Jeffrey James Yordy1958 - 2014 (55 years)
Name Jeffrey James Yordy  Born 2 Dec 1958 Chicago, Cook Co., IL Gender Male Occupation Teacher USR1 Heart surgery Died 29 Mar 2014 Chicago, Cook Co., IL
- NorthwesternMemorial Hospital
Person ID I6126 Schrock-Birkey Connection Last Modified 6 Feb 2019
Father James Walter Yordy, b. 5 Sep 1932, Peoria, Peoria Co., IL , d. 19 Feb 2016, Tucson, Pima Co., AR (Age 83 years) Mother June Louise Davis Family ID F669 Group Sheet | Family Chart
Family Patricia Lee Drzal Married 9 Aug 1980 Children 1. Zachary James Yordy 2. Jacob Jeffrey Yordy 3. Nathaniel Edward Yordy Last Modified 23 Feb 2013 Family ID F4260 Group Sheet | Family Chart
Event Map = Link to Google Earth
Joan Giangrasse Kates, Special to the Tribune
Survivors include his wife, Patty; three sons, Zach, Jake and Nate; his parents, Jim and June; a brother, Jonathan; and three sisters, Janice Sutter, Jill Stasch and Jeanne.
Jeffrey J. Yordy, an award-winning horticulture teacher at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, brought out the best in his students by giving them meaningful projects.
Among his assignments were preparing wedding bouquets and floral arrangements for school functions, overseeing the design and landscape of the school's courtyard and creating a vegetable garden on school property that has provided hundreds of pounds of produce for a local food pantry.
"He looked for opportunities for students to engage in real-world projects," said Brian Wegley, principal at Glenbrook South. "He found fun and creative ways for them to leave their own fingerprints throughout our school."
Mr. Yordy, 55, who also helped integrate horticulture into programs for special needs students at Historic Wagner Farm in Glenview, died Saturday, March 29, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, after recent heart surgery. He was a longtime resident of Libertyville.
"As we began developing horticulture programs for children with special needs, Jeff was one of the consultants that gave us some wonderful ideas," said Todd Price, director of the Historic Wagner Farm. "He was a real help to us."
Mr. Yordy was selected as Glenbrook South's Distinguished Teacher in 2010 and was a finalist that year for a Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. He inspired some of his students to go into horticulture, among them Brett McNish, a supervisory horticulturist for the Smithsonian Gardens in Washington.
"He must have seen some measure of potential in an awkward 16-year-old that to this day I will be forever grateful," said McNish, a 1994 Glenbrook South graduate. "But I was hardly the only student that felt this way. After learning of his passing, I went online and found an outpouring of love and affection for Mr. Yordy." McNish said he exchanged emails with Mr. Yordy a few weeks ago.
"He said he was proud of me. A more fulfilling affirmation is not possible," he said.
Mr. Yordy was the sponsor of the school's horticulture club since 1987 and of the horticulture national team since 1992, school officials said. He led students in national Future Farmers of America nursery/landscape and floriculture competitions for more than two decades, winning 22 state championships. He also served as president of the Metropolitan Agriculture and Horticultural Teachers' Association.
In 2006 and '07, he and his students presented the Glenbrook South Flower & Garden Show, which transformed the school's Lyceum "into a landscaped wonderland," according to Wegley.
"Mr. Yordy was a passionate teacher, respected and loved by his students; an esteemed leader in the field of horticulture education," Wegley wrote in a statement posted to the school's website. "As Glenbrook South's horticulture instructor and the one who created and cultivated a nationally-recognized horticulture and floriculture program, Mr. Yordy defined a brilliant teacher."
Born in Chicago, Mr. Yordy was a 1977 graduate of Morton West High School in Berwyn. He received a bachelor's degree in ornamental horticulture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1982, and eight years later, he received a master's degree in education from Northern Illinois University.
After teaching for two years at the Lake County Area Vocational Center, Mr. Yordy joined the science department at Glenbrook South in 1984, initially teaching biology. He also was an assistant football coach from 1984 to 2001 and worked on the Student Assistance Program team, which addresses and guides difficult decisions on student issues.
"I'd describe Jeff as completely consistent in every way," Wegley said. "He cared about all of his students, all of the time, and that meant a lot to them."
Services were held.
- [S118] James W Yordy Genealogy, June Yordy.
- [S118] James W Yordy Genealogy, June Yordy.