Unafraid to explore all of life’s adventures, Jordan A. Rice was a young, free-spirited, active soul. Her ability to roll with what life provided kept her on the move and always ready. She was a caring daughter, a beloved sister, and a cherished friend to so many. It is so hard to say goodbye to such a precious life.
The year of 1998 was a time of continued advancements in technology and achievements of many kinds. Abroad, the Winter Olympics were celebrated in Nagano, Japan. It was during this time when Tara Lipinksi, a United States ice skating competitor, became the youngest person to become a champion in an individual event at the age of 15. During this time period, the Internet added Google as a search engine which would soon be a common vocabulary word. Those searching for entertainment were delighted to watch some of the year’s best films including “Titanic” and “Saving Private Ryan.” Just a few days into the new year, Jimmie Rice and Rena Gerber were preparing to meet their sweet baby. On January 6, 1998 in Columbia City’s Whitley County Memorial Hospital, they welcomed their daughter, Jordan, into the world.
Jordan’s early life was spent in Columbia City. Early on, her desire to explore the wild side of life was apparent, as she loved to ride on her dad’s motorcycle and visit Cedar Point, enthusiastically seeking out the most gnarly of roller coasters. She attended Indian Springs Middle School in Columbia City and later moved to Fort Wayne and attended Maple Creek Middle School. She then went on to attend Columbia City High School where she played softball as a freshman. During her sophomore year, she moved again to Fort Wayne where she remained until graduating in 2016 from Carroll High School. When she was not playing in a softball game, she was an active bowler on a league at the Georgetown Bowl in Fort Wayne and also played some volleyball.
Upon graduating, Jordan moved to Fishers to attend Aveda Fredric’s Institute to master hair styling, and this suited her creative side well. Jordan found great company in her family and friends, and she thoroughly enjoyed hanging out and dining with them. She also continued to play slow pitch softball on a co-ed league with her family.
In Jordan’s times of solitude, she found many unique activities to satisfy her thrill-seeking needs in life. She found an interest in the art of learning karate and jujitsu, and she would spend time trying to perfect her technique. Perhaps the most exciting and daring moment in Jordan’s life was the one when she went skydiving – the experience left an exhilarating mark in her memory for certain. Jordan also had a special place in her heart for her furry friends – especially Buddy, her Chorkie. A lover of most animals, she enjoyed going to the 4-H fair and holding the baby animals.
As time progressed, Jordan became interested in motorcycles and went on to having her own Suzuki. She loved riding in the open air alongside her father. She would often bring Buddy along in her backpack for some much needed fresh air and movement in her life. They enjoyed many memorable rides together. Jordan also found thrills in racing go-carts, and watching and lighting off fireworks. Another passion she took up a bit later in her life was that of firing at the shooting range where she showed impressive skill in her aim and ability.
Jordan did have a spiritual side. She attended Pathway Community Church in Fort Wayne. It was here she would search for desired peace, and here she found comfort and solace during the difficult times life presented. Music also brought brightness in her life, and she listened to hip hop, and older tunes such as Billy Joel. In the words of Billy Joel, “If I ever reach heaven I expect to find three wonders there: first, to meet some I had not thought to see there; second, to miss some I had expected to see there; and third, the greatest wonder of all, to find myself there.” Jordan’s spirit is finding great thrills in the beauty of heaven which lovingly surrounds her.
Leaving us with immense sadness, Jordan passed away on Saturday, April 15th, 2017. Taken much too soon, Jordan leaves us with so many unforgettable memories. We will hold these and our love for her close to our hearts as we search for our own peace. We can look to Psalm 116:15 for inspiration: Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants. Jordan will be dearly missed, and we will always remember her amazing spirit and love in this life.
Survivors include father, Jimmie Rice, of Ft. Wayne; mother, Rena Gerber, of Columbia City; brother, Ricco Martinez; sister, Gabrielle Fry; grandparents, Jim and Cheryl Rice, of Columbia City and Becky and Roger Fitzpatrick, of Claypool; great-grandparents, Maxine Burwell, of New Haven and Rick and Dorothy Helms, of Fort Wayne; uncles, Tracey (Shawn) Rice, Chris (Kim) Judd, Cortney (Dawn) Judd; aunt, Stacey (Kevin) Gorski and several cousins and great-aunts and uncles. She was preceded in death by her grandma, Karla Wagoner; great-grandparents, Merlin Rice, Mary Rice, Rosalie Hilsmier and Bill and Juanita Haines; and her special dog, Buddy.
Visitation is 2-6:30 p.m. Monday, April 24, 2017 at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City with her funeral services starting at 7 p.m. Pastor Tim Grable of Sugar Grove Church of God will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Jordan's memory to American Diabetes Association. Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send family online condolences.