John Edward Nordeen, age 86, was born to Raymond Royal and Lois Wilson Nordeen on November 5, 1935, in El Campo. He passed away peacefully in his home on January 8, 2022 with his wife by his side. Johnnie, as he was known by all, was recognized by his big smile, sense of humor and above all else his love for his family.
Johnnie, an avid Ricebird and Aggie fan, was the quarterback and co-captain of the El Campo High School football team before graduating in 1953. From there he attended Texas A & M University where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, Company “Battlin” B Infantry. He entered as a member of the class of ‘57 and later completed his Business degree.
Upon graduation, 2nd Lieutenant Nordeen married the love of his life, Gloria Frels, on June 28, 1958. After serving six months at Fort Benning, Georgia and Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas, the Nordeens returned to El Campo to start and raise their family. Johnnie was a rice farmer, co-owner of the Sports Center and after a short retirement became a rice grader with the Rice Marketing Association.
Johnnie was very involved in the El Campo community and Texas A&M. He was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist church of El Campo. He belonged to the Aggie Club, the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Association and the Texas A&M Association of Former Students. Within the community, he was a member and past President of the El Campo Country Club and Little League, member of the Elks Lodge and Ricebird Booster Club, and one of the founding members of the “Morales Hunting Club”.
Among his many accomplishments, Johnnie liked to talk about his three hole-in-ones and his trophy fish caught off the end of the pier at his beloved bay house in Port Alto. He loved golfing, fishing, playing dominoes, and tending his summer garden. He looked forward to picking up his golf buddies for their daily cup of coffee. He enjoyed listening to and singing country music, but his signature song was the “Julida Polka.”
His legacy is the memories of his storytelling, his wonderful sense of humor, and his attendance at all the sporting events and other activities of his children and grandchildren. He was always a true gentleman, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Gloria Frels Nordeen; daughter, Tamara “Tammy” Sommerlatte; son, Brett Nordeen and wife Dawn; son-in-law, Rocky Hamman; grandsons, Bradley Hamman and wife Sarah, Klay King, Matthew Hamman and girlfriend Ashley Rooth, John David Nordeen and Kenny Gustafson and wife Kaylyn; granddaughters, Katie Gonzalez and husband Antonio, Kenna Nielsen and husband Clay, Kara King and boyfriend Cramer Eaves, Jessie Nordeen and fiancé Issac Vazquez and Samantha Sommerlatte; great-grandchildren, Levi and Alex Hamman, Eva Gonzalez, Kamyrn Nielsen, Jacob Vazquez, Annabelle Jordan, Barrett Gustafson and Brayden Venegas; brothers-in-law, Kenny Frels and wife Marsha and A.W. Tvrdik; sisters-in-law, Shirley Nordeen and Kathy Frels and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; in-laws, LeeRoy and Leona Frels; daughter, Debra “Debbie” Hamman; son-in-law, Keith Sommerlatte; brother, Raymond Royal Nordeen Jr.; brother-in-law, Harvey Frels; sisters-in-law, Joyce Barker and husband Edgar and Carolyn Tvrdik.
Viewing will be 3-7 p.m. Friday, January 14, 2022, at Triska Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, January 15, 2022, at First United Methodist Church with Reverend Richard Young officiating. Graveside services will follow at Garden of Memories Cemetery with military honors under the auspices of the American Legion Post 251.
Pallbearers will be his grandsons and honorary pallbearers will be his granddaughters.
Donations in memory of John Nordeen may be made to the First United Methodist Church, Houston Hospice-El Campo, or the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association, corpsofcadets.org.
Memories and condolences may be left at www.triskafuneralhome.com for the family.
Arrangements are under the direction of Triska Funeral Home, El Campo.