TIFTON - Eleanor Isabelle McCullough Jerdan, 97, of Tifton died Saturday, September 7, 2013, at Southern Care Assisted Living. Funeral services were held at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, in the Chapel of Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals. Rev. Stephen Webb officiated. Pallbearers were Brian Jerdan, Matthew Jerdan, Philip Jerdan, William Jerdan, Frank Sayles and Nick Sayles. Honorary pallbearers were the members of the Christian Covenant Sunday School Class and United Methodist Women Circle 9 of Tifton's First United Methodist Church and the staff of Southern Care Assisted Living. The family received friends on Tuesday, September 10, 2013, from 4:00 p.m. until the hour of the service at Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals, 420 Love Ave.
Mrs. Jerdan was born on June 22, 1916, in Philadelphia, Pa., and was the daughter of John McCullough and Ida Mae Robinson McCullough Hartzag, both deceased. She was also preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Bishop William Henry Stuart Jerdan, and sister Anna May McCullough Ahrens. She attended Philadelphia College of Bible, and was a telephone switchboard operator for a short time. She loved Jesus and joyously served the Lord all of her life, living 42 years in Philadelphia, where her husband founded Calvary Reformed Episcopal Church, and she taught the Beginners Sunday School.
For 43 years she lived in Summerville, S.C., as wife of the bishop of the Diocese of the Southeast. She would sing solos during his Episcopal visits at the 33 churches in his jurisdiction and taught crocheting and sewing skills during summer camps at the Bishop Jerdan Conference Center in Awendaw. She raised and bred AKC collies to help put her children through college. She loved several generations of neighborhood children, and in the late 1960s Mrs. Jerdan was a librarian at Alston Middle School, where she was beloved by the Library Club. Later, she was librarian for Cummins Memorial Theological Seminary in Summerville, S.C. After Bishop Jerdan retired from his post, he was elected Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Denomination in North America. They enjoyed trips to France to visit their missionary son and daughter-in-law for the births of their grandchildren, to Egypt and Israel to visit the Holy Land, and to Hawaii and California. After Bishop Jerdan's passing in 2001, she relocated to Tifton with her daughter's family and joined the Tiftonite Newcomers Club and Tifton First United Methodist Church.
Mrs. Jerdan is survived by five sons and four daughters-in-law, Rev. William Stuart and Diane Jerdan of Warrenville, Ill., Bruce Alan Jerdan of Santa Ana, Calif., Barry Dean and Nancy Jerdan of Richmond, Va., Brian Scott and Kate Jerdan of Ridgeville, S.C., and Robert Mark and Ronda Jerdan of Anchorage, Alaska; one daughter and son-in-law, Bonnie Eleanor Jerdan Sayles and husband Frank Sayles Jr. of Tifton; one brother, John Wesley McCullough of Levittown, Pennsylvania; two nephews; 15 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service and burial will be held this week in Philadelphia, and Mrs. Jerdan's passing will be acknowledged during a memorial service at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at St. John's Reformed Episcopal Church, 91 Anson St., Charleston, S.C., during the closing Communion Service of the Diocese of the Southeast's annual convocation.
Flowers will be welcome, or memorial gifts may be made to the Reformed Episcopal Church Mission Board, 4142 Dayflower Drive, Katy TX 77449, or online at www.recbfm.org, or to the Alzheimer's Association, Georgia Chapter, 225 Second St. E., Tifton, GA 31794, or online at georgiawalk.org.
Condolences may be sent to the family at the online guest registry at www.bowen-donaldson.com. Services for the Jerdan family are under the care and direction of Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals.