Jordan Fowles, 1975-2014



Today we mourn the devastating and sudden loss of Jordan Fowles, brother of our own John and old friend of the Bloggernacle. We send our love and fellowship to his family at this time and pray most fervently for Andrea and for his children.

There will be time later to write Jordan the eulogy he deserves. In the meantime, the following from Goethe seems appropriate, especially as it was one of his favourites:

Über allen Gipfeln
Ist Ruh,
In allen Wipfeln
Spürest du
Kaum einen Hauch;
Die Vögelein schweigen in Walde.
Warte nur, balde
Ruhest du auch.

Over all the hilltops
is calm.
In all the treetops
you feel
hardly a breath of air.
The little birds fall silent in the woods.
Just wait… soon
you’ll also be at rest.

Please share your memories of Jordan in the comments below.



  1. Day 4 of the Camino de Santiago 2013. We were all pretty tired. About the only thing that occupied my mind were the km markers counting down to Santiago.

    That day Jordan carried a refuse sack with him and picked up litter along the way. The desire to do small things to improve the world, despite the blisters (metaphorical or literal), were the hallmark of the man.

  2. Christopher J. says:

    Jordan and his family moved into my home ward while I was away on my mission. When I returned home and spent the summer working before returning to BYU, Jordan befriended me. Each time I returned home, he was incredibly kind and gracious, taking an active interest in my studies and emerging academic pursuits. It was fun to rediscover Jordan on the bloggernacle a few years later, and I’ve greatly enjoyed my interaction with him (in person and online) over the last 10 years.

    I hope his children, their mother, his siblings, parents, and other family members and friends can find some comfort at this time.

  3. Mark Brown says:

    This is my memory of Jordan.

    In September, 2005, I was working as an insurance adjuster in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. I noticed online that John mentioned his brother Jordan was traveling with his elder’s from Dallas to New Orleans to help with cleanup that weekend. I called John, who gave me Jordan’s phone number.

    At 5:30 the next morning I drove to the stake center in Metairie Louisiana, a suburb of New Orleans where LDS Relief Services had set up a command post. The place was a complete madhouse, I had to park several blocks away. There were probably 1000 people there, setting up camp on the lawn, getting work assignments, getting organized. I have no idea how to find Jordan, so I dialed his number. He answered and we started talking. As I walked around the corner of the building I saw a man walking towards me, talking on the phone. That is how I met Jordan Fowles.

    We worked together on the same crew for that entire hot, September day. Our task was to help an old man who lived alone clean up the debris in his house and yard. We tore out walls and carried the wet, moldy drywall outside in a wheelbarrow, along with all of the other soggy contents of the house. It was a very hot, muggy day, and Jordan’s enthusiasm and hard work were very welcome. He was a joy to be around.

    A limb from the tree in the backyard had fallen onto the roof and made a hole. You could stand on the roof and see directly into the men’s kitchen. The limb needed to be cut in pieces and removed from the roof, and the roof needed to be patched. Jordan was the first cheerful volunteer up the ladder. I remember standing in the backyard, looking up at him. The sun was behind him and he was smiling broadly. Jordan was magnificent.

  4. Randy B. says:

    I never met Jordan in person. Instead, I knew him from the old bloggernacle days, back when you were able to get to know all of the regulars in some weird sort of virtual way — obviously only partial and in pieces, but in other ways very personal and intimate. Godspeed old friend.

  5. My wife and I, a few years ago, shared a crab cake with Jordan in one of our favorite restaurants. He was kind — giving us most of the crab cake — but he was also thoughtful and a the sort of person you look forward to sharing a crab cake with. I remember that he had a way sometimes of smiling that seemed like it hurt him to smile. That pretty much sums him up for me: sometimes it hurt him to smile, but nonetheless he smiled a lot. I will miss him and think of him.

  6. CS Eric says:

    I also onlyknew Jordan through the Bloggernacle, but he was always kind and thoughtful. Even though that is the only contact I had with him, I am still in shock. He was one of the good guys.

  7. Karen H. says:

    I only knew Jordan through the blogs, and of course, through John. John, your love for your brother absolutely shone through in every communication about him. It was obvious to those listening to you. I wish Jordan peace, as beautifully stated in the poem above, but I wish peace for you too, John. Please know how loved you are, and please know that there are a lot of very sincere prayers for you and your family today. Your affection for Jordan is such a testament to him, and I’m glad I witnessed it.

