CARBONDALE — Jordan Goldstein of Gainesville, Florida, formerly of Carbondale, passed away at North Florida Regional Medical Center on Monday, May 14, from complications following surgery. He was 76.
Jordan was born Aug. 7, 1941, in Chicago to Freida Berman and Irv Goldstein.
Jordan grew up in Chicago where he excelled in sports, including basketball, football, track and later softball, in which his team won the national championship of 16-inch slow pitch softball. Jordan attended University of Chicago Navy Pier and later majored in physical education at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He eventually earned his master’s degree in rehab administration from SIUC.
In Carbondale, Jordan met Joyce Pickford, a Southern Illinois native, and the two married in 1966. They remained together until his death.
Jordan started working as a rehabilitation counselor for the state of Illinois where he connected disabled people with government services that allowed them to accomplish life goals otherwise out of reach.
Known to friends as “Jordy,” he continued competing in sports after college and could be found on evenings and weekends speeding around the base paths or roaming the outfields of softball diamonds throughout Southern Illinois. He umpired softball, refereed basketball and coached youth teams, including the Giant City junior high basketball team. He also volunteered and helped organize the Special Olympics. At the age of 68, he qualified for the national track and field finals of the Senior Olympics in Coral Gables, Florida.
Upon retirement from the state, Jordan moved to Gainesville, Florida, where he continued in social work assisting people with physical and intellectual disabilities obtain government services.
Jordan was known for his gregarious, optimistic personality, someone who easily talked with others and who others found easy to talk to. None would agree more enthusiastically than his own grandchildren, all of whom live in Gainesville.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce; brother, Ira; son, Richard; daughter, Dana (Daryl) Plotke; and grandchildren Eliza, Blake and Elaina.
In lieu of flowers, friends and family can make a donation In Memory of Jordan Goldstein, Special Olympics, 1915 Don Wickham Drive, Clermont, FL 34711.