Elda Mae Jordal

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ROCHELLE — Elda Mae Jordal, 96, died on Friday, February 2, 2024, peacefully at home surrounded by her family. She was born on September 17, 1927, in Orchard Farm, MO, the daughter of Erich and Elenora (Hagemann) Arndt. Following her mother’s unexpected passing in 1928, her father was married to Viola Barklage in 1929.  The family resided in St. Charles, MO, later adding Robert (brother) and JoAnn (sister). The family later moved to Malta, IL in 1937, where the children would attend school. In 1948, she married her high school sweetheart, Ernest Jordal Jr; ultimately blessed with 61 years of marriage. 

Elda Mae went to NISTC for 2 years, ultimately finishing her Bachelor’s Degree  in 1967 after a pause to have her children. She earned a Master’s Degree in Education in 1973 at NIU. She taught Kindergarten in Creston for 20 years, plus special education.  She finished her teaching career with four years in third grade, retiring in 1988.  Prior to and after her contract teaching, she was a substitute teacher for the surrounding area.

She was known for her singing voice and soloed through the years at many weddings, band concerts, and funerals.  She was a soprano soloist for every choir or chorus she ever joined.  She was a pianist for many groups both at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Dekalb, IL and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Rochelle, IL, where she was a devoted member for 49 years.  She gave up the violin after college.  Elda Mae was an active member of the O.K. Club and Ester Naomi Circle at St. Paul.  She was blessed to take her most memorable trip to Bethlehem in 2008 with other church members.  Elda Mae even lended her talents to a production of “Wizard of Oz” as Aunt Em at the bandshell in Atwood Park.

She thoroughly enjoyed having her family together, one could always see the pride and joy when she was able to enjoy her family.  She loved to play fun songs, especially at Christmas, on the piano and sing songs with family,  teach the little ones how to play piano or help them to work on their homework, such as spelling or penmanship. In addition to serving her church, her family and music, she enjoyed reading, traveling, gardening and puzzles. 

Elda Mae is survived by three children, David (Debra) Jordal of Chana, IL, Judy Reizer of Rochelle, and Margaret (Bradley) Smith of Bakersfield CA; five grandchildren, Angela (Jose) Riviera-Rosa, FL, Renee Preston of Rochelle, Matthew (Leah) Jordal of Ashton, Megan Jordal of Chana, and Michael Jordal (Emma Ernst) of Rochelle; four step-grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; sister, JoAnn Nordeen; sisters-in-law, Marilyn Arndt and Nancy White; brother-in-law, Arthur Byro Jr.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Elda Mae is preceded in death by her husband, Ernest, in 2009; brother, Robert Arndt; sister-in-law, Janice Byro, brother-in-law, Kermit Nordeen, and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Donna and Bill Cochran; her great-grandson, the beloved Henry Jordal, aged 6; and many cousins.

The funeral service will take place at 11:30 A.M. Saturday, February 10, 2024, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Rochelle with Pastor Michael Wolff officiating. Visitation will be from 9:30 until the time of the service at the church. Cremation care will be provided after the funeral and interment will take place in Malta Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Elda Mae’s memory may be directed to St. Paul Lutheran Church, Serenity Hospice and Home, or the Alzheimer’s Association. Please visit www.ungerhorner.com to sign the online guest book.