Jordan remembered for unyielding service to Emerson
by Marie Nesmith
Aug 10, 2014 | 1852 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A lifelong resident of Emerson, the late Henry Jordan is being remembered by his family and colleagues for his compassion for others and service to his hometown. On Friday, the former Emerson mayor passed away after an extended illness at the age of 78.

“He was a gentle giant,” said Emerson City Council member Terry Webb, who served on the council and as mayor pro tem when Jordan was mayor. “He had a very compassionate heart.

“He and I, we’d sit down and talk about the city and things that needed to be done and could be done. He always had a compassion for [those who were] down and out, so to speak. ... [His passion for serving Emerson] was the highest, because he just wanted to do the right thing. ... He loved Emerson and he loved the people of Emerson.”

Married to Kitty Sue Fowler Jordan for 58 years, he was the father of three children and grandfather of six. A master carpenter, Jordan was known for having a public servant’s heart. Through the years, he assisted his hometown in a variety of ways, including the formation of the Civil Defense Force and volunteer fire department, being a member of the Emerson Masonic Lodge No. 738 F&AM and a deacon at Bethany Baptist Church.

Overall, his elected service to Emerson — first as a member of the Emerson City Council starting in the mid-1970s then later as mayor — spanned more than 30 years. Among the notable feats during his tenure as mayor was the establishment of the Henry Jordan Wastewater Treatment Plant in 2002 and the construction of a facility on Fourth Street to accommodate the paid fire department and EMS personnel.

“He spent a good part of his life serving the city,” Emerson Mayor Al Pallone said. “He cared very much about the city and I think you saw that in the way that he worked. I actually served as a council member under Henry for, I think, seven years and really thought he had a heart for the city. He knew the people of the city and really, I think, had a passion for serving the city of Emerson. It was a very important part of his life.

“... The biggest [project] that really got accomplished that I can think of is we got the new water treatment facility under him. That was a pretty big deal just to get that because we had the old water treatment facility, which really wasn’t a facility at all. ... That was really probably the biggest thing that got accomplished, because that really is for the future, because it’s expandable and really gave us a capacity to be able to grow the city. Personally, I think that will be a very important part of our growth as we grow with LakePoint.”

Pallone continued, “I think the city will definitely miss him. He was a big part of the city and I think the city was a big part of him.”

Echoing the sentiments of Pallone and Webb, Sherron O’Conor also emphasized her father’s love for his hometown and commitment to serve its residents.

“He just loved the people there and the community,” O’Conor said. “He didn’t even like to take vacation. We would take him on vacation and [it would be] like a day or two at the most and he’d say, ‘I got to get home to Emerson.’ ... He had to make sure everything was going well there. He had a real passion for taking care of the elderly, so he always wanted to look out for them.

“There was a lot of elderly folks there that he had known his whole life, so he always wanted to make sure that they were well taken care of. And he just loved it. [He had] a lot of lifelong friends and neighbors. He didn’t want to be anywhere else ever. He would never even consider living anywhere else. ... He really enjoyed the people of the community.”

Jordan’s viewing will be conducted today from 4 to 8 p.m. at Owen Funeral Home in Cartersville. On Monday at 2 p.m., a funeral service will be held at Bethany Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Aflac Cancer Center. Owen Funeral Home in Cartersville is in charge of the arrangements.