November 12, 2020
Evansville, WI - Mary Jane (Hilker) Jordan, age 73, passed away on November 12, 2020. She was born May 1, 1947 in the town of Marshfield, Wisconsin. Mary and her three younger sisters - Wanda, Betty and Yvonne - entered the foster care system when Mary was 12 years old. Mary experienced many difficulties growing up but always sought to protect her younger sisters from the harsher realities of this broken world. It is the sad reality that Mary's heart and mind were broken as a young girl. Though Mary grew into a beautiful, tall, creative young woman, her mind and heart were significantly hindered by her scars. At seventeen Mary left the eighth grade and her 'home' and lived on the streets of Madison for a time. One day she saw in a newspaper that UW Hospital was hiring. Mary walked all day to the hospital and met Nurse Flood, who discerned Mary's situation and hired her on the spot. Mary would spend the majority of her working years as a housekeeper for UW Hospital. Mary had two children - Linda and Richard. Her heart was further fractured when they were taken from her. In the mid 1990's Mary moved to Evansville where she practiced her favorite hobbies of photography & painting. Mary delighted in flowers, birds, squirrels and usually noticed details that others missed.
Over the years many folks and churches reached out to Mary in compassion and love. It was difficult for Mary to trust anyone other than Jesus. Those who persisted in patient love to Mary in her distress (James 1:27) are worthy of double honor. In her final years at a nursing home in Black Earth, Mary's childlike trust in Jesus blossomed so fully that she stopped being afraid and stopped pushing people away. Mary played bingo with a surprising intensity born of her intention to give every quarter won to the children of St. Jude's Children's Hospital. The highlight of her day was ignoring the aches in her hands to fold towels and washcloths for the nursing home residents.
It is unknown if any of Mary's family survived her. However, Pastor Joshua Brumbaugh and his wife and children became her family in her final years. Oak Grove Church held a special place in Mary's heart and prayers. For Mary, this is the headline of her life: "God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land." (Psalm 68:6)
To hear more of Mary's story and about Jesus who loved her watch her funeral: Funeral Livestreamed on the YouTube channel of Oak Grove Church of Evansville Thursday, November 19th 7:00pm. Ward-Hurtley Funeral Home Evansville is assisting. Condolences may be expressed at wardhurtley.com