William Cole Jordan, 76, Little Compton

Posted 1/17/21

William Cole Jordan, 76, of Little Compton, passed away peacefully on January 14, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer. He leaves behind his wife, Nancy (Tyburski) Jordan, to whom he was …

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William Cole Jordan, 76, Little Compton


William Cole Jordan, 76, of Little Compton, passed away peacefully on January 14, 2021, after a courageous battle with cancer. He leaves behind his wife, Nancy (Tyburski) Jordan, to whom he was married for 53 years and who was “the love of his life.” 

He also leaves behind three beloved children, Sara Grady of Massachusetts, Rebecca Woods, and William Jordan, both of Connecticut, and three  much-loved in-law children, Jake, Michael, and Erin. Bill was blessed with seven extraordinary grandchildren whom he adored, Jordan, Kayley, Jack, Lindsey, Eden, Shawn, and Nora. He leaves his sister, Molly Golio (Nick) of Florida and Madeleine Miller Timpson (Neil) of Rhode Island. In addition, he leaves behind his in-laws Judy Purney and Jeff Steele of Connecticut and several nieces and nephews with whom he shared many memories. 

Bill was predeceased by his parents, William and Mary (Cole) Jordan of West Hartford, Conn.; his brothers-in-law, Charles “Butch” Chaplin, Peter Miller and John Purney; and sister-in-law Susan Steele.

“Billy,” as he was called by many, made lifelong friends while serving in the United States Coast Guard, especially the Bocks, Keoghs, Myers, and Newhooks. He was a wonderful neighbor and friend to many, including Paul and Bunny Stewart of Connecticut. He raised his family in Burlington where he was the ultimate host of many gatherings. He had the ability to make everyone feel welcomed and valued. 

He had a competitive spirit which was displayed in countless games of cribbage, croquet, horseshoes, sailing races, and fishing tournaments. He was an accomplished athlete during his younger years, and an avid sports fan. He was especially loyal to UConn women’s basketball and the Boston Red Sox.

In addition to being a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, Bill was a graduate of Suffield Academy, class of 1963, and the University of Connecticut School of Business. He was employed by the State of Connecticut working for Bradley International Airport for the majority of his career. Upon retiring to Little Compton in 2003, “Bluefish Bill” fulfilled his lifelong dream of owning his own lobster boat and cruising the Sakonnet River with his wife, “the best catch of his life.”

“MJ,” as Bill was also affectionately called, was an enthusiastic participant of Golf Weekend, an annual event celebrating time with family and friends. His spirit at the card table will live on for years to come. He would often say: “Time is the currency of life … spend it wisely.”

One of Bill’s greatest loves was Colecot, a cottage in Little Compton which has been in the family for nearly a century and passed down through five generations. With the support of his sisters, he achieved his lifelong goal of keeping Colecot in the family, with the hope that it will continue to serve as a gathering place for family and friends.

Bill will be remembered fondly and missed by all who knew him. From his early days sailing on the WilMar with his oldest friend, Mark Leonard, to spending time in North Carolina with his college roommate and best man, Dayle Smith, to his most recent time spent with family, Bill brought joy to others. An outdoor celebration of life will be held this summer. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory can be made to the Acoaxet Chapel, 36 Howland Road, Westport, MA 02790.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Potter Funeral Home, 81 Reed Road, Westport.

To sign the online guestbook, please visit www.potterfuneralservice.com.

2021 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.