Richard "Joe" Jordan was one of those "shirt off his back" guys, always smiling and trying to help, according to friends.
That spirit will be rekindled Oct. 8 and 9 in Antioch with a pair of memorial events for the Army staff sergeant who died last March in a vehicle rollover while on duty in Iraq.
Contact information ( * required )
At 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, Jordan will be honored before kickoff of the Antioch Sequoits and Lakes Community High School Eagles varsity game at Antioch on Route 173 east of Route 83.
The local VFW will provide a 21-gun salute and the Marine Honor Guard will present the colors before the home team band plays the national anthem, said Steve Schoenfelder, athletic director/assistant principal.
"I suspect a lot of his classmates will be around here that night," Schoenfelder said.
Jordan moved to the Antioch area while in junior high and was a 1998 ACHS graduate. He played defensive end and special teams on the football team and was an editor and columnist with the student newspaper. Schoenfelder was an assistant football coach at the time.
"He had a lot going for him and he put a lot of time into things around here at school," he said.
A new award will be established for the football player who best represents Jordan's character, Schoenfelder said.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, a memorial service and celebration of Jordan's life will be held at CrossView Church, 750 Highview Drive, Antioch.
"He was very special to a lot of people in this town. He always put other people first," said Ron Gillespie, who for many years has run the sports ministry program at CrossView and remained close with the family. Jordan had been involved with the youth basketball program and Fellowship for Christian Athletes, serving as a counselor and coach to younger players.
After graduation, Jordan served as a volunteer football coach at ACHS before enlisting in the National Guard, as did his brother, Jon. The pair were in the same unit and deployed to Germany. After the National Guard, Jordan left for active duty in the U.S. Army.
He was stationed in Korea, spent five years as a recruiter in the Detroit area and then volunteered to serve in Iraq. He was 29 when he died.
"Antioch did not have a time to mourn - all the services were in Cincinnati," Gillespie said.
"There never was an opportunity for friends of the family here in Antioch to express their grief, and concern and thanks."