Emma Lorraine Jordan the daughter of Ben Venable and Violet (Parris) Graham was delivered into this world by Dr. Joe Thompson, of the Thompson House, on January 20, 1931, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and departed this life on January 6, 2021 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma at the age of 89 years, 11 months and 17 days.
Emma's family moved here from North Carolina after the Civil War, and her grandchildren are the sixth generation of her family to live here. She attended Sequoyah Grade School and graduated from Tahlequah Central High School. She earned Bachelor's Degree and later her Master's in Education from Northeastern University. She taught school in Kansas for six years, California for two and then moved back home to teach at Norwood for two years before settling in at Greenwood becoming the first 5th grade teacher. She retired from Greenwood after 22 years. She was voted Teacher of the year for Greenwood, Tahlequah and Cherokee County for the 1981-82 school year. She was a member of the Memoirs Writing Group, NEA, OEA, Retired Teachers, Greenwood Retired Teachers and the Golden Star Chapter of the Eastern Star for over 50 years. She loved spending time with her family, eating out with her friends, reading, writing, playing scrabble, working crossword puzzles, dancing, watching Thunder Basketball and traveling, which included 46 states, 5 foreign countries and 15 cruises.
She was preceded in death by her parents; step-father Sydney Graham; son-in-law Jeff Jennings; and life partner Jim Chaffin.
She is survived by her daughter Lori Jennings; granddaughter Sydney Jennings; grandsons Jacob Jennings and Graham Jennings; brother and sister-in-law Charles and Norma Venable; and foster family the Chaffins. Many close friends whom she considered family and many students who were very dear to her also survive her.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Tahlequah Public Library and Retired Teacher's Association in her honor. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
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