Norman Jordan, on his 82nd birthday, prepares bouquets of fresh-picked flowers to sell, along with pick-your-own flowers, at the Jordan family farm stand on Ocean House Road. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

Norman Jordan Jr., a fixture at the landmark pick-your-own flowers stand at the Jordan family farm in Cape Elizabeth, died April 19 of COVID-19 at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Scarborough. He was 85.

Mr. Jordan was a farmer and longtime owner of “The Farm” on Ocean House Road near the town’s center. The flower stand sold seedlings, annuals, cut flowers and some vegetables. He operated it mostly on the honor system.

Penny Jordan, a Cape Elizabeth town councilor, owner of the William H. Jordan Farm on Wells Road and a cousin of Norman Jordan, said Norm Jordan was known for his pick-your-own flowers.

“He did a beautiful job,” Penny Jordan said. “Norm was a wonderful character, who everybody enjoyed talking with and stopping by and getting flowers and buying seedlings from him. People would get the stories and the history of Cape Elizabeth. He really was considered the Jordan family historian.”

Mr. Jordan, a longtime Cape Elizabeth resident, is a direct descendant of the town’s earliest settlers. He lived in a farmhouse that had belonged to his parents, Norman R. Jordan Sr. and Dorothy H. Jordan.

He graduated from Cape Elizabeth High School and joined the Army.

In 1960, Mr. Jordan went to work as a mechanic at Jonesy’s Service Center on Ocean House Road. The station, formerly located in what is now Cumberland Farms, served many town residents for the six decades it was open. Mr. Jordan worked there for more than 40 years.

“He was well-respected,” said his so, Ben Jordan of Clearwater, Fla., the youngest of his four children.

Mr. Jordan spent nights and weekends working on the farm. His son Greg Jordan, who now operates The Farm, shared some of its history Thursday in an email. He said his father revived the farm in the 1980’s and started a pick-your-own flower farm stand.

“He began to put leftover extra flower seedlings on makeshift tables for people to help themselves with,” his son wrote. “Then a coffee can for token payments was added. For years many locals flocked to the flower picking stand, while other locals were not aware of its existence.”

Ben Jordan shared memories this week of the family filling trays of dirt to plant seedlings in the greenhouse, then transferring them to the field.

“Planting every year became a family event,” he said. “He loved gardening and growing things. The community was a big motivation for him. My sister jokes that we were losing money growing flowers for the town of Cape Elizabeth, but he definitely enjoyed it.”

His son spoke of another family gathering every fall to pull hoses out of the garden. He said it took a full day and usually involved a lobster bake.

In retirement, Mr. Jordan worked in his gardens and prepared bouquets of flowers to sell at the stand. The Farm offers a complete selection of flower, vegetable and herb seedlings, as well as annual cut flowers, U-pick berries, and vegetables.

Greg Jordan said his father wanted the flower farm to continue.

“I am trying to continue it in a way that will make it self sufficient and a valuable part of the community anchoring one end of the town center business district,” his son wrote.

A hallmark of Jordan’s life was becoming a founding member of the Jordan Family Association. He often helped family members with genealogy research and making a family tree. Every three years, he organized a family reunion that drew hundreds of Jordans to the area.

Penny Jordan said his death represents a lost connection to the Jordan family history.

“I’m extremely saddened by his passing,” Penny Jordan said. “He was kind of the fabric of the town. He could tell us stories about our side of the Jordan lineage that I may have never known. He could tell us about the different properties and what Jordan lived where. We are losing a key part of our family history.”

Mr. Jordan was a member of the Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society, The Odd Fellows and the Cape Elizabeth Lions Club. He received the town’s Ralph T. Gould Citizenship Award in 2017.

Jim Rowe, president of the CE Historical Preservation Society, met with Jordan last fall at the veterans’ home to interview him about town and the Jordan family’s history. A video of that interview will remain in its archives. Rowe said Wednesday that Jordan was a wealth of information.

“He had this huge treasury of history of our town and in particular of the Jordan family,” Rowe said. “He was talkative. He was one of these people that everyone knew. Everyone knew and loved Norm. He was the essence of Cape Elizabeth, the old Cape Elizabeth in my view. Cape Elizabeth used to be a farming and fishing community and Norm kind of carried that on with a lot of the other Jordans. So, it’s a connection to the old Cape Elizabeth and what we have today.”

Mr. Jordan went to live at the Maine Veterans’ Home in August of 2019, when his health began to decline. His son said he overcame a couple bouts of pneumonia in January, but tested positive for coronavirus infection this month. His son said he died soon after.

A celebration of his life will be held this summer along with a traditional lobster bake in the Jordan family garden.

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