  8. Nathan Dunford says:

    Jordan was in Young Men’s when my father was in the Presidency in the Richardson 3rd Ward. He was always kind and gracious, while at the same time knowing how to have a fun time. I reconnected with Jordan a few years ago and asked him legal career questions and he was always ready to provide advice. I don’t have much more to add to what has already been said. He will be missed.

  9. Tom Owens says:

    Jordan was generous enough to give me advice as I was just starting law school on the way to a career in patent law, despite the fact that I was essentially a stranger, our only connection being the ‘nacle. To those who were close to him, I’m very sorry for your loss.

  10. Kristine says:

  11. Eternal rest, and my condolences to the family. This is a shock.

  12. I didn’t know Jordan, but people that I respect and admire respected and admired him, so I know the world has suffered a huge loss in his passing. My deepest condolences.

  13. As our home teacher in Michigan, his beautiful blessing for my wife prior to having our first child will echo in our family memories forever. Thank you, Jordan, you are missed.

  14. Michael Clyde says:

    I hired Jordan as a summer associate at Brown & Bain, and the following summer when we had merged with Perkins Coie. He was a smart, creative young lawyer, and a good, good man.

  15. This kind of thing is so shocking. God bless the Fowles. Their pale of sorrow brims.

  16. Sam Apicelli says:

    Words are truly inadequate to express my sadness at hearing of the passing of Jordan. I worked with him for a far too brief period of time here at Duane Morris. He was a fine lawyer, and a good man. He will be missed by all who knew him. My best wishes and prayers go out to his family. He is surely with the lord.

  17. Jordan was always a very good friend to me, especially during some rough patches in my life. His work ethic and intelligence were incredible, but it was really his humanity towards me that made him such a special friend. I’ll miss you, Jordan!

  18. It was just over a year ago (June 2013) that I got to meet Jordan Fowles in person after many years of “virtual” interactions.

    He picked me up from my hotel in downtown San Jose where I was attending a conference and took me over to the Google campus for lunch.

    We talked for quite sometime and he gave me a tour of Google. It was the highlight of my trip. The conference was a complete bust, but meeting Jordan made the trip worth it.

    When I first heard about this yesterday from John on Facebook, I was in shock. I told my son Todd (14) about Jordan’s passing through tears. Todd wants to work for Google. When I was at Google that day, Jordan let me ask endless questions about Google and working for Google so I could relay the information for Todd.

    Todd went up to his room after I told him and put on the Google t-shirt that I got for him while on the Google campus with Jordan. He then came back down and gave me a hug.

    My brief encounters with Jordan were a blessing to and they always will be. I can only imagine what his family is going through.

    Thanks BCC for providing this space for remembering Jordan.

  19. I fondly remember early bloggernacle interactions with Jordan. Condolences to the Fowles family. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Life seems like a long slog sometimes; this sad news reminded me how fragile and brief it can be.

  20. Tom Walsh says:

    Jordan was indeed a special person – one who had an incredible ability to bring positiveness and good feelings to all with whom he interacted. He had a passion for life. He was very devoted to his children. I consider myself very lucky to have work with Jordan at Fish & Richardson and to call him my friend. I am so incredibly saddened by this loss. l will pray for Jordan’s family.

  21. My Camino memory of Jordan is of his ministry to my son. Jordan had a lot on his mind While walking the Way, but he took the time to talk to my son and listen seriously to his ideas, offering whatever advice he felt appropriate. He talked to me on the Camino about his calling, the boys he worked with in Scouts, his desire to read the entire New Testament on the Way, which he did. He was always with us, even when he clearly wanted and needed to be somewhere else. And, I remember him going to some trouble to call one of his children on their birthday, in the middle of Spain, on the other side of the world, so as to be with his child on a special day. That is my memory of Jordan, stretching himself and looking beyond himself to be there for everyone around him. He was a mensch.

  22. On the second day of the Camino, my 10 year-old daughter realized that she had left her raincoat quite a ways back. We had already walked about 16K and I was ready to move on. Jordan saw her begin to panic as rainclouds approached, so he walked back about 1 kilometer to find her raincoat and brought it to her. Several other quiet kindnesses later, she told me that when she was looking for a man to marry, he had to be a lot like Jordan. We love you, Jordan. We will miss you on Olavsweg.

  23. Elisabeth says:

    I knew Jordan only too briefly, but my conversations with him were invariably bright and interesting. I’m so sorry for this devastating loss. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

  24. Kristine says:

    Jordan spent several hours on the last day of his life being kind to my son Peter, whom he had “known” virtually since Peter was a little boy (see comment #3: The tiny grief that holds all the weight of this loss is that I cannot say “thank you.”

