Gary Eugene Jordan, much loved husband, father, grandpa and great papa, died September 8, 2015 in Oklahoma City. He was born on April 6, 1940 to Chester M. and Jessie M. (Ruff) Jordan in Peck, Kansas. He and his older brother Marion and sister Virginia grew up on a farm near Hanston in western Kansas. Gary farmed in his early adult years, but flying was his passion and nearly 50 years ago he began his airborne career with a solo flight and “getting his shirt tail cut off” at the Burdette, KS Airport. Following were other air and plane-focused jobs and businesses that ranged from teaching ground school at Garden City Community College, managing the Hugoton Airport, and working as a spray pilot. He started his long-running aerial application business by forming Ag Air Inc in 1972 in Hugoton with a single plane, a Cessna Agwagon, and a ground crew consisting of his four kids - Doug, Kim, Terry and Todd - wearing red jump suits.
The family business grew and expanded over the years in Kansas and Oklahoma. The ground crew grew and Gary kept them busy flagging fields, washing planes and filling tanks. Doug became a mechanic, Kim worked the office and fields until college, Terry and Todd became spray pilots, and the family business grew when Terry married Jill in 1981. Gary ‘hung up his helmet’ only three years ago, but remained at the head of Jordan Air Inc.
As the family business evolved, so did Gary’s role as a businessman and father. Gary married Graciela Canales in 1993, and moved to Okeene, OK. Their children, Austin and Kaitlyn, were born in 1997 and 1999. Gary kept closely involved in their school sports, church and FFA activities in Okeene and had a number of other interests that entertained himself and others, including the miniature donkeys that starred in local events and occasionally accompanied him around town. A memorial, The Gary E Jordan Memorial Fund, has been established to benefit the FFA groups in Elkhart and Hugoton in Kansas and in Okeene, Oklahoma.
Gary spent as much time as he could with his grandchildren and great grandchildren and thoroughly enjoyed them. His grandchildren are Adria Kaiser (Jeremy), Kendra Schobert (Rob), Marissa Bennett (Derek) and Christopher; all living in Kansas apart from Marissa and Derek, who live in Texas. He was blessed with six great-grandchildren including Jonathan and Alexa Kaiser, Kaleb and Adelyn Schobert, and Payton and Ryleigh Bennett.
Gary will be missed by many, many friends and a large extended family that will join to remember his humor and generosity at a service at the Methodist Church in Okeene on Friday, September 11 at 2 p.m. Burial was at Roselawn Cemetery in Okeene. Fellow spray pilots did a traditional flyover in respect for Gary and in recognition of him joining his pilot son, Todd, who preceded him in death in 1999, to “spray greenbugs in heaven.”