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Dr John Patrick Jordan

April 23, 1934 ~ June 9, 2018 (age 84)
Dr. John Patrick Jordan, T.O.P, Ph.D

Dr. John Patrick Jordan, the son of an Army family who ultimately headed a US Federal Agency, accumulated 52 years as a professional public servant and passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 9, 2018 in New Orleans, LA due to complications from a massive stroke he suffered two weeks earlier. Dr. Jordan received his baccalaureate degree with highest honors in animal science from the University of California at Davis (UCD), and he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army in 1955. After graduating from the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, he served with the elite 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He was a Ranger and Paratrooper, as well as a Pathfinder. Transferring to the Army Reserve, he studied biochemistry at UCD, earning a PhD degree. He taught and conducted research at two universities, focusing on space medicine, and he conducted the NASA-funded bioenergetics studies for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space science programs. At 34 years of age he became the university-wide director of the Biology Core Curriculum program involving five colleges at Colorado State University and ultimately involving 13 different institutions of higher learning. After the Associate Deanship, he became responsible for both the Colorado Experiment Stations and the Cooperative Extension Service at the University level. Subsequently, he became the Administrator (CEO) of the USDA Cooperative State Research Service in Washington, DC and finalized his career as Director of the Agricultural Research Service’s Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans. Departing New Orleans at the last possible moment prior to Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Jordan returned to the city he loved determined to be part of its rebuilding. Inspiring a renaissance among federal employees impacted by the destruction, Dr. Jordan worked tirelessly to take care of all those for whom he was responsible, re-open the Research Center (against all odds), reinvigorate its scientific output, and reestablish its important contributions to the scientific community and to the region’s economy. A prolific scholar, Dr. Jordan published over 100 professional scientific research papers, and he supervised the preparation of many other articles and books. He is the author of several books, and he served for 25 years as the author for the agriculture entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica’s annual Yearbook of Science and the Future. Dr. Jordan won numerous recognition awards in research, teaching, and administration. He was a Fellow of the American Associaition for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Chemists. He was a past president as well as former board member of the American Institue of Biological Sciences. Among his many professional awards are recognition with two major US presidential-level awards for outstanding performance as a federal agency head, and an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.
Outside the academy, Dr. Jordan was active for much of his life as a breeder, handler, and judge of show dogs. Among his many accomplishments in the show ring, he handled the most titled Irish Setter in history. His impact in the dog show world was profound.
Dr. Jordan was also quite active in in many civic activities everywhere he lived, including the school boards where his children were educated. More recently, he was quite involved in the National WWII Museum and the Louisiana Agri-Business Council. Since 1980, Dr. Jordan was an active Layman with the Catholic Order of Preachers, known as the Dominicans. He led several lay Dominican groups, was an official on the provincial advisory board, and served as secretary and treasurer of the International Dominican Foundation, which has projects in Israel, Egypt, and Rome. He was a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, which is a Vatican appointment. Never one to sit still, even in retirement, Dr. Jordan published three books. His first book chronicled his family history, and another focused on leadership in agriculture. In the later years of his life, he wrote his memoirs, which were published just prior to his illness, recounting the history of his own family and documenting his important contributions to science, leadership, agriculture, and his community. Dr. Jordan was the father of eight children with his first wife, Peggy Marsh Jordan. After Peggy’s death in 1993, he married in 1995 the former Louise (Lou) Salmon, a business professional and professional artist who is the mother of four children. He was predeceased by his first wife, Peggy Marsh Jordan, and his sons, Dr. Dennis P. Jordan and Jeffery T. Jordan. He is survived by Sharon Jordan Briar, Kevin B. Jordan, Maureen Jordan Dunphy, Shaun T. Jordan, Kelly C. Jordan, and John Clancy Jordan. Stepchildren include Catherine Salmon Boggess, Michael P. Salmon, Richard Salmon, and Marianne Salmon Lynch. He had numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Visitation will be at Saint Dominic Church in New Orleans beginning at 10:00 am on Saturday, June 16, 2018. The Funeral Mass will be held at Saint Dominic Church in New Orleans at 11:00 am on Saturday, June 16, 2018. Entombment will be at the Archdiocese of Denver Mount Olivet Cemetery at a later date to be determined. JACOB SCHOEN & SON in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be expressed at

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