Ronald Jackson "Jack" Porter
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January 8, 1931
March 17, 2013
The angels called Jack Porter to the happy hunting grounds peacefully in his sleep on March 17, 2013.
Jack was born in Clifton Forge, Virginia on January 8, 1931 where he grew up on a small farm and quickly learned what an honest days' work meant. Jack grew up in a small town in Virginia to be a strong, handsome man. He learned to love the outdoors by fishing and hunting with his father Fred and brothers Tom and Don. Jack's love for hunting and fishing began as a method to supplement meat on the table as everything was scarce during the depression. His mother, Dora, happily prepared the squirrels, turkeys, and other small game using family recipes that words cannot describe. Jack graduated high school and excelled in both academics and athletics. He learned to love playing baseball and continued to play overseas after enlisting in the Air Force during the Korean War. Jack, like all Air Force enlisted men, moved about the country and abroad until fate found him stationed at Stead AFB. Jack made many lifelong friends during his time in the Air Force, and although enlisted life was not for him, he made the most of his time. The wild open country of NV was just what Jack was looking for, and he quickly fell in love with the area. This is also where he met the love of his life, Marlys. Jack and Marlys were soon married, and they spent a short time in Phoenix, AZ before moving back to Reno where they both felt most comfortable. Jack and Marlys stayed in Reno where they raised two sons, Gary and Mike, and their daughter Jackie.
Jack began his career as a mechanic welder and fabricator for a local fab shop. His tireless work ethic and desire to succeed quickly enabled him to become a journeyman machinist. Jack wore many different hats while working at the fab shop including mill wright, fabricator, welder, mechanic, and inventor. His inventive spirit was instrumental in developing new technology while working with Sierra Engineering. Jack, with the help of others, established Sierra Engineering (Machinery) as a global leader in the manufacture of skiving roller burnishing machinery. Jack's inventive nature did not end at the blow of the whistle. He designed and constructed a prototype articulating all-wheel drive hunting vehicle that many of us now recognize as an ATV. Jack's version was called a Billy Goat and many fond memories were had on the back of that machine while exploring and retrieving downed game.
Jack's love for baseball was evident as he spent countless volunteer hours coaching Little League, Babe Ruth, and Connie Mack for many years. One of Jack's fondest memories came when he lead the Reno National All Stars to a State Little League title. Jack also enjoyed playing horseshoes where he could often be found with his shirt off throwing some shoes with friends. He was a double ringer champion horse shoe pitcher and member of the Northern Nevada Horseshoe Pitchers Assoc. Jack loved big game hunting, and he spent many evenings around the campfire with family and friends telling stories and sharing laughs. He hunted all corners of Nevada, parts of Arizona/Montana, and Northern Canada where he completed his North American Sheep Hunters Grand Slam (#733).
After retiring, Jack and Marlys spent winters in their Phoenix home making new friends and enjoying a multitude of activities. Back in Reno, Jack spent many days in his machine shop where he made custom parts and helped friends and neighbors fix anything that was broken.
Jack's life revolved around his family and he will truly be missed. He was a loving husband, dad, granddad and a man that could be counted on to help you. He is survived by his wife (Marlys), children (Gary, Mike, and Jacqueline), grandchildren (Laurie, Lukas, and Sydney), and brother (Tom). The family would like to give special thanks to all of his care givers that took a special interest in making him comfortable. A private celebration of life will be held with family and friends.
Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Mar. 20, 2013