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Resthaven Funeral Home & Resthaven Memorial Park

5740 West 19Th Street, Lubbock, TX

OBITUARY

Opal Irene Jordan

May 20, 1926October 29, 2019
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OPAL IRENE DUKE JORDAN Biography provided by Irene Jordan April 20, 2006

I was born at Robert Lee, Texas on May 20, 1926, the sixth child in a family of seven children. I was named Opal Irene Duke and I always detested the name, Opal. My mother was Mary Emma Martin Duke and my father was Luther Henry Duke. I had three brothers and three sisters. My brothers were Lewis Edward Duke, Leroy Harold Duke and Lowell Curtis Duke. My sisters were Edna Marie Duke, Florence Emma Duke and Nina Ruth Duke. I have fond memories of visiting Grandma and Grandpa Duke who lived in Cross Plains, Texas. On a farm which had a wonderful orchard. On one visit Dad barely got stopped at the front door before we were scrambling out of our Model T touring car. Once inside we rushed past our grandparents calling “hello Grandma and Grandpa”, then out the back door in a mad dash for the orchard. Grandpa looked startled saying “whose kids are those?”. Once we reached the orchard we proceeded to eat our fill from the various fruit trees. There were also blackberries and Grandma would make a delicious cobbler which she made even better with a topping of heavy cream. There was a pump organ in the parlor and we must have tested Grandma’s patience trying to play it. I know they must have been exhausted when we left. Thankfully we didn’t visit often or stay long. We had entered World War II on Dec. 7th, 1941 and Dad had given up on farming. He left for Arizona seeking employment leaving Mom, Nina and myself on the poorest of all farms. We were just renting the house and had no way to make a living. Nina and I remember all too vividly how close we came to starving, barely existing, eating gravy made with water. Then the humiliation of my proud mother having to stand in line for a government hand out of dried black eyed peas with weevils (bugs)! Oh well, at least it was protein. When the Philippines fell to the Japanese, Edward was among those in the Death March on their way to a Prisoners of War camp. He would remain there for almost three horrific hears. Later he would be placed on a ship not identified as transporting P.O.W.’s, bound for Japan and slave labor camps or mines. The ship was sunk by our submarine and there were no survivors. I lived next door to Hiram after we moved to Westbrook and attended high school with him. I was a grade ahead of him as he had been kept out of school one year to help with harvesting. I traveled to California where Dad was employed by Rohr’s Aircraft which we referred to as a “defense plant”. All able men, including my brothers and brother-in-laws were serving in the various branches of the military. My oldest brother Edward was in the 200th Coast Artillery. Harold was in the First Cavalry, Lowell in the 82nd Airborne Division. Guy Formwalt, my brother-in-law, (Florence’s husband) in the Marines and Bill Self, brother-in-law (Eddie’s husband) in the tank corp. The civilian population had to assume the responsibility of supporting the troops and war effort. This was accomplished by the manufacture of much needed materials and supplies, This was also where women first entered the work force. My job at Rohr’s was operating a very dangerous machine used to stretch various cables before they were installed in aircraft. I worked across the aisle from “Rosie the Riveter” so my job wasn’t the safest or quietest job at the plant. We were converting PBY’s, Catalina’s, a sea plane into troop carriers and I spent many cold hours curled up inside the wings doing patch work on them. When I worked the night shift it was cold and spooky as the fog came rolling in. The planes were sitting on the water, pulled up to a dock but what an adventure for a kid who had never been any further west than Big Spring! I didn’t remain in California for any length of time as I became so homesick that Dad sent me home. Seventeen is not a good time to be so far from home when you’ve never been away before. After our marriage at Pecos, Texas, Nov. 27, 1944 it was two years of separation, only being together when his ship was in port and he was on leave. Following his discharge from the Navy we moved to Lubbock as he was determined to get an education and had always said he planned to use his head, not his back, to make a living. He felt that manual labor was the worst possible punishment, especially picking cotton! When Hiram graduated from Texas Tech we had natured enough to know that we still loved each other and he asked me to marry him again on November 22, 1950. Family trips to Yellowstone, Hawaii, Disneyland