Life of Lewis Jordan celebrated

·4 min read

Jul. 4—FRACKVILLE — A large crowd gathered at the Frackville Elks Lodge 153 on Sunday to celebrate the life of Lewis "Lew" Jordan, a founding member of the beloved music group The Jordan Brothers.

Lewis Jordan passed away Jan. 3 at the age of 74.

The group consisted of Lewis Jordan on lead guitar, vocals and composing; Joseph "Joe" Jordan on keyboards and vocals, composing and arranging; Frank Jordan on saxophone and bass, vocals, composing and arranging; and Robert "Bob" Jordan on drums and percussion.

With the passing of Lewis Jordan earlier this year, the only remaining member of the band is Frank Jordan.

Joseph Jordan died from complications of COVID-19 on Jan. 20, 2021. Robert Jordan died on Oct. 9, 1993.

On hand Sunday to pay tribute to their father were his children, Kelly Jordan-Sciutto, Kristie Jordan-Antalosky and Lewis Jordan Jr.

Kelly Jordan-Sciutto said the family was unable to have a proper funeral for their father in January due to COVID-19 restrictions and felt now it was fitting to celebrate his life rather than mourn his passing.

During a eulogy, she said her father would have been grateful and touched by the number of people who came to the celebration service and were touched by his life.

Kelly Jordan-Sciutto touched on what she called the core values her father had — gratitude, love and happiness.

She said her father wore many hats in her life, including those of a teacher, philosopher, dreamer, Santa Claus, a nurse, a poet, a carpenter and a comedian.

"He was who he was to be for any given time or with any given person," she said. "My dad lived his life through love, in love and for love. He is and will be a part of us forever."

Kelly Jordan-Sciutto asked those in attendance to share memories and stories about her father either by writing them or sending them in the form of text messages or voice messages to his old cellphone at 570-590-5079.

"If you have a special memory or a photo, we would be honored to have them," she said. "These will be new memories to us."

The Jordan Brothers entertained audiences for more than three decades in Schuylkill and surrounding counties and as far as the Philadelphia area.

The four brothers released over 24 single records on 15 different labels from 1957 to 1984, including several that were self-produced.

The group's musical career began on the eve of Halloween in 1954 when, instead of trick-or-treating, Joe, Frank and Bobby took to the streets with an accordion, clarinet and drum, making $20 for themselves.

The rest is history.

After their first national appearance on Ted Mack's "The Original Amateur Hour" on Jan. 22, 1956, the four brothers settled into playing at various locations in and around Schuylkill County and other parts of the coal region, with their father, Angelo, acting as manager and at times sitting in on the bass guitar.

Kristie Jordan-Antalosky and her brother Lewis Jr. said entertaining people, making people happy and bringing smiles to their faces is what the four brothers lived for.

Speaking of her father, Kristie Jordan-Antalosky said "this was the type of man he was."

At Sunday's celebration was Marcia Junes-Elder, of Miami, Florida.

Growing up in the Orwigsburg area in the 1960s, she has fond memories of seeing the four brothers perform.

"In the 1960s, we had nothing to do," Junes-Elder said. "They were our entertainment and I can't tell you how much we enjoyed it."

Junes-Elder was visiting Pennsylvania and found herself able to attend the celebration of life for Lewis Jordan.

"This is who he was, who they were; everyone's lives were better because of them," she said.

Although the group had not been active for decades, the musicians were not forgotten.

In November 2011, a Jordan Brothers House Party was held at the Pottsville Club.

More than 200 people attended to watch Joe and Frank Jordan interact with the audience, tell stories and perform three live songs: "Send Me Your Picture," "Heart" and "Gimme Some Lovin'."

Also during that party, each of the four brothers was honored with a plaque from the Schuylkill County Council of the Arts.