Edward Barnard "Joe" PORTER Jr.

PORTER, Edward Barnard Jr. "Joe" a retired businessman, died at his home in St. Petersburg on Saturday, May 18, 2013. He was 91. His family was at his bedside in the last days of his life. Edward Barnard Porter Jr. was born in Beaufort, SC, on June 15, 1921, the eldest of four children of Edward B. and Sarah Peacock Porter. His family soon moved to Thomasville, GA, where he spent most of his Depression-era youth. As a young man he was industrious, sometimes working eighty-hour weeks at a drive-in restaurant. He was a strong swimmer and a lifeguard at a Thomasville country club. Following high school he attended North Georgia College in Dahlonega, GA. When World War II broke out he quickly enlisted in the Army Air Corps, receiving his commission before his 21st birthday. After being one of the earliest pilots to complete training, he trained other pilots at Maxwell and Eglin Air Fields, soon commanding a company of 200 airmen at Eglin, attaining the rank of Major. He volunteered for aerial combat duty in the Pacific War, and had received his orders, but fortunately the war ended just before he was transferred overseas. Upon his discharge from the service he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he met and fell in love with his future wife, Eleanor Reynolds Rodd. He was an excellent student, second in his class, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated with a B.S. degree in Business Administration. On June 29, 1948, he married Eleanor in St. Petersburg, and began helping Eleanor's mother, Josephine Pressly Rodd, operate City Fuel Oil, one of St. Petersburg's earliest fuel businesses. He and Eleanor were also busy raising five children: Edward, Mark, Lindsey, Claire and Marion. He invested in real estate, including owning the historic Detroit Hotel. He liked to dress well, and satisfied that interest by purchasing a downtown gentleman's clothing store, Phil Fairchild's. He served for more than 25 years as a Director and later as Vice Chairman of the Board of Florida Federal Savings, where he made many longtime friends. Mr. Porter was active in numerous social clubs and civic organizations including the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, Squires Club, Suncoasters, St. Petersburg Bat Boys, Polywogs, St. Petersburg Quarterback Club, St. Anthony's Hospital, St. Peter's Cathedral, Lakewood Country Club, The Racquet Club, and the "Dirty Dozen", of which he was the last surviving member. He enjoyed playing tennis and snow skiing with his family. He traveled with friends on golfing trips to Highlands and Blowing Rock, NC, baseball trips to St. Louis, MO, sometimes by train, to see his favorite team, the St. Louis Cardinals. He went on hunting trips, during which he seldom shot at or hit anything, as the hunting started too early in the morning. He patiently drove on annual family vacations out west. He escaped one such vacation with hardly a scratch when a dude ranch SUV, in which he was a passenger, left the mountain road and went tumbling down the mountain into a river. Mr. Porter and his beloved wife, Eleanor, celebrated their 64th year of marriage last June. They continued to live in their Allendale home since 1960. Mr. Porter is survived by his wife; his son, Mark R. Porter, of Sarasota; his son, Lindsey M. Porter, of St. Petersburg; his daughter, Claire Porter Harrison, of Marietta, GA; and his daughter, Marion Porter Mathiason, of Tampa. He is also survived by his sister, Carolyn Searcy, of Columbus, GA; his nephew, Field Searcy, of Atlanta, GA; his niece, Marian Jacobs, of Cleveland, OH; his niece, Kendall Waller, of Peachtree City, GA; his daughter-in-law, Pamela J. Porter; his daughter-in-law, Diana M. Porter; his son-in-law, Rob Harrison; his son-in-law, Mark Mathiason; five grandchildren, Davis and Mitchell Waldron, Ross Porter, and Braden and Kendall Mathiason; and numerous cousins, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Mr. Porter was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Rodman; his sister, Charlotte; and his son, Edward Rodd Porter. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, May 28th, from 3-5 pm, at Anderson-McQueen Funeral Homes, 2201 Dr. MLKing Street North, where a funeral service will be at 5 pm. Contributions in Mr. Porter's memory may be made to Suncoast Hospice or the . Visit the family's personalized online Guestbook at www.andersonmcqueen.com.

Funeral Home

Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home
2201 Dr. MLK St. North St. Petersburg, FL 33704
(727) 822-2059

Published in the Tampa Bay Times on May 21, 2013