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Delaware County's first public defender dies

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A former Delaware County Circuit judge and the first public defender in that county died Monday.

Judge James Joseph Jordan, 77, served as a public defender, prosecutor, and judge during his legal career. He was Delaware County's first public defender from 1960 to 1961. He worked as a deputy prosecutor before leaving for private practice, and returned to the prosecutor's office when he was elected Delaware County Prosecutor in 1974. He served as prosecutor until 1979, when he opened his own private law practice.

Judge Jordan served as a master commissioner under Delaware Circuit Judge Richard Dailey for 19 years. In 1998, then-Gov. Frank O'Bannon named him to complete the term of a Circuit judge who had died. Judge Jordan was on the bench of Circuit Court 4 through December 2002. He then worked as a senior judge until his death.

The judge was a member of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, Indiana State Bar Association and Muncie Bar Association.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth M. Jordan; children, Eleanor M. Jordan, Naperville, Ill.; Eric R. (Marian) Jordan, South Elgin, Ill.; Mark W. (Brenda) Jordan, Westfield, Ind.; Margaret R. (John) Ridenour, South Bend; John M. (Carrie) Jordan, Indianapolis; Joseph P. (Don Diforio) Jordan, Stamford, Conn.; Martha K. (Lee) Jarvis, St. Cloud, Fla.; Perry T. (Jeannie) Jordan, Albion. He is also survived by his sister, JoAnn Phillips, nine grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A calling will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and one hour before services at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Washington St. Chapel, 415 E. Washington St., Muncie. Burial will follow in Elm Ridge Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to the Salvation Army, Muncie Mission, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association.

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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