and Vail were great for us. Our home always seemed to be full of children so there was never a shortage of playmates. If the house had a basement the children would set up card tables covered with blankets as forts. These provided extra hiding places when playing hide and seek. The basement was very dark so a flash light was required when the “seeking” began. Deborah and Gregg enjoyed “tea parties” using her small tea set after she had baked tiny cakes on her Easy Bake oven. Doug and Gregg played with small army men, usually on a dirt pile, hiding them in what they hoped were strategic locations. This was necessary in order to withstand the barrage of small rocks and clods that would soon follow! A Hot Wheels track and race cars were set up in the basement, plus a basketball goal so there were few boring days. We had no parenting rules to go by, yet our children matured into wonderful adults in spite of our many mistakes. I was reared by parents who attended church and no bible classes. I can’t claim any great skills at mothering or grand mothering, but from an early age I longed to be a mother. I had a wonderful example to follow in the mother I was blessed with. She had a heavy burden in caring for our family with infinite patience and gentle love. She was also a strict disciplinarian when necessary When Hiram and I married I was determined to acquire more biblical knowledge. We were able to do this by attending bible classes in our worship service. Our faith grew with added knowledge aiding us in our ability to teach and hopefully lead others to Christ. Our children became Christians in their early teens. We believe there are five steps to salvation. Hear, Believe, Repent, and Confess and be baptized so our faith and their faith sustained us through many difficult times in later years. Our children would become good, faithful Christian parents providing excellent examples of this strong faith to their children. Each of them has filled our lives in so many ways but none more fulfilling than they accepted Christ as their lord and savior. Hiram was surrounded by his children at his death and would have been so proud of the way they took care of me during the devastating days to follow. They were all at their finest, honoring their father by stepping into his role taking charge as he had always done and performing the many difficult decisions that lay ahead of us. They had been by his side day and night at the hospital, praying for a miraculous recovery. Yet willing to let him go if it was God’s will. I was incapable of making decisions at that point and our beloved children assumed the responsibility of the parent, supporting me as only they could. Through their love for their dad, they planned a special service as a beautiful tribute to him. We received many comments later of how beautiful it really was. The love he had for his family extended beyond his death through his careful planning for our future lives without him. A door on my life had closed with his death and I had to open the door to another without him. I had the difficult decision to make regarding leaving Lubbock as it had been my home for years. I was fortunate to find a new home at Park Central Retirement Center in Amarillo, Texas. I am reminded often that only through Hiram’s foresight, hard work and love am I fortunate enough to live here. So at least I have arrived at a place where there will be no more moves! That is until I leave this earth bound for what I pray will be my Heavenly home. I had a wonderful childhood, filled with so many happy memories. We were so very poor, yet I felt rich as I was surrounded by the love that my family had for me and for each other. My life was further blessed by having Hiram as my beloved husband for forty-nine years. Our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren were special gifts from God. He gave me such a beautiful life, filling it with countless blessings which I sometimes felt unworthy to receive and my cup truly runneth over! I pray that your lives will be filled with the blessings I have known. You will come to realize, as I have, that your family is all you really have and where you’re true happiness lies. Doug, Deborah and Gregg, you were my life and made it beautiful just by being in it. I have loved each of you so dearly, more dearly than any spoken words could ever tell. The grandchildren and now great grandchildren you gave me brought countless moments of love and joy in precious times we spent together. Forgive me for things done and left undone that might have hurt you in any way. I am so proud of each of you and so grateful that God allowed me to be your mother and grandmother. Remember me with love as I have loved you, speak of me often and I’ll never be gone and hopefully never forgotten.

