Obituaries for February 21, 2014

By Observer Upload February 21, 2014 11:05 am


Donald Clark Jordahl

Formerly of La Grande


Donald Clark Jordahl, 84, who grew up in La Grande, died Feb. 9 in North Central Baptist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.

A memorial service was held Feb. 15 at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Don was born on Aug. 9, 1929, in Pendleton to Jack and Grace (Clark) Jordahl. He grew up in La Grande, where he lived until he graduated from La Grande High School in 1947. He had many fond memories of La Grande and loved the times he could visit family and friends in his hometown. Don was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Oregon, graduating from there with a bachelor of arts in music in 1951.

He joined the Navy and served in the Naval Reserves from 1952 to 1954. While living in Philadelphia, he met Anne White, a recent immigrant from Bournemouth, England (the same hometown as his mother). They married on Dec. 4, 1954 and soon after they returned to Eugene, where Don began his studies for a master’s in music education and where he was the drum major for the University of Oregon Marching Band. 

The arrival of their first child, Michael, changed their plans for a life of teaching high school music and instead Don was recruited into the Air Force, into which he was commissioned in 1956. Their daughter Judith was born soon after, followed by Belinda and then Suzette.

Don served in the Air Force for 27 years, achieving the rank of colonel before taking a medical retirement in 1983. His career took him and his family all over the world with 11 permanent assignments and multiple temporary assignments. He especially enjoyed living and working in Germany and seeing the sights wherever he was assigned.

After Anne died in 2001, Don moved down the street from Michael in Colorado Springs, where he lived until moving into Belinda’s home this past November.

Don is survived by four children and their spouses, Michael and Nancy Jordahl of Colorado Springs; Bill and Judith Reed of McKinney, Texas; Bill and Belinda Garcia of Schertz, Texas; and Scott and Suzette Keller of San Antonio; 13 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. 

Don is also survived by his older sister, Roberta (Sam) Shorb of La Grande, and his younger brother, Richard (Marilyn) Jordahl of Gilbert, Ariz.; and also by several nieces and nephews.

Don’s remains will be interred next to those of his wife in the Columbarium at St Michaels Episcopal Church in Colorado Springs.

Memorials may be made to a church of choice, to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or to local chapters of the Barbershop Harmony Society.