Obituary for Donald (Don) E. Porter

Donald (Don) E. Porter age 97 of Colfax, WA passed away on Wednesday, September 13, 2022 at the Whitman Hospital in Colfax, WA. His son & daughter were at his side when he peacefully went into the Lord’s hands. He passed away from complications of skin cancer.

He was born on December 21, 1924 in Fargo, ND to Benjamin & Cordelia Schweikert Porter. He spent his youth on 4th St. in Fargo and in McIntosh with his grandparents, aunts & uncles. Don liked to play baseball. He and one of his classmates could consistently hit the ball onto the roof of the three-story school from home plate. In high school he took a train to Spokane. Hitch-hiked to Salem, Oregon to accompany his younger brother home who had been working in Salem. He graduated from McIntosh High School in 1942 at the age of 17.  He then joined the Marines to fight in WWII.  He was in the 1st Marine Division, 1st Tank Battalion. He served in Guadalcanal, Eastern New Guinea, New Britain, Peleliu, Okinawa & China.  Don was honorably discharged in 1945.  Returning to McIntosh where he had a dairy, raised flax and hay. He farmed with a team of horses, Babe & Prince.  He was very thankful when he got his first tractor. He went to school & church with Betsy McPhail. They fell in love and were married on June 12, 1948.  

In 1955 Don, Betsy, children Claudia, Suzie and Paul headed west to Sunnyside, WA.  His first jobs were at Marithon Paper & Darigold Creamery.  Next year we moved to Prosser. Don leased some ground on Hanks Rd. He worked for that farmer. In 1957 he bought the farm on Rothrock Rd.  There he raised alfalfa, wheat, cherries & apples. In the beginning he held down 3 jobs just to make ends meet.  He farmed on the Roza until he retired in 1985. Continued to farm with his son Paul for a few more years.

When there was time to play Don and Betsy both liked to fish, water ski, and camp with families. When it snowed Don would take kids sledding behind the car.  Kids would ride on a tractor fender, innertubes, taboggans and sleds were attached to the tractor fender.  

Don and Betsy traveled all over the United States in their motor home.  When they stopped in McIntosh, they would visit with Cliff Bartz & Lloyd Schleicher at the B&B. Some motorhome trips they took the grandkids. Took a trip to Egypt & took a couple of cruises. Eventually settling in Mesa, AZ.  Winter in Meza and summer in Grandview.

There were many adventures and visits with his grandchildren and great grandkids. They were the light of his life. 

Betsy passed away in 2005. Don moved to a retirement home in Spokane in 2008.  There he was active being the local champion pool shark, shuffle board player, card player, bowling team champ and later Wii Bowling champion. In April of 2021, he moved to Colfax, WA to an assisted living facility where he was busy with playing cards and Sit & Fit.

Don had been a very active member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Sunnyside, WA.  

Don is survived by his children Claudia (Mel) Louk, Sue (Paul) Smith and Paul (Robin) Porter. He had 8 grandkids and 13 great grandkids.  

Don was preceded in death by his wife Betsy, his parents, Benjamin and Cordelia, a brother, Robert Porter and sister, Harriet Whelpley.

Graveside services of Interment will be October 8, 2022 at 1:00pm, Prosser Cemetery.  Celebration of life will follow at Desert Wind Winery, 2258 Wine Country Rd., Prosser, WA.  

In lieu of flowers memorials could be made to your choice or Inland Northwest Honor Flight, 608 W 2nd, Suite 309, Spokane, WA 99201-4403


Richards Publishing

P.O. Box 159
239 2nd Ave
Gonvick, MN 56644
Telephone: (218) 487-5225


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