Jordan remembered for service, dedication

By Faith Huffman, News-Telegram News Editor

July 8, 2008 - Firefighters from around the area converged in Winnsboro Monday to honor long-time Pickton-Pine Forest volunteer firefighter Joe Pat Jordan, who died Friday as a result of a heart attack suffered while responding to a call Wednesday.

Jordan, 71, dedicated 32 years of service to Pickton-Pine Forest Volunteer Fire Department, a department he helped found in 1976. PPFVFD's secretary/treasure was responding late Wednesday morning to a reported vehicle crash with an entrapment on County Road 2408 along with another firefighter. Shortly after they left the station, Jordan suffered a heart attack.

"We were able to revive him. He was taken to Hopkins County Memorial then flown to East Texas Medical Center in Tyler where he passed away due to too much damage Friday, July 4," said PPFVFD Chief Mark Sustaire.

In addition to being a lifelong and founding member of Pickton-Pine Forest VFD, Jordan also served in various officers posts within the department over the years. He was the secretary/treasurer at the time of his death. He also helped construct several of the departments first trucks, from the ground up, and in fact help finish out PPFVFD's newest truck which was put in service last year.

"He helped put together an organization that was able to assist him when he needed it," Sustaire said. "We got him to the hospital, it allowed his family to be there with him when he passed away. He put it together. He loved it."

Hopkins County, Winnsboro and the county volunteer fire departments bordering PPFVFD banned together, responding to calls in PPFVFD's coverage area from the time of Jordan's heart attack until 8 a.m. this morning so that Jordan's fellow volunteer firefighters and family could focus on mourning him without worry that service would be interrupted.

"We're pulling together as a family, but we are all missing him. His family and this department are intertwined so we are all just trying to help each other with this. His absence will definitely be felt," Sustaire said.

Jordan was honored Monday with a firefighter's funeral, complete with and honor guard composed of Grapevine, Sherman and irving firefighters, and fire apparatus from his as well as other area departments. The service was held at Beaty Funeral Home in Winnsboro. Burial followed in Pine Forest Cemetery with the members of Pickton-Pine Forest Volunteer Fire Department serving as pallbearers.

So that area firefighters could attend and take part in the service, Paris Fire Department sent a crew to North Hopkins to cover calls in the north side of the county, Commerce responded to calls in the western part of the county, Mount Pleasant covered the east side of the county and Greenville filled in to run calls for Hopkins County Fire Department.

"We just thank all of the Hopkins County volunteer fire departments and Hopkins County Fire, as well as the departments that they brought in, including Greenville, Commerce, Mount Pleasant and Paris, for helping cover our areas. We also appreciated the support and all the honor guard did," Sustaire said Tuesday morning.

Jordan is survived by his wife of 52 years, Nell; his son, Jeff of Pine Forest, who at one time also served on the department; two daughters, Carolyn Woolverton of League City and Sharon Car of Mount Vernon; 10 grand children; and one great-grandchild.

His legacy and dedication lives on in his grandson Blake Jordan, who has served alongside his grandfather on PPFVFD. He carried his granddad's love of service even further and is employed as a firefighter in Bonham.

Memorials may be made in his honor to Pickton-Pine Forest Volunteer Fire Department.

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