William Nathan Porter
November 5, 1914, to July 22, 1984
The spirit of a person is not forgotten if they are missed and remembered. William Porter carried the memory of those he served with for the remainder of his life. His final days were spent as a cancer patient at the Veteran's Hospital, Hampton, VA. He would sit by the window where he could see the water and watch the ships. The memory of those men he grieved for would call to him. Sometimes he would cry and other times he would simply shake his head. Whether or not he said their names, he knew all the names, the hometowns, and painfully how they died. As he became weaker and his time grew shorter, he knew he would not be alone. The spirit of those he mourned waited to comfort and help him make the final journey on Sunday, July 22, 1984. He was 69.
William served his country with the US Army; was one of the many soldiers of the 761st Tank Battalion; fought in the Battle of the Bulge; and remained loyal to his country and the American flag which he always saluted proudly. He was the grandson of Mattie Pretlow and William Vaughn and Minerva McMillian and Nathan Porter; the son of Minnie Lee Vaughn and John Henry Porter; the brother of Sydonia Porter; and the nephew of Dianah Porter Cherry, Louvenia Porter Riddick, and Nathan Porter, a World War I veteran, all of Suffolk, VA.
He married Alice Grace Wilson on May 15, 1944 just one day prior to the end of his last weekend leave and his soon departure for the European Theatre. They were the parents of Juliette and the grandparents of William Allyn and Gregory.
William Porter is buried in the Veteran's National Cemetery, Hampton, Virginia.Obituary provided by his daughter, Mrs. Juliette Porter Mitchell, whose personal comments were: There are many things I could write about my father, but the War defined his life. He was a quiet man, who enjoyed baseball, music, and time with his first grandchild. After work you could always find daddy in his workshop busy with his latest project. My funniest memory was daddy teaching me to drive a standard shift car. I was terrible and poor daddy would repeat, "Remember to shift" and each time I would forget. But somehow through all the jerks and goofs I learned to drive and he was happy.