People from all walks of life packed the Waxahachie Civic Center Thursday afternoon to honor the life of N.B. “Buck” Jordan, more affectionately known as Mr. Waxahachie.
Jordan, who had distinguished career of service to the community, passed away Monday following a long battle with cancer.
During his career in public service, Jordan served as the president of the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, a city councilman, mayor and held posts in many community organizations. City Councilman Kevin Strength spoke about Jordan’s contribution to the city and the impact he had in Strength’s life.
“I have known Buck my whole life, but not nearly as well as I have since serving with him on the city council. My first encounter with was in May 2009 when he was sworn in as Mayor of Waxahachie. On that night I was sworn in as a new city council member. I was totally unsure of myself, as this was my first dive into politics,” Strength said. “I thought my poker face was the best but Buck read me like a book. He leaned over and said, ‘Follow my lead, son.’ After the ceremony he said he was glad to see young men like John, Mark and myself serving on the council. I left the council chambers that night with a great sense of relief. From that moment on, I knew Buck Jordan was a great leader.”
Strength continued that since that evening he had learned that Jordan was a kind, reserved and selfless person. He remarked that Jordan was the most civic-minded person he has ever met, spending countless years supporting the community’s efforts and always putting the needs of community first. Strength said that Jordan was a true leader by helping to shape future leaders. In closing, Strength told the audience that he considered Jordan to be a true friend and that he made true difference in his life.
Following Strength, Congressman Joe Barton spoke about the impact that Jordan made on his life. Barton said he is a relatively new friend of Jordan, having only known him for 30 years, where some people have known him all of his life.
Barton talked about Jordan’s character. Barton described Jordan as a no-nonsense type of person and a bottom-line type of guy.
He told the audience that Jordan worked tirelessly for the community. One such instance was when the Superconducting Super Collider project was on the drawing board and coming to Ellis County.
Barton said after a phone call with the President he was allowed to make the news public. Barton told his press secretary to set up a press conference to break the news. About 15 minutes later Barton said he was told that Jordan had already set up a press conference four hours ago. Instead of breaking the news at his office Barton said he traveled to the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce to announce the news to the press that Ellis County had received the SSC project.
In another instance, Barton recalled when General Motors was closing dealerships about six years ago during the recession and Waxahachie-based Carlisle Chevrolet was one of the dealerships facing closure. Barton said he had made a call to the interim CEO of General Motors Edward Whitacre to talk to him about keeping the dealership open. During his conversation, Whitacre interrupted him telling Barton that Buck Jordan had already contacted him and pleaded the case. Carlisle eventually had the closure decision by GM reversed.
"I am going to miss Buck Jordan. Waxahachie is going to miss Buck Jordan, Ellis County is going to miss him, the state of Texas is going to miss him and the United States of America is going to miss him," Barton said. "He has done his job, he has run a fine race and paid his duties. I am honored the family has asked me to speak. God bless the memory of Buck Jordan of Waxahachie, Texas."
Jordan's son Jeff Jordan followed Barton and expressed his family’s appreciation to the community for all the support shown during this difficult time.
Jeff said his father began from humble beginnings, being the fourth of six children growing up in the Great Depression, and knew what tough times were about.
"Dad patterned his life on making decisions based upon where he had come from and where we need to go," Jeff said. "He told me many times that he knew what it was like to be hungry when we was little and would make sure that he never have to experience that again."
Jeff said he spent most of his life making sure that Waxahachie was prepared. He believed in citizens serving the community that they live.
Closing the service was the Rev. Walter Buchanan. Buchanan said Jordan was a tireless worker for the city and that his presence will be missed. In his closing prayer Buchanan thanked God for loaning Jordan to the community for all of these years.