Dr. Helen Elaine Jordan, 97, of Staunton, VA, previously of Stillwater, OK, died peacefully on
December 31, 2023.
She was born on July 19, 1926, in Rockingham County, VA, daughter of the late Oliver and Iva
Dr. Jordan earned her undergraduate degree from Bridgewater College. In 1948, she completed
training as a medical technologist at Cornell University. While working toward a master's degree
at Virginia Tech, she had the opportunity to enroll in the veterinary program at the University of
Georgia. In her own words, “I saw a door open and went on in”.
In 1955, she earned both her master's at Tech and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Georgia,
becoming one of the first women veterinarians in the United States. She went on to earn a PhD in
Zoology and taught at the University of Georgia and Oklahoma State University, where she
joined the faculty as a full professor, retiring in 1993.
Helen was known for her adventurous spirit and inquisitive mind but will be remembered for her
unwavering encouragement to live life to the fullest. She is survived by sister June Jordan,
brother John Jordan (Kay), sister-in-law Linda Jordan, and three generations of beloved nieces
and nephews. She was preceded in death by her partner Dr. Julia McHale, sister Doady Didawick
(Guy), brother Oliver William Jordan, Jr., and sister-in-law Ruth Jordan.
A memorial service will be conducted at Johnson Funeral Home, located at 208 South Main
Street, Bridgewater, VA, on Sunday, January 7th at 2PM.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National Audubon Society .