Callie Jordan may not have been comfortable with all the attention.
The Sweetwater High School student who passed away at the end of June was selfless, typically focusing her thoughts and efforts more on others than herself, according to those who knew her.
That includes Sweetwater assistant girls basketball coach and head boys basketball coach Jeremy Henderson. He mentored Jordan during her time playing for the Lady Wildcats, witnessing her commitment despite her having to sit out a year due to transfer rules.
“She was at all practices,” Henderson said. “She went through conditioning. She was so selfless and so team-oriented. Whatever she could do and keeping that positive attitude and everything from a basketball perspective.”
But the selfless teenager was the focus last Tuesday night (July 2) as the Sweetwater community paid homage to Jordan through a fundraiser and vigil at SHS. The event included games and food before sundown, when a candlelight vigil in honor of Jordan was held.
Jordan died on Friday, June 28, after suffering a head injury when a tree fell on top of a van she was in, according to multiple reports. She was serving on a mission trip in Mexico and was on the trip with her grandfather, reports stated.
“With the passing away, she’s on a mission trip in Mexico, doing that type of work,” Henderson said. “It’s just the kind of young lady that she was. Very kind hearted.”
The event was heavily-attended by students, parents and others. Members of the Sweetwater boys basketball team were among those that helped serve food while other volunteers managed the games and handled other logistics.
“It just shows how special this community is, how supportive this community is, when you have a tragedy like this,” Henderson said. “You can just see the outpouring of support. People have come. We’re pleased with the outcome. That was one thing that kind of worried us was Sunday, when we tried to put this together on that short of notice, you’re talking about 48 hours. Could we get it out there where people would know? And we didn’t know how the turnout would be.
“But we’re very pleased with the turnout. Just shows how special Callie Jordan was and just a great young lady and a great family, the Jordans. Means a lot just to see the support that’s been shown here tonight, everybody coming out here and supporting.”
Christian music played on the speakers and the smells of summer and hot dogs drifted through the air as attendees made their way down through SHS’ baseball/softball complex, where the event was held.
Henderson wasn’t shocked by the number of people that attended the event, nor by the amount of aid the community has shown Jordan’s family.
“I’m not surprised at all, honestly speaking,” Henderson said. “I’ll be starting year No. 4 over here at Sweetwater and I am not surprised at all by the support here with the community and how many people we have here (at the event) … This is a community that really supports these kids.
“They’re all about the kids and supporting these kids. It’s just a special community. So, no, I’m not surprised by the support that’s been shown and the turnout here just because that’s what I’ve seen from this community ever since I’ve been here. Just a community that really supports this high school and these kids.”
But although the community put forth the work and showed out, this evening wasn’t about the town, the high school or any local sports teams.
It was about a selfless girl who made her mark on Sweetwater, and whose memory will live on long past Tuesday.
“You just won’t meet a finer young lady,” Henderson said. “A lot of people talk about their faith and everything else, but Callie Jordan was one of those that truly, her actions spoke for her faith. She lived what she spoke … Never had any problems with Callie Jordan.
“Just a top class young lady.”
Hundreds attended the receiving of friends and funeral for Jordan over the weekend in Sweetwater.
She was then taken to Live Oak, Florida, where a graveside service and interment was held on Tuesday at the Jordan Family Cemetery.