William Porter

Obituary of William Porter

William H. Porter was born on May 19, 1925, and passed away on Thursday, July 27, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Joan Porter, to whom he was unflaggingly devoted for 66 years, his brother Hugh Porter, and the three daughters they raised: Amy Schact, Ellen Amato, and Lauren Porter. He is also survived by two sons in law, Michael Amato and Glenn Schact, five grandchildren, and an uncountable number of others who were touched by the kindness of his life. Raised in Keyport, NJ, by a stern mother and English father, William knew every street between the beach and the railyard by the time he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a tail-gunner during WWII. After the war he played semi-pro baseball for a Red Sox farm team, despite a life of Yankees fandom. He attended Trenton State, Rutgers, and Michigan State before receiving his Master’s Degree in Physical Education. At Freehold Elementary School, Coach Porter taught phys ed for 32 years while raising his family in The Apple House in Colts Neck, NJ. He taught his children a love of literature, history, music and singing, woodworking and horseback riding. His garden always flourished. He sang in a chorus and a barbershop quartet. He forbade his daughters to listen to the Monkeys, a position for which he apologized decades later. A schoolteacher, he bought a house in Maine and summered there with his family. William was a master of antique restoration, making a business of it with Joan, and received national acclaim for a rare 19th century barber’s pole restored with his best friend Freddy.  He recited long poems from memory, even after his memory became unreliable, and knew more about the civil war than most of us will ever care to know. In retirement he moved to Nichols, NY. He brought his grandchildren to the Binghamton Arena for hockey games, bought them nachos, and sang loudly during the Star Spangled Banner. Breakfast at Gail’s Diner with the boys was a consistent highlight of his days. He loved life, food, and laughter; he was a complete stranger to malice. His enduring kindness lives on in those who knew him.