BONHAM - Pat Kelley Porter, 74, of Bonham, passed away on Thursday, January 30, 2014, at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, surrounded by his family and friends.|
Pat was born in Ector, Texas on Feb 2, 1939. He was the oldest son of Earl Douglas and Bonnie Kelley Porter.
Pat grew up in Ector, attending school in Bonham and graduating from high school in 1957 with a football scholarship to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla. During college he participated in R.O.T.C where he earned his private pilot certificate, leading to his lifelong career in aviation. He graduated from OSU in 1961 with a bachelor of science degree in business.
He was married to his high school sweetheart, Emily Mae Bales, on Jan. 21, 1961. After graduating from OSU, Pat joined the U.S. Army, Transportation Division. A first lieutenant, he flew the DH-4C Caribou and earned the air medal for his service during the Vietnam War.
Pat began his 32-year career with Delta Airlines in 1965, first flying the C46, cargo plane. He advanced rapidly through his career with Delta, flying the L100, DC9, DC8, Boeing 727, 757 and 767. In February 1997 Pat retired as Captain of the MD11. During Pat's career with Delta he flew throughout the United States and Canada as well as overseas to England, Amsterdam, Japan, Korea, Thailand and China.
Pat was a member of the First Baptist Church of Bonham, the Army Otter-Caribou Association, Bonham City Council, the Bonham Industrial Foundation and the Bonham Airport Board. He served as President of the Bonham Water Authority, the Civitan and was Chairman of the local United Way Fund.
Pat is survived by his wife of 53 years, Emily Bales Porter of Bonham; their three sons, Mike Porter and Dana of Bonham, Myles Porter and Lisa of Bonham and Kyle Porter and fiancé, Alice Mitchell of Dallas; four grandchildren, Katy Porter, Sam Porter, Luke Porter and Jack Porter; one brother Lonny Porter and wife Bunnye of Arlington and niece Sarah Lowry and Tim Lowry of Aledo. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl Douglas Porter and Bonnie Kelley Porter.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, February 3, 2014, at First Baptist Church, 710 N. Center St., Bonham. Interment with military honors will follow at Willow Wild Cemetery, Hwy. 121, Bonham. Visitation is 2 -4 p.m. on Sunday, February 2, 2014, at Wise Funeral Home, 219 W. Sam Rayburn Drive, Bonham. Morgan Malone will officiate.
Pallbearers will be Bobby McCraw, Larry Moss, Talmage Moore, Sam Porter, Ben Lawrence and Ed Gray. Honorary Pallbearers will be Billy Rater, John Jones, Leonard Gerner, Aubrey Conley, Chuck Gardner, Tommy Keeton and Sidney Hale.
Memorials may be made to the Powder Creek Park. Online guest register www.wisefuneralhome.com.
Published in The Herald Democrat on Feb. 2, 2014