'Survivor: Thailand' Runner-Up Clay Jordan Dead at 66

Clay Jordan, who placed second in Survivor's fifth season, died Thursday after a short illness

Clay Jordan survivor thailand
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Clay Jordan, the runner up on Survivor: Thailand, died Thursday after a short illness. He was 66.

Jordan was 46 when he competed on the fifth installment of Survivor in the summer of 2002.

In a public Facebook post, his daughter Shanda announced her father's passing.

"Clay Brooks Jordan, my sweetheart of a Dad, went to heaven to meet Jesus and be reunited with his beautiful bride!" she wrote. "Andy and I are so heartbroken, but we get comfort from knowing they are together and he is no longer in pain. We love you, Dad! You will forever be my HERO!"

A restaurant owner living in Monroe, Louisiana, he was cast on the show out of more than 50,000 applicants. Although Jordan was one of the older contestants, he lasted 39 days and finished the game in second place.

"It was a crazy experience," Jordan told PEOPLE shortly after competing on the show. "Who'd ever think that someone like me would be running around on the beach in Thailand? I feel very blessed to have had the experience, and I'd do it all over again!"

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After competing on the show, Jordan returned to his life in Louisiana. His wife, Linda Sue Jordan, died earlier this year after a bout of COVID-19. He is survived by his son, Andy, and his daughter, Shanda -- as well as several grandchildren.

Those close to Jordan say that he was completely devoted to his children and grandchildren, and he always kept his family first. His son, Drew, tells PEOPLE that his father had a "big heart."

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