True to her beautiful and loving spirit, Edith Sperry Jordan left this world Sunday, June 30, 2019. After living a wonderful life for 104 years, she was anxious to rejoin her cherished husband and good friends, but at the same time remained ever mindful that it was God’s decision and not hers, passing away peacefully at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics after a brief illness.
Edith’s remarkable life began May 22, 1915. An only child, she was born in Clarinda, Iowa to Howard Freeman Sperry and Jennie Belle Clark Sperry and lived there until she moved to Fairfield, Iowa to attend Parsons College. While there she met a fellow student, Scott Jordan of Fairfield. Thus began their love affair that lasted over 53 years. At Parsons she was a member of the Elzevier Sorority and later, Alpha Gamma Delta. After graduating, Edith continued her education at the University of Illinois in a special Master of Library Science program which further nurtured her love of books and learning.
She worked at the Ames, Iowa, Public Library before and after her marriage to Scott in 1942. After he enlisted in the Army, she left there to follow and support him during his training in Kansas City and Washington, D.C. As a member of the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps in World War II, he was ultimately stationed in England and then France. Edith returned to Iowa while Scott served in the European theater. After the war, Scott and Edith moved permanently to Fairfield where he joined his father’s law practice. In 1951, Edith’s life took another happy turn when she and Scott adopted twin girls.
With several other couples who were also returning to Fairfield after the war, they formed a social group named “Gastro.” For over 30 years Gastro members usually met weekly for dinner forming a rare and lasting bond among the friends. As the last surviving member, Edith must have been enthusiastically welcomed back by the others last Sunday. They have no doubt continued cooking, dining and socializing.
Edith and Scott loved to travel and throughout their marriage they visited many states and countries, including Russia, France, Greece, Egypt, Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan. They always hoped to go to Alaska, but her time with Scott ran out before they could make the trip. A year after his death, her daughter Mary and her husband Bill fulfilled Scott’s wish by joining Edith on a cruise and overland trip to Alaska.
In addition to helping raise her daughters and supporting Scott’s career as an attorney, Edith was involved in many community activities. She served on the Fairfield Public Library Board of Directors and was a member of P.E.O. Chapter MB for over 50 years. She was also a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Fairfield Women’s Club, Wit and Wisdom, Abracadabra, Questers and The Family Jordan.
She was preceded in death by her parents, infant granddaughter Jennie Belle, and her beloved husband Scott.
She is survived by her daughters Anne Jordan of Chicago, Illinois, and Mary Jordan Neff and her husband Bill of Bozeman, Montana; grandson Mark Jordan-Kamholz of Berlin, Germany; her twin granddaughters Sabrina Bronson and Donna Neff, both of Bozeman; and three great grandchildren, Jennie Belle, Jordan and Noah. She also leaves behind many cherished cousins from the Sperry and Jordan families and wonderful friends.
A very special woman has left us, but Edith’s legacy of devotion, friendship and love will not be forgotten by those who knew her.
A reception for friends will be held in Fellowship Hall, on the lower level of the First Presbyterian Church from 12:30 to 1:30 pm Friday, July 5, 2019, followed by the funeral service at 1:30 with Pastor Joe Phipps officiating. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery after the service.
In-lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Fairfield Evergreen Cemetery Association, Fairfield Public Library or the Fairfield First Presbyterian Church. Cards and memorials can be mailed to: Mary Neff, 2219 W. Oak St. Apt. 319, Bozeman, MT 59718