Raymond H. Jordan, 83, a former seed department manager for Agway, died Tuesday (Oct. 21, 1997) in Veterans Hospital after a long illness.
Born in Willimantic, Conn., he earned a degree in horticultural entymology from the University of Connecticut at Storrs. He served with the Marine Corps as a meteorologist with Marine Air Group 33 in the Pacific during World War II.
Having worked for the Eastern States Farmers Exchange, a predecessor to Agway, before the war, he returned to become a manager of the company's experimental farm in Feeding Hills, Mass. He was involved in the development of new kinds of field and sweet corn, including the popular Butter and Sugar sweet corn varieties.
He maintained his interest in seed development at the field level after he was transferred to Buffalo in 1948 and as plant manager in Butler, Pa., in 1961. He traveled extensively to confer with farmers and spent considerable time at Agway's experimental farm in Prospect, Pa.
In 1965, he returned to Buffalo and the company's Delaware Avenue office. He was transferred to the main office in Syracuse in 1971. As manager of the vegetable and flower seed department, he was known as "Mr. Seed" within the company and continued to oversee the production of new hybrid vegetables.
He retired in 1979 and maintained a home in Geneva until 1991, when he entered Canandaigua Veterans Hospital. He had been a resident of Williamsville Manor Nursing Home for the past year.
He was president of the New York State Seed Association and was a member of the board of directors of the New York Crop Improvement Association and the New York Certified Seed Growers Association. He also was a member of the Research Committee of the American Seed Trade Association.
His first wife, Miriam Kerr Jordan, died in 1955. He was married again in 1956 to Annabelle Fitton.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, John II of Williamsville; three daughters, Nancy of Chappaqua, Jenny Baryaacov of Montclair, N.J., and Amy Nienstedt of Kolberg, Germany; and five grandchildren.
Private memorial services will be arranged.