ELLSWORTH — Kenneth L. Jordan, 85, of Ellsworth, died peacefully Aug. 26, 2011, after a short illness. Ken was born Sept. 20, 1925, in Lamoine, the son of Thurston H. Jordan and Dorothy (Brenton) Jordan.
He graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1943 and entered Tufts University as part of the Navy V-12 officer training program. He graduated from Tufts in 1945, was commissioned an ensign in the Navy and sent to the Pacific Theatre during the final stages of World War II. He served the remainder of his commitment in the Navy and was honorably discharged as a lieutenant junior grade. During his studies at Tufts he met Phyllis A. Worrell of Waltham, Mass., whom he married in 1946. Ken then attended the New England Institute of Embalming in Boston and after graduation returned to Ellsworth to join the family business, Jordan Funeral Home, a business started by his grandfather, L. W. Jordan. Ken joined his father and uncle to become the third generation in a business that has served much of Hancock County for over 100 years. Ken’s kind, gentle and sympathetic demeanor and his empathy brought comfort and peace to many grieving families over the course of more than 50 years of service. The company also sold cemetery stones and monuments and Ken was responsible for the lettering and carvings that documented the lives of those memorialized by those pieces of marble and granite. Even after most lettering became mechanized, Ken maintained his skills at hand stone carving to match the work on older monuments. Ken was an active member of the community throughout his life. He was a member of Lygonia Masonic Lodge No. 40 AF&AM for more than 50 years, a member of the Ellsworth Jaycees, the Rotary Club and the First Congregational Church of Ellsworth. He was president of the Woodbine Cemetery Association for many years until shortly before his death and was active on the boards of several other cemetery associations in Hancock County. An active and enthusiastic athlete throughout his life, Ken was a supporter of Ellsworth High School athletics and the athletic endeavors of his children and grandchildren. As a young man, Ken played basketball and semi-pro baseball; and he was a dedicated golfer for his entire adult life, shooting his age a number of times in his 70s and 80s. In retirement, golf was his passion and contributed to his robust health as he routinely walked 18 holes until just a few weeks prior to his death. Ken believed strongly that the active engagement of both body and mind was the best way to stay healthy during a long life. He was committed to learning and was a gatherer and chronicler of history as well as current events. He was an avid coin and stamp collector, solved crossword and Sudoku puzzles daily, and played contract bridge every week. He was also a skilled finish carpenter and furniture maker and a passionate gardener for all of his life.
Phyllis, the love of Ken’s life, died in 2003 after a marriage of 57 years. He was predeceased by his parents and a brother, Dale. Ken is survived by his son, Kenneth L. Jordan Jr. and his wife, Brenda; his daughter, Debra J. Day and her husband, Roger; four grandchildren, Sarah J. Zahn and her husband, Ted; Laura J. Barger and her husband, Dean; Ryan S. Day and his wife, Jennifer; and Kenneth P. Jordan; and three great-grandsons, Ayden William Foley, Edward Bennett “Ben” Zahn, and Rowan Kenneth Barger.
The family invites all who knew and loved Ken to join in a celebration of his life at the Jordan-Fernald Funeral Home, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth during visiting hours on Sept. 9, 2011, from 5 to 7 p.m. and at a memorial service at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10. In lieu of flowers, it is requested that those who wish make a contribution in Ken’s memory to the Ellsworth Historical Society, P.O. Box 355, Ellsworth, ME 04605, Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, Family Care Program, 50 Union St., Ellsworth, ME 04605 or an organization of their choice. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.