Thursday, January 15, 2004

Spokane

Family says goodbye to good man
Hard duty
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Sara Leaming
Staff writer

photo
Christopher Anderson - The Spokesman-Review
Felicia Jordan comforts her next-door neighbor, Rob Irons, who was overcome with emotion while recalling Felicia's father, Sgt. Curt Jordan, who died in Iraq earlier this month. Friends and family gathered for a memorial service Wednesday.

Army Sgt. Curt E. Jordan, Jr., was a man with boundless energy, love and humility.

"He was just selfless," said his wife of four years, Kim Jordan. "Everybody loved him."

A crowd of nearly 100 gathered Wednesday night in the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council building in Northeast Spokane to remember Jordan, who died Dec. 28 of noncombat injuries in Iraq.

Jordan was training Iraqi troops near Bayji when he collapsed. The exact cause of his death is still under investigation.

A formal memorial service was previously held in Fort Lewis, Wash., where Jordan, 25, was stationed with the Alpha Company of the 14th Engineer Battalion, 555th Combat Engineer Group.

On Wednesday, family and friends gathered informally to remember the former Spokane and Spokane Valley resident.

After a few kind words, the group mingled, listened to music and reminisced.

"This is the way Curt would have wanted it," said Jordan's mother-in-law, Sheila Everts.

Jordan
joined the Army in 2000, leaving for basic training on Jan. 18, just 10 days after marrying his high school sweetheart, Kim Lloyd.

The couple met while in summer school at University High School in 1996, and it didn't take long for the relationship to blossom.

"He was always bringing her flowers," Everts said. "I remember thinking, where is she going to hang any more of these? But they just kept coming."

The couple have two children, Felicia, 6, and Derrek, 2. On Wednesday, the children ran around the room, bundles of energy that reminded friends of their father.

"Curt had two speeds: full speed and stop," Everts said. "He had all these things he wanted to do."

Jordan and his wife shared the love of fixing up old cars, and planned to remodel a 1930 two-door Model A sedan.

"He always said I made sure he did it right," Kim Jordan said.

Choking back tears, neighbor Ron Irons recalled that Jordan helped build Irons' house in Post Falls.

"He did the jobs that nobody wanted to do," Irons said. "And he did everything with a smile."

"When I got the news, it was a real shock to me, because I knew we had lost a good person,' Irons said. "But he died defending his country and he deserves the respect of everyone."

Then, Felicia Jordan bent over and whispered in Irons' ear.

"Felicia said to remember all the good times you had with him," Irons said.

Jordan spent two years at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, before moving to Fort Lewis in 2002. He was sent to Iraq in April.

Jordan's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and Good Conduct Medal, to name a few. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Meritorious Service Medal.

"My brother was a good soldier, and he should be remembered for the hero he was," Adam Jordan said.

The Friday before he died, Jordan spent time with Adam Jordan, also a soldier stationed in Iraq, just miles away from Bayji. Then, Jordan arranged a video teleconference with his family at Fort Lewis.

"It was a fuzzy picture, but it was great to see him." Everts said. "The kids were dancing around the table behind us.

"He told us that he loved us and that he was excited to come home."

As Wednesday's group revived old tales, laughter and tears came in turn.

"You get to thinking about all the projects and things he planned to do," Everts said. "And then that makes you really sad.

"Then you remember something funny he did, so it's minute by minute."

Kim Jordan said she and her children will move from Fort Lewis back to Post Falls to be with her family.

"We were supposed to be together when we were 80 years old," Kim Jordan said. "It's just hard to think about."


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