It happened so often when the Jordan family was out together that it became a running joke among the three children.

No matter where they were, someone invariably would approach their mother and exclaim, “Mrs. Jordan, you taught me at Germantown.” And the kids would roll their eyes. Here we go again.

“They were everywhere,” Natalie Jordan, Mrs. Jordan’s middle child, said about her mother’s former students. “But she would be over the moon each time that they remembered her. ‘That was one of my students,' she would say. It humbled her.”

Mrs. Jordan, 78, died Friday, June 12, from COVID-19 at Abington Hospital. She had been ill with the virus for about 17 days.

Born at home in Germantown in 1941, the young Mrs. Jordan liked to ride around town with her older brother, Kermit, in the front seat of his car. She graduated from Germantown High and wanted to be an archaeologist. Instead, she joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, graduated from Cheyney State Teachers College (now Cheyney University) in 1964, and became a history teacher.

“In those days, women became secretaries, teachers, or nurses,” Natalie Jordan said. “She loved history and architecture, so she became a teacher.”

Mrs. Jordan and daughters Regina and Natalie.
Courtesy of the family
Mrs. Jordan and daughters Regina and Natalie.

After working briefly at an elementary school, Mrs. Jordan returned to her alma mater and spent the bulk of her career teaching history at Germantown. Natalie graded papers with her mother on the weekend and received impromptu history lessons on “what happened there” and “how that was built” during family car rides.

Mrs. Jordan was especially interested in the history of women, African Americans, and Philadelphia.

She had met Abraham Jordan on a double date, and they married in July 1966. They set up house in West Mount Airy and raised daughters Regina and Natalie and son Blair. Being her only son, Blair was her “heart,” Natalie said.

During their nearly 54-year marriage, Mrs. Jordan and her husband traveled to South Africa and Mexico and across the country on a train. Their next destination was to be Cuba. The couple moved to Wyndmoor in 2000.

Mrs. Jordan and son Blair
Courtesy of the family
Mrs. Jordan and son Blair

“Kind and gracious is how everybody described her,” Natalie Jordan said of her mother. “Even when she wasn’t feeling well when she got older, she always smiled. "

In addition to her husband and children, Mrs. Jordan is survived by five grandchildren.

Gary Miles, gmiles@inquirer.com