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Gary Alan (AKA Skinner) PORTER

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Gary Alan (AKA Skinner) PORTER Obituary

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PORTER, Gary Alan (AKA Skinner) Age 60, passed away peacefully at Hospice of Dayton on April 24, 2013 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Gary was born October 10, 1952 in Victorville CA, and lived in many places including Oklahoma, Valparaiso IN, Columbus OH, Dayton OH, Detroit MI, Mt. Prospect IL, Provincetown MA, Chicago IL, and back to settle in Dayton, where he owned and operated GA Porter Construction from 1976 to 2010. After graduating high school, Gary attended the University of Cincinnati from 1970 to 1972, where he studied Building Technology Construction. In 1972, he began working various jobs from framing carpenter to Plexiglas furniture assembly to custom leatherwork to architectural drafting and design, then back to framing and finish carpentry before opening his own design/build remodeling firm in 1976. As a businessman, Gary was the model for ethical business practices. He started the local chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and served there in many roles, including as the organization's first president, the national representative for the Miami Valley chapter, the ethics chair, and the regional vice president. His work was honored by numerous awards, including multiple "Contractor of the Year" awards both local and regional, and was selected in 1993 as one of the "Big 50 Remodelers" in the country by Remodeling Magazine. Gary "paid it forward" by teaching many Certified Remodeler Training courses from 2001 to 2006. Gary was a role model and a mentor to many others, both professionally and personally, and will be greatly missed. His professional accomplishments, however, pale next to his personal accomplishments. Gary was a facilitator for the Dayton Dialogue on Race Relations from 2004 through 2012, and was a mediator for the Dayton Mediation Center in 2005 - 2006. He was extremely active and held international office in ManKind Project (MKP) and was an acknowledged leader who led multiple staff development workshops, staff trainings, Primary Integration Trainings, and New Warrior Training Adventures as well as many other various workgroups. Gary was a long standing supporter (both personally and as an underwriter) of WYSO (public radio station), serving as a board member and committee chair from 2005 to 2007 for their resource board. Gary was an active member and leader in Mensa, the High IQ society. He served in leadership roles at the local level, as the Local Secretary (president) of the Dayton chapter in 1987 and Ombudsman 2004 - 2005; and at the national level as program chair at numerous Regional Gatherings and the 1998 Annual Gathering. He was a sought after presenter who gave numerous programs all over the country, on topics ranging from massage to martial arts to home remodeling to communications and relationships. For many Mensans, he was known as Skinner, the founder of the Hell's M's, a Special Interest Group which includes over 2,700 members and whose credo is: "A Hell's M's party is any party, large or small, where everyone participating in the party or affected by the party has good memories the day after it is gone." This group is known for volunteerism and its support activities during many Mensa functions. Gary has been awarded the Margot Award, American Mensa's highest honor, which is bestowed "for the rendering of exceptional service to Mensa for a number of years." Gary donated his body to the Wright State University Medical Center, so there will be no funeral service. There will be a celebration of his life on Saturday, May 4th from 6pm to 10pm at the Columbian Reception Hall at 4704 Burkhardt Road, Dayton, OH 45431. Those who wish to honor his memory may donate to the Skinner HELL's Ms Memorial scholarship fund, via the Mensa Education and Research Foundation online at http://www.mensafoundation.org/how-you-can-help/honor-someone-special/ or by mail to Mensa Foundation, 1229 Corporate Drive West, Arlington, TX 76006-6103. In either case, please indicate that your gift is for the Skinner HELL's M's Memorial Scholarship. He will be missed but his memory and presence will continue to comfort his wife of over 32 years, Yvonne (nee Stockton), his parents, Carl and Helen Porter, and five younger siblings, David (Debbie), Jeff (Terry), Janis Davino (Michael), Lori McDowell (Fred), and Teri Limber (Joe), as well as numerous nieces and nephews, his cousin Steve Miller, and numerous close friends and MKP brothers. Gary's memory will be cherished in many different communities, but he was foremost someone who gathered and combined communities, and who always sought to better both himself and the world around him.

Published in Dayton Daily News from Apr. 26 to Apr. 28, 2013
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