Serving Whitman County since 1877

Alva May Jordan

Alva May Jordan passed away November 9, 2023. She was 104 years old and full of life and good conversations.

Alva May was born to Jack Peter (JP) and Grace Alice (Hench) Glorfield on September 16, 1919, at the Old Black Place, St. John, Wash. She was the second oldest of six children and was only 14 when her mother (Grace) died of pneumonia. With her older sister Doris, already in college, the care of her 5 younger siblings, Jack, Benny, Lila, and Patsy, fell to Alva May.

Despite the additional responsibility of cooking and cleaning for her family and her father's hired hands, Alva May graduated from Ewan High School in 1937, in only three years. She went on to attend Eastern Washington College in Cheney, Wash., for one year.

While Alva May was a senior in high school, she went on a blind date with Burt Anderson, a basketball coach six years her senior. They danced the waltz and won the evening's prize. She married Burt in 1938, and together they had two children, Gracie Ann, and Bruce. They divorced five years later. In 1946, Alva May married Eddie Maughan, and together they had three children, Marie, Jeanne, and Dona. They divorced 20 years later.

Alva May was working in St. John Café when she met Don Jordan, and they married in 1968. They lived in St. John for many years, where they were active square dancers with both the Rocklake Rockers and the Pullman Frollikers. Alva May was a member of the Federated Women's Club of St. John and held several offices, including President. In their retirement years, Alva and Don traveled widely around the western portion of the US and in their beloved motor home to visit Death Valley and to relatives up and down the west coast. Their travels also took them to Hawaii and on cruises to Alaska, and through the Panama Canal. They enjoyed hiking and collecting rocks. Alva May also modeled in clothing and style shows for nearly 50 years, up to her 99th year of life.

Throughout her long life, Alva May loved people and good conversations. She cherished her large family above all else. She welcomed many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren into her home, baking countless pies for hungry mouths, making homemade blue-pink-red playdough for the little hands, and sharing her love of the earth and all things that grew from her garden.

Alva May is preceded in death by brothers Jackie and Benny Glorfield, and sisters Doris Erikson, and Lila Novak. Alva May is survived by her husband Don Jordan of 55 years, her sister Patsy Schuster, Omak, Wash., her five children Gracie Ann Miller (Larry) of St. John, Wash., Bruce Maughan (Vicki) of Walla Walla Wash., Marie Kelseth (Dan) of Boise, Idaho, Jeanne Murray (Chuck) of St. John, Dona O'Shaughnessy (Tom) of Otis Orchards, Wash., thirteen grandchildren, twenty-five great-grandchildren, and fifteen great-great grandchildren.

Alva May leaves behind a legacy with her family and they will miss her greatly.


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