In Memory of





Obituary for John W Jordan Jr.

John W. Jordan, Jr. of Stoneham MA, age 86, died at home of end-stage liver disease on October 21, 2023.
John was born in Boston, MA in 1936 to Hazel and John W. Jordan, Sr. His parents, and older sisters, Mary Finley and Rita Ritzau, predeceased him. John grew up in Cambridge where he made dear, lifelong friends, forming Lee A.C., originally a basketball team, then welcoming wives, families and new friends and continuing to play together for over seven decades, most recently gathering for the Saturday Night Supper Club that John enjoyed organizing through 2023.

John graduated from Cambridge High and Latin in 1955. He worked for three years at UBS Electrical Co., where he met his wife to be. John attended Boston State College (now UMass Boston) and received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1962. He taught public school in Cambridge for 5 years, which he described as one of his most favorite jobs. In 1963, he married Helen Donovan. John returned to Boston State and received his MS degree in Education in 1965. He began his over thirty-year career at Northeastern University (NU) in 1966, first as an assistant to the dean at the College of Business Administration, advancing to the associate dean of the Graduate School of Business, and ultimately accepting the post of dean of University College (UC) in 1978, where he served for 20 years. During his tenure, UC expanded beyond primarily business programs to include liberal arts, health sciences and information technology, and all of NU’s part-time programs for adult students. One of his most cherished accomplishments while serving as dean was the founding of NU’s Alternative Freshman Year Program, which focused on assisting underserved high school graduates attain the credentials required for traditional college admission. Most of the students continued on as sophomores after a year in the program. John was a champion of adult students and second chances, relating to his own experience of not attending college right out of high school. His five children all graduated from NU, including one of his sons who flourished in the Alternative Freshman Year Program. In addition to his career in education, John always enjoyed sports and was a basketball coach, a college and high school basketball referee for 25 years, and a college and high school soccer referee for 10 years. In retirement he enjoyed traveling and seeing the world with Helen and friends, playing golf, most recently in Stoneham, and encouraging his grandchildren. In August, John had the great pleasure of attending his oldest grandchild’s graduation from Wentworth School of Engineering.

John positively influenced many people’s lives, as a mentor, advocate and facilitator. This included friends, colleagues and acquaintances. His advice and support were felt by everyone who knew him.

John is survived by Helen, his wife of 60 years; their children: Sandra Jordan (Rob Monahan) of Jamaica Plain, MA; Lori Isley (Stan) of Yakima, WA; Michael Jordan (Sarah) of Fayston, VT; Douglas Jordan (Kathleen) of Wayne, PA; daughter in-law, Laura Jordan of Reading, MA; seven grandchildren: Gavin Juan; Rohin, Trent and Nate Jordan; Calvin and Evie Jordan; Nolan Jordan; nephew Rick Ritzau (Lin Ryan-Ritzau); and many friends. He is predeceased by his beloved son Jack.

The family wishes to extend their deepest thanks to Dr. Zachary Fricker of Beth Israel, Benchmark of Woburn staff, and the staff with Compassionate Care Hospice.

Friends and relatives are invited to join the family at the Lane Funeral Home, 760 Main Street, Winchester, MA on Tuesday, October 24th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A funeral mass will be held at St. Mary’s Church, 155 Washington Street, Winchester, on Wednesday, October 25th at 11:00 a.m. Burial is private.