The Jack & Marty Jordan Fund

The story of another Jack Jordan

When Jack Jordan was nine years old, his dad, Marty (Class of 1977) passed away in a tragic drowning accident in Lake Michigan. His mom, despite her own health issues, did her best to raise four children on her own. To help his family, Jack began caddying — and recently was awarded a life-changing gift: the Evans Scholarship.  We are grateful to the Jordan family, the Evans Scholars Foundation and to the WGA Evans Scholar Magazine for sharing this wonderful story.  We are also grateful to SAS Board Member Dennis LaLiberty for bring the story to our attention.

For the Jordan clan of St. Charles, Illinois, family vacations to South Haven, Michigan, were a highlight of the summer. 

In August 2009, the annual trip included Marty and Maureen Jordan, and their three kids, Jack, Liam and Caroline. Joining them were Marty's sister and brother, and their kids — 10 cousins in all.

And another was on the way. Marty and Maureen, seven weeks pregnant at the time, were planning on sharing the exciting news with their relatives during the trip.

On Aug. 1, Marty, 45, headed out into the waves, along with five children — his eldest son, Jack, 9, and three nieces and a nephew. It had drizzled earlier in the day, but the skies had cleared.

for the complete story follow this link

The Jack Jordan Years

Jack Jordan grew up on the 1800 block of North Mason Avenue and was a 1938 graduate of St. Angela.  Jack went on to star as a “Lightweight” (Catholic League 5’8” and under) basketball player for St. Philips High School.  “Flash” Jordan led the Gaels to the city championship game his senior year.

After a stint in the Navy, in 1949 Jack married Anna Marie Jordan from Conway, Arkansas and lived in various places on the West Side before moving back to Mason Avenue with his growing family.  Jack and Ann had ten kids, who all graduated from St. Angela between 1964 and 1978.  Jack died in 1993 but Ann is going strong at age 91!

As the volunteer Athletic Director, working with the parish priests, especially Father Jack Ryan and Monsignor Daniel Cunningham, Jack began expanding St. Angela’s athletic program.  He coached many basketball teams himself but he also recruited former “Trojans” who were in high school or college to coach teams as well.  Eventually there were basketball teams from 4th grade through 8th grade and a separate CYO program for high school age players to continue to compete for St. Angela.

 

He also supported the football teams and recruited a new coach to restart the program after a year’s hiatus due to the prior coach moving out of state.  He fought many battles to gain field space for St. Angela football at Amundson Park (the old “Park 9” of his youth where his family slept on too-warm summer nights!)  He recruited Arlene Boezio to lead the cheerleaders and girls volleyball.

 

Jack’s first love, however, was basketball.  In order to save St. Angela league entrance fees he ran the grammar school CYO league in St. Angela gym on Saturdays and high school CYO on Sundays, spending countless hours in the gym.  He arranged schedules for all teams to play Catholic schools all over the West Side and in many tournaments.  He started Faculty Night for the 8th grade team to play a team of teachers, drawing huge crowds.   He played a recording of “Sweet Georgia Brown” during warmups.

 

Jack worked closely with other St. Angela volunteers to raise money, especially such SAS stalwarts as “Finance Chairman” Pat Nallon.  They raised money not only for uniforms and equipment but trophies and awards at annual end-of-season banquets where Jack would show old boxing and baseball movies.

 

Jack loved all kids.  

 

As the neighborhood started to change, and all of Jack’s own children were gone, Jack was still there.  He took many a minority kid literally off the street and brought them into St. Angela Gym to play basketball.  Jack always had a soft spot for the most troubled or in-trouble kids.  Many thought of him as their “second father” and might call him instead of their own father if they were in trouble.  But that didn’t mean he was soft.  And when it came to the gym, he controlled the keys.  Kids either did things Mr. Jordan’s way, respectfully, or they didn’t play.  

Mr. Jordan also had a great sense of humor, a million old corny, but still-funny jokes, an infectious laugh, and a boyish playfulness.  He showed this off with an uncanny ability to make half court shots.  He refed many basketball games himself – always somewhat annoyingly calling things tighter against St. Angela so no one would ever question his impartiality – and he would put on a display during timeouts by casually swishing a shot from the center court “A”, using a classic, old-time, two hand set shot.

SAS Peewee Football
Jack & Middleweight Boxing Champ Tony Zale
Jack late 70s
Football - late 70s (3)
Football - late 70s (2)
Jordan's yard at 1823 N Mason
Football - late 70s
Jack & Marty 1965
The 1979 football team
football team in the gym grayscale_edited_edited

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Mr. Bruce Schooler, Principal 

1332 N. Massasoit Ave, Chicago, IL 60651

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