With love and devotion, Mom, Irene and Grandma

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Doug Jordan
  • Tom Jordan
  • Preston Jordan
  • Jordan Hancock
  • Damon Hertel
  • Tony Sheehey

Services

  • Funeral Service Monday, November 4, 2019

Memories

Opal Irene Jordan

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Patti Hatzenbuehler

October 31, 2019

Aunt Irene was one of the most upbeat, warm, gentle, loving ladies I have ever known.
When we would visit, her home was always clean and welcoming. Her hugs big and generous. The love she had for people radiated out of her eyes and smile. Her voice was soft with a West Texas drawl. Her laugh was always just around the corner.
God blessed us all by keeping Irene here as long as He did.
Irene, You will be missed.
Love You.
your niece, Patti

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Biography

OPAL IRENE DUKE JORDAN
Biography provided by Irene Jordan April 20, 2006

I was born at Robert Lee, Texas on May 20, 1926, the sixth child in a family of seven children. I was named Opal Irene Duke and I always detested the name, Opal. My mother was Mary Emma Martin Duke and my father was Luther Henry Duke. I had three brothers and three sisters. My brothers were Lewis Edward Duke, Leroy Harold Duke and Lowell Curtis Duke. My sisters were Edna Marie Duke, Florence Emma Duke and Nina Ruth Duke.

I have fond memories of visiting Grandma and Grandpa Duke who lived in Cross Plains, Texas. On a farm which had a wonderful orchard. On one visit Dad barely got stopped at the front door before we were scrambling out of our Model T touring car. Once inside we rushed past our grandparents calling “hello Grandma and Grandpa”, then out the back door in a mad dash for the orchard. Grandpa looked startled saying “whose kids are those?”. Once we reached the orchard we proceeded to eat our fill from the various fruit trees. There were also blackberries and Grandma would make a delicious cobbler which she made even better with a topping of heavy ream.

There was a pump organ in the parlor and we must have tested Grandma’s patience trying to play it. I know they must have been exhausted when we left. Thankfully we didn’t visit often or stay long.
We had entered World War II on Dec. 7th, 1941 and Dad had given up on farming. He left for Arizona seeking employment leaving Mom, Nina and myself on the poorest of all farms. We were just renting the house and had no way to make a living. Nina and I remember all too vividly how close we came to starving, barely existing, eating gravy made with water. Then the humiliation of my proud mother having to stand in line for a government hand out of dried black eyed peas with weevils (bugs)! Oh well, at least it was protein.
When the Philippines fell to the Japanese, Edward was among those in the Death March on their way to a Prisoners of War camp. He would remain there for almost three horrific hears. Later he would be placed on a ship not identified as transporting P.O.W.’s, bound for Japan and slave labor camps or mines. The ship was sunk by our submarine and there were no survivors.
I lived next door to Hiram after we moved to Westbrook and attended high school with him. I was a grade ahead of him as he had been kept out of school one year to help with harvesting.

I traveled to California where Dad was employed by Rohr’s Aircraft which we referred to as a “defense plant”. All able men, including my brothers and brother-in-laws were serving in the various branches of the military. My oldest brother Edward was in the 200th Coast Artillery. Harold was in the First Cavalry, Lowell in the 82nd Airborne Division. Guy Formwalt, my brother-in-law, (Florence’s husband) in the Marines and Bill Self, brother-in-law (Eddie’s husband) in the tank corp. The civilian population had to assume the responsibility of supporting the troops and war effort. This was accomplished by the manufacture of much needed materials and supplies, This was also where women first entered the work force. My job at Rohr’s was operating a very dangerous machine used to stretch various cables before they were installed in aircraft. I worked across the aisle from “Rosie the Riveter” so my job wasn’t the safest or quietest job at the plant. We were converting PBY’s, Catalina’s, a sea plane into troop carriers and I spent many cold hours curled up inside the wings doing patch work on them. When I worked the night shift it was cold and spooky as the fog came rolling in. The planes were sitting on the water, pulled up to a dock but what an adventure for a kid who had never been any further west than Big Spring! I didn’t remain in California for any length of time as I became so homesick that Dad sent me home. Seventeen is not a good time to be so far from home when you’ve never been away before.
After our marriage at Pecos, Texas, Nov. 27, 1944 it was two years of separation, only being together when his ship was in port and he was on leave. Following his discharge from the Navy we moved to Lubbock as he was determined to get an education and had always said he planned to use his head, not his back, to make a living. He felt that manual labor was the worst possible punishment, especially picking cotton!
When Hiram graduated from Texas Tech we had natured enough to know that we still loved each other and he asked me to marry him again on November 22, 1950.

