Howard Whitehouse. She was raised on the family farm and was the oldest of three siblings. She loved horses and working with her dad on the farm doing all the chores and tasks required to keep the farm going. She played the French horn and piano in high school and continued to play piano for many years. After graduating from Tooele High School as the valedictorian she went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in English at Utah State University. It was there in Logan, UT that she met Harley. They dated for some time but when he said he was leaving for military service with the Army, she made it clear to him that that she was not going to wait. Not wanting to lose her, he chose marriage, and they tied the knot on August 23, 1957. They moved to several locations including Champagne, Illinois, Lincoln Nebraska, Minnesota, and finally Great Falls, MT. They were sealed for time and all eternity in the Idaho Falls Temple.  

One of the many activities Wardene passionately enjoyed with Harley while raising her children was scouting. They were very active in the Boy Scout program for many years, and she saw to it that all her boys were Eagle Scouts. In addition, she also served in various callings in her church such as Relief Society President and Sunday School teacher for the youth. She loved music immensely and enjoyed listening to her grandchildren when they would play music on the piano and trumpet. She enjoyed riding horses and loved to be around animals. Other hobbies that she enjoyed were gardening, sewing, quilting, and crocheting. She made beautiful afghans and throws for her children and youth in her care. The hardy ground did not stop her from planting her flowers when she was able to do so.

In the last few years, she had the companionship of a few cats which she named Big Paws, Double Ugly and Fluffy Tail. Fluffy Tail is the only living pet left and adopted her as his mom and she loved him dearly; always worrying about him especially if he came home looking bruised and beaten. Fluffy Tail was always at her side and her wish was to be at home with him. 

She was an ardent supporter of the Rustlers and Montana Grizzlies and would enjoy a good football game about anytime especially if the Broncos (Payton Manning) were playing. On Saturday evenings, she looked forward to watching the Lawrence Welk show and on Sundays she listened to Music and The Spoken Word. 

Mom was especially proud of the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren. Her late son Rudy was valedictorian of the Veterinary Class of 1991 at Oklahoma State University.  Each of her three sons completed honorable missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She was Ryan’s biggest crusader when he embarked on his life as a self-employed CPA, starting his own business and eventually purchasing his home and office building. She also worked briefly in his office and enjoyed meeting the people who came to his office. She was very proud of Randy for his service in the military. She worried that he’d marry overseas, and she wouldn’t see much of him. More recently, Mom celebrated Renee’s accomplishment of completing her MBA. She loved to visit family in Utah (especially to see the grand and great-grandchildren) whenever she could do so for farewells, weddings, homecomings etc.

Velma Wardene Jordan was recently inducted as a Rustler legend into the Charles M Russell High School Hall of Fame in October, 2023. She was the honored guest at the Holiday classic Wrestling Tournament at CMR in December 2023.  She worked at CMR for 43 years. During that time, she was named Coach of the Mounted Color Guard (1968). Then came the “Velma Jordan Award” which was created in her honor and is awarded annually to the staff member who displays outstanding dedication and commitment to the success of CMR students.  In 2017, the Great Falls Tribune published an article about her, and she said in the interview, "I’m an English and Math teacher really, but I kind of implemented a program called ‘Credit Recovery,’ and that’s what I do now.” One of her assistants remembered her for running a tight ship back then in the south study hall. She wasn’t a fan of shortcuts and believed in doing a job the right way. She was respected for her outstanding dedication and commitment to the kids and especially proud to have helped them to make graduation.  

Wardene is survived by her sister Mary Lula (Harvey Welch) of Idaho Falls, Idaho; children Randy (Juanita) of Salt Lake City, Utah; Renee (Scott Berg) of West Valley City, Utah; Ryan Jordan of Great Falls, Montana; daughter-in-law Julie Jordan-Yardley (Evan) of Beaver, Utah, grandchildren: Kalbie (Hadley), Schyler (Caleb), Harley, Steinar (Zibiah), Austin, Rhett (Emmalee), NaKomie, Skyler, & Trayson and 6 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Harley, her oldest son Rudy, and brother Glen Whitehouse.

The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to Joanne Thompson, friends and church members who helped to get Mom to her appointments, took time to visit or made phone calls to her. Thanks to the Staff of Peace Hospice, Dr Johanson & staff at Benefis Hospital medical unit, and staff at Ivy at Great Falls.

A viewing will be held from 9-10 am Saturday January 20 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at 1401 9th street NW, Great Falls, MT followed by a service at 10:30 am. A dedication of the grave will be held at 12:30 pm in Manchester Cemetery. 

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