SI in the News
Below is Mr. Jordan's obituary.
Read more about Mr. Jordan and his son, Dan '77, in a story that appeared in the Spring 2014 Genesis.
Thomas Francis Jordan was born in January 18, 1926 to Walter and Bertha Greiner Jordan in Indianapolis, Indiana. His father died when he was four and his mother went to work as a bookkeeper the day after the funeral to support him and his brother, Joseph. They were surrounded by loving relatives in their childhood. Tom got a job with a business newspaper while in Cathedral High School and never stopped working until he was 87. He started the School's first yearbook in his senior year as his class prepared to disburse into military service. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy on board the USS Wyoming for two years. The GI Bill provided him with an opportunity to attend college that he would have not had otherwise. For adventure he attended three institutions before graduating from St. Louis University in two years. Returning to Indianapolis he worked in public relations with a number of organizations including the Catholic Youth Organization. He also became very active in the cause of racial justice, not a popular pursuit at the time. He was the Founder/President of the Catholic Interracial Council, a founding member of the Interfaith Committee on Race Relations, and he served on the Board of the Marion County NAACP. His life was threatened several times. These groups gave leadership to efforts for fair employment and housing.
In 1952, he and his friend, Larry Conner, later managing editor of the Indianapolis Star, bought a new MG in England and travelled Europe for a three month, a lifetime learning experience. A year later, Tom left Indianapolis for New York City. His past involvement in good causes guided him to become a professional fund raising counselor. For fire years he carried out successful campaigns throughout the United States and Canada. In 1957 his company sent him to England to introduce American funding methods to religious leaders there. While there he met Annmarie Joyce, a Pan Am Bursar, of Palo Alto, California. He pursued her where ever she landed in Europe, and they married at the end of the year in Portola Valley, CA. He then directed the special gifts campaign for his alma mater, St. Louis University. At that time the University of San Francisco was beginning a fund raising effort and it provided an opportunity for the Jordan's to move to the Bay Area. The challenge was major since the University had a small fund raising constituency and its needs were major. Over the next eight years the campus was transformed from one covered with asphalt and Quonset classrooms by the construction of the five new buildings and the acquisition of the old St. Ignatius High School property. During this period Tom as made the first layman to become a Vice President of the University. Tom came to San Francisco "as soon as he heard about it" and he became a San Franciscan until the end.
While at USF, he was asked to assist the American Irish Foundation, which had been founded by Presidents Kennedy and de Valera in 1963 but was on the brink of dissolution. Working with its leadership, he developed national funding programs and initiated important grant programs. One, the American Ireland Fund Literary Award, which provides funds to promising and respected (but needy) writers in Ireland was one of the first such grants in Ireland. Today, it is coveted award because of its prestige and financial reward. One of the first unknowns to receive it was Seamus Heaney, later a Nobel Prize recipient, as well as John Banville and others. Tom also developed a program which created the first endowments to benefit good causes in Ireland. The foundation merged with the Ireland Fund to create The American Ireland Fund. Today, the Fund has chapters throughout the world. Tom served the Fund for twenty five years while working as an advancement executive at various institutions. He was made an Honorary Life Trustee of the Fund in 1992.
In 1968, because of his interest in the ecumenical movement he became the first lay Vice President of the Graduate Theological Union and assisted the fledgling institution gain stability. Asked to provide counsel to other institutions he became associated with the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, and served as the leading consultant for the development of the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was made the first lay vice president of College of Notre Dame, Belmont, and continued to serve numerous institutional clients locally and nationally.
He served on many boards and received honors for his service. Among them: Founding Trustee, CASE (Council for the Advancement and support of Education); recipient of the Frank Brennan Award for Service to the Poor from the St. Vincent de Paul Society: the 75th Anniversary Award from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where he was consultant for over 30 years and a member of its Board of Counselors.
Known for his kindness, humor, and wise counsel to those in need, Tom expressed gratitude daily for God's generosity. What he cared most for was his family. His beloved wife, Annmarie died in 1992, a wonderful mother to their four children: Mary Ann of London, Daniel and Violeta Jordan of San Francisco, Cecily Jordan of Napa, and Sean and Veronique Jordan, of Pinole, and their twin sons Brian and William. Also surviving Tom is his long-term partner, Rosemary Miller.
The family wishes to recognize the wonderful care provided by The Amazing Care LLC, Tom's friends Marte and Erwin, and his team at Hospice by the Bay. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in Tom's memory to Catholic Charities of the East Bay, 433 Jefferson St., Oakland, CA 94607. A funeral will be held 10am Saturday, April 22 at St. Ignatius Church. Free parking, as available, at the Koret Center Parking Lot on the southwest corner of Turk Boulevard and Parker Avenue.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Apr. 17 to Apr. 19, 2017 - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sfgate/obituary.a...