Leland Robert Porter, age 79, of Elma, Washington, died Tuesday, July 30, 2019, surrounded by his family after battling pancreatic cancer.
Lee is lovingly remembered and survived by his wife of 57 years, Patsy, of Elma, Washington, Brent (Brenda) Porter of Anchorage, Alaska, Rachelle Porter-Armstrong of Snoqualmie, Washington, and Rebecca (Chris) Porter-Wightman of Anchorage, Alaska; six grandchildren, Kaya and Jaydin Porter, Isyss and Chase Armstrong, and Vaughn and Vincent Wightman, and his sister Gayle (Bill) Helmkamp of Hillsboro, Oregon, along with many loving relatives and dear friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Dorothy Porter.
Leland was born on March 6, 1940, in Glenns Ferry, Idaho, and graduated from Glenns Ferry High School in 1958. After attending business classes in Boise, Idaho, he enlisted in the Army where he completed basic training in Fort Ord, California, further training in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and two and a half years of service in Germany and Massachusetts. Leland and Patsy moved to Kennewick, Washington, in 1965, where Lee worked in the tire and automotive business and eventually managed the J.C. Penny automotive center, followed by the electronics center. During this time, he also studied business at Columbia Basic Community College. In 1987, Lee became a small business owner (Porter’s Video City, Inc.) in Kennewick, which he went on to expand to West Richland, Washington. Lee was active in the community including the Pasco Junior Chamber of Commerce, local Toastmasters and the Downtown Kennewick Merchant’s Association. For several years he supported the annual PBS station fund drive and auction and the United Way. In 2006, he and Patsy moved to Elma, Washington. They became Master Gardeners and together operated a seasonal greenhouse and flower business (Friendly Flowers) for nine years with Patsy’s sister and brother-in-law, Mickey and Donna Miller. They were well-known for their beautiful hanging baskets that were available every year by Mother’s Day. Leland and Patsy both retired in 2015.
Throughout life, Lee worked on developing his woodworking techniques and made a variety of items in his shop. He was an outdoor enthusiast who enjoyed hunting as well as hiking and backpacking with family and friends throughout the Cascade Range. He especially loved Mount Rainier and never missed an opportunity to drive through the national park. He was also fond of taking drives along the beach. As an avid gardener, Lee enjoyed working in his yard. In particular, he loved watching his flowers grow and attracting hummingbirds. Leland was a loving, loyal and cheerful family member and friend.
A graveside memorial service will be held in his honor at Glenn Rest Cemetery in Glenns Ferry, Idaho, on Sept. 28, 2019, at 1 p.m. followed by a celebration of life at Crossings Winery until 7 p.m.