Sep 172012

Ferne Phyllis Jordan, 96, passed away in her sleep during the early hours of Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, follow-ing a long battle with the after-effects of broken vertebrae suffered in a fall.
She had many friends in Benson, Glendale, Flagstaff and Snowflake who knew her as being as lively and energetic in her nineties as are many who are two decades younger.
She was born Ferne Phyllis Vlasta Vockel on Aug. 9, 1916, in Chicago, Ill., to Leon Louis and Vera Weyraugh Vockel. Ferne was their only child.
At the age of 17, she married Fred Zina Cole in Chicago, where they lived until 1947. For several years dur-ing this period, Ferne worked as a bookkeeper for the telephone company.
Ferne and Fred were the parents of two children, Judith Lee and Jon Frederick. In 1947, the family moved to Phoenix. Fred Cole, who was a refrigeration technician, succumbed to a heart attack in 1955. Following his death, Ferne served as manager of the Glendale High School bookstore.
Ferne took great pleasure in the talents and accomplishments of her children. Judy excelled in tennis, track, and pep squad activities in school. Jon became a weightlifter and athletic trainer, once becoming an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. Ferne loved attending any event in which her children were competing.
She had many skills and abilities, and greatly enjoyed teaching and tutoring her children and grandchildren in such things as bookkeeping, sewing, budgeting and money management, leather work, music, thriftiness and miscellaneous other things. She enjoyed whiling away an hour or two playing many of the old songs on the accordion.
Ferne was quite aware of the hard times which confront so many people, and was active in a variety of or-ganizations such as food banks and welfare programs that provide clothing and other necessities to those in need.
In 1961, Ferne married businessman Howard D. Jordan. After a honeymoon trip to Australia and New Zea-land, the couple made their home in the Executive Tower in central Phoenix for a time, then moved to Flagstaff to establish a business there. After Howard’s retirement in 1972, the Jordans moved to California, where they lived for a time in Carlsbad and then in San Diego. Returning to Arizona in 1977, they resided in northwest Phoenix until the completion of a summer home in Eagar, where they eventually spent most of their time. How-ard passed away at that location in 1988.
Ferne was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having become a member in 1959. She spent many years working in the genealogy and family history programs of the church, as well as serving as a teacher or secretary in various organizations.
Survivors include her daughter, Judy (Wendell) Everist; her son, Jon (Mary) Cole; eight grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by Fred Cole, Howard Jordan and a granddaughter, Kathi Lynn Everist, who died of leukemia at age 13.
Ferne made the decision in her later years to donate her body to medical science research following her death. It was one of her final wishes that in consideration of this donation, there be no funeral services held. The family held a private gathering as a means of celebrating and memorializing Ferne’s remarkable life.