FORT BENTON - Joseph Peter Jordan, 84, a former Fort Benton mayor, died of natural causes Tuesday, June 3, 2003, at a Great Falls hospice.

A vigil service will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Immaculate Conception Church in Fort Benton. A funeral will be 10 a.m. Saturday at the church with burial in Riverside Cemetery. A

lunch in the church basement will follow the burial.

Joe was born on Jan. 3, 1919, on the family farm in Hettinger County, N.D., to Juliana Stein and Peter Jordan. He attended country school until eighth grade and graduated from high school in 1937 at Mott, N.D.

After high school, he worked at Gambles as a traveling salesman. He enlisted in the Army in 1942 and was discharged in March 1944 as a master sergeant. He then re-enlisted as a warrant officer junior grade and was assigned to the Al-Can highway project. He received his honorable discharge at Fort Douglas, Utah, on Feb. 8, 1946.

Joe met Rose Adelaide Jungers while home on leave and they were married at the post chapel in Fort Lewis, Wash., on Dec. 4, 1943.

On March 30, 1946, he purchased the LaBarre Garage with two partners. They changed the name to Fort Benton Motor Co. and were a franchised Dodge-Plymouth dealership. He later bought out the partners and added the Chrysler franchise.

He was mayor of Fort Benton in the 1950s when the town got paved streets. He was on the boards of St. Clare Hospital, Chouteau County Hospital, Memorial Ambulance Service, and Blue Cross of Montana.

Joe was a member of the Kiwanis Club, Knights of Columbus, VFW Post 4047, and Elks Lodge 214. Working with the Chrysler Corp., he provided cars to driver's education program at Fort Benton High School and the automotive technology program at Northern Montana College.

His many hobbies included bowling, dancing, playing cards and following the local athletic teams. He especially enjoyed go-kart racing with his family.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Rose, in 1994; and daughter, Patricia Jappe, in 1990.

Survivors include his children, Robert Jordan of Highlands Ranch, Colo., Mary Frances Eloff and John Jordan of Fort Benton, JoAnne Sherwood of Helena, Kathy West of Great Falls, and Evelyn "Evie" Dorr of Havre; sisters, Bertha Mayer of Richardton, N.D., and Helen O'Hara of Fort Benton; 13 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Arrangements are by O'Connor Funeral Home of Great Falls.


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