Family trips to Yellowstone, Hawaii, Disneyland and Vail were great for us. Our home always seemed to be full of children so there was never a shortage of playmates. If the house had a basement the children would set up card tables covered with blankets as forts. These provided extra hiding places when playing hide and seek. The basement was very dark so a flash light was required when the “seeking” began. Deborah and Gregg enjoyed “tea parties” using her small tea set after she had baked tiny cakes on her Easy Bake oven. Doug and Gregg played with small army men, usually on a dirt pile, hiding them in what they hoped were strategic locations. This was necessary in order to withstand the barrage of small rocks and clods that would soon follow! A Hot Wheels track and race cars were set up in the basement, plus a basketball goal so there were few boring days.
We had no parenting rules to go by, yet our children matured into wonderful adults in spite of our many mistakes.
I was reared by parents who attended church and no bible classes. I can’t claim any great skills at mothering or grand mothering, but from an early age I longed to be a mother. I had a wonderful example to follow in the mother I was blessed with. She had a heavy burden in caring for our family with infinite patience and gentle love. She was also a strict disciplinarian when necessary
When Hiram and I married I was determined to acquire more biblical knowledge. We were able to do this by attending bible classes in our worship service. Our faith grew with added knowledge aiding us in our ability to teach and hopefully lead others to Christ. Our children became Christians in their early teens. We believe there are five steps to salvation. Hear, Believe, Repent, and Confess and be baptized so our faith and their faith sustained us through many difficult times in later years. Our children would become good, faithful Christian parents providing excellent examples of this strong faith to their children. Each of them has filled our lives in so many ways but none more fulfilling than they accepted Christ as their lord and savior.
Hiram was surrounded by his children at his death and would have been so proud of the way they took care of me during the devastating days to follow. They were all at their finest, honoring their father by stepping into his role taking charge as he had always done and performing the many difficult decisions that lay ahead of us. They had been by his side day and night at the hospital, praying for a miraculous recovery. Yet willing to let him go if it was God’s will. I was incapable of making decisions at that point and our beloved children assumed the responsibility of the parent, supporting me as only they could. Through their love for their dad, they planned a special service as a beautiful tribute to him. We received many comments later of how beautiful it really was. The love he had for his family extended beyond his death through his careful planning for our future lives without him.
A door on my life had closed with his death and I had to open the door to another without him. I had the difficult decision to make regarding leaving Lubbock as it had been my home for years. I was fortunate to find a new home at Park Central Retirement Center in Amarillo, Texas. I am reminded often that only through Hiram’s foresight, hard work and love am I fortunate enough to live here. So at least I have arrived at a place where there will be no more moves! That is until I leave this earth bound for what I pray will be my Heavenly home.
I had a wonderful childhood, filled with so many happy memories. We were so very poor, yet I felt rich as I was surrounded by the love that my family had for me and for each other. My life was further blessed by having Hiram as my beloved husband for forty-nine years.
Our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren were special gifts from God. He gave me such a beautiful life, filling it with countless blessings which I sometimes felt unworthy to receive and my cup truly runneth over!
I pray that your lives will be filled with the blessings I have known. You will come to realize, as I have, that your family is all you really have and where you’re true happiness lies. Doug, Deborah and Gregg, you were my life and made it beautiful just by being in it. I have loved each of you so dearly, more dearly than any spoken words could ever tell. The grandchildren and now great grandchildren you gave me brought countless moments of love and joy in precious times we spent together. Forgive me for things done and left undone that might have hurt you in any way. I am so proud of each of you and so grateful that God allowed me to be your mother and grandmother.
Remember me with love as I have loved you, speak of me often and I’ll never be gone and hopefully never forgotten.

With love and devotion,
Mom, Irene and Grandma