  25. Jordan will be miss. He saw the good in people. My thoughts are with his kids and family.

  26. I first knew of Jordan through John’s writings on the Bloggernacle, and met him when we became colleagues in Google legal in 2011. I never once saw anything but goodness in him. He radiated a sincerity that I will never attain myself, though the memory of it will help me keep striving. I heard the news in a team meeting today (as a team member of mine was a classmate of Jordan’s at U of M), and I couldn’t hold back the tears as the meeting progressed. My heart breaks for his loved ones, and for this world that holds far more tragedy than I can sometimes bear. I pray for peace for all those who mourn his loss today.

  27. Jordan demonstrated again and again his willingness to set aside himself to meet others’ needs. I won’t forget him.

  28. Bob & Mindy Waadt says:

    May God Bless “The Fowles Family” & especially their 6 Children. Our Hearts & Prayers are with each of you. Jordan’s Legacy goes forward through his Handsome & Beautiful Children & through each of them and their Love towards others Jordan will “always” be near to those who Love him dearly. Life is so precious & frail, let us not put off today telling our Family & Friends” how much we love them” because we just never know. May our Heavenly Father’s “Comfort” be with his Family.

  29. For those who knew and loved Jordan, the Fowles family has posted this message elsewhere:

    In lieu of flowers, we have set up an account that will serve as a memorial and children fund at Wells Fargo. You can find it by going to any local branch and asking for the Fowles Family Donation Fund. Donations can be made by check or cash. With a check, put on the check “for deposit only”. You can also find this account by asking for the donation account under Jenavee King (Jordan’s only sister).
    Alternatively, we have also linked a PayPal account to the Wells Fargo account, so you can donate online. The disadvantage to this is that there may be a small fee if you don’t have a bank account linked to your PayPal account. Also, there may be a cap on how much you can donate at one time. However, despite the limitations, anything will help as this fund is really for the children that have been left behind.
    Please donate by going to the following website:
    Please use the following email:
    The PayPal confirmation page will say that it is being sent to me (Aaron Fowles), but this is all directly tied to the Family Donation Fund.

  30. I only knew Jordan through the bloggernacle, but am deeply saddened by his passing. I loved reading what he wrote and thought he must be a great guy. Sincerest condolences to his family and those closest to him.

  31. I worked with Jordan out here in California. I am so saddened by the news of his death. I haven’t seen him in some time, but the last time I did, he talked about his family, and how much he loved them and wanted what was best for them. I hope his children will always remember that no matter what, he loved them beyond words.

  32. Mayan Elephant says:

    I had dinner with Jordan a few weeks ago. We met at Google. He gave me a great tour. We talked a lot about our kids. We talked some about the Bloggernacle and the long history we had on Mormon related boards. We talked about his life and what he was hoping to do. We talked for a long long time. He invited me to bring all my kids down during their summer break to see the Google campus. He was really proud of it and thought it was a great thing for kids going to school in the bay area to see. We talked about his writing from different eras of his life. We talked about past conversations we had had while he was driving across Texas.

    His last comments to me were shared a few hours before he died, about his plans to go to Germany this month.

    I am sad for all of you that knew him well. I am sad for his family. I am optimistic that Jordan left much behind for many people.

    Bless you, Jordan.

  33. Mayan Elephant says:

    Many thanks and many kindness to the Fowles family. I especially enjoyed the photo stream at the funeral and viewing. His children were beautiful and brave. Their comments were the highlight of the funeral. I will miss Jordan and I have a special place in my heart for him, his aspirations, the metaphors he wrote about his life, and the luttes of his heart and soul. My conversations and time with him were profound. I wish I could have done more for and with him. I wish he could have done more.

    At the funeral, John spoke of an outward enthusiasm that Jordan had in life. He mentioned the silly jokes many times. He also mentioned the infectious nature of this enthusiasm in the context of his zeal and ambition as a missionary. My experience with Jordan was one that matched that description.

    Jordan’s overwhelming characteristic, were you to meet him, was his goodness. His overwhelming characteristic were you to know him, was that he loved his family at the core. His overwhelming characteristic if you were to listen to him out at night with friends or talking during a drive across Texas, was that he judged himself very harshly.

    Jordan has taught me. Like him and most of us, I have kids. I hope their notes about me, if written by them as adults, will sound exactly like the notes read at the funeral by their uncle. I hope they are simple and represent an authentic part of my life, just like those notes represented that authentic part of Jordan. Be peaceful, Jordan. We loved all of you, goofy jokes and all.

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