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Joseph Hamilton Porter


1945 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Joseph Hamilton Porter Obituary
Porter, Joseph Hamilton III
Joseph Hamilton Porter III, of Scottsdale, AZ, closed his final deal and signed his final scorecard appropriately on July 2, (7/2) at the age of 72. The Chief, Gorilla, Joey, JP 3, Papa Joe, Jeeps, or Chiefy was passionate about his family, friends, work, golf, Arizona sports, and great food. Joe was born on June 5, 1945, in Pasadena, CA, but grew up and lived his entire life in Arcadia. He picked up a golf club for the first time in 1958 and his life was forever changed. His golf swing was best described as "a lumberjack trying to take down a giant Sequoia with one swing of the ax." The game of golf would take him around the country, introduce him to the love of his life and future wife Beth, grow lasting friendships too numerous to count, and bring him endless hours of joy watching his kids and grandkids learn the game he loved. At Arcadia H.S., he was the medalist on back-to-back state championship teams, won the Arizona State Junior Golf Championship and the Arizona Amateur. After high school, he attended Phoenix College, leading the golf team to a National Junior College Championship. Joe earned a B.S. in Finance from Arizona State University and All-American golf honors in 1967. After serving his country in the National Guard, he earned his PGA TOUR card in 1969. In his day, only the top 60 money winners were exempt. Almost every week he had to qualify for the upcoming tournament. During his 11 years on tour, he had 9 top 10 finishes, but was most proud of being the first non-exempt player elected by his peers to the tournament policy board. His time on the board ultimately helped lead to the modern exempt tour we know today. He wanted to settle down and have a family, so he decided to hang up his spikes and pursue another career at Coldwell Banker selling commercial real estate. His passion for competition and building relationships made for a perfect transition and an extremely successful 35 year career. Joe was invited to join The Thunderbirds, a charitable organization that uses golf to raise money for children, families, and those in need in the greater Phoenix area. This served as a perfect transition from playing golf to using golf to raise money for wonderful causes. If you were lucky enough to ride around town with him, you would hear about which buildings he sold, be amazed at the extraordinary way he had with numbers, and more times than not end up at Sacks for a sandwich, "burn the bread, would ya?!" Joe gave 110% all the time, whether it was his love for family, rooting for sports teams, political discourse, or using the toaster. In addition to living passionately, he had incredible perseverance and a positive attitude. In 1976, he had a chance to win the Western Open but double bogeyed the 18th to lose by 1. The following day he shot 64 in a Pro-Am on 3 hours of sleep to win. This ability to persevere continued throughout his life and served him especially well in 2000 when he was diagnosed with a debilitating muscle disease. Over the last 17 years, he gradually lost his ability to play the game he loved and eventually the ability to walk, but he always maintained his positive attitude. Joe took lemons and made Diet Coke. Joe loved teaching and mentoring people; he was committed to continual improvement for himself and for others. Throughout, his career he shared his gifts with golfers all over the valley and anyone who "asked for the order" in the commercial real estate business. His commitment to winning was recognized by his peers in both golf and real estate when he was inducted into the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame and honored with the NAIOP Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in Arizona Real Estate. Joe is survived by his wife of 42 years, Beth (Hall); son, Josh of Scottsdale; daughters, Blair (Darrell) Hornbacher, of Chandler; Lindsey (Lance) Wade of Atlanta; and grandchildren; Morgan Rock, Porter Wade, and Connely Wade. He is also survived his Aunt Janet Lehman, of Charlotte, NC. He was preceded in death by his brother, Rick, and his parents, Joe and Patty. Visitation will be on Friday, July 14, at the Arizona Country Club from 4-7 p.m., with an open mic Joe Porter story sharing time from 7-8 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 15, at 10:30 a.m. at First Christian Church of Scottsdale, 7405 East McDonald Drive. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Valley and Junior Golf Association of AZ.
Published in The Arizona Republic on July 9, 2017
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