1933 - 2018
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VON DER PORTEN, Edward P. October 29, 1933 - April 9, 2018 Edward Von der Porten, educator, maritime historian, and archaeologist, passed away April 9, 2018, aged of 84. Raised in New York, then attended San Francisco State University (BA & MA). He married Saryl Corrick in 1954. They had two sons, Michael and Eric. They moved to Santa Rosa in 1958. His teaching career led to developing textbooks on report and term paper writing and historical source materials. Many students remember the rotating exhibits in the back of the classroom, the special lectures, formal note taking and structured term papers in their US History classes. He also taught Journalism, English and US Government. Good English usage was required! When bulldozers were destroying Native American sites in the future Point Reyes National Seashore, he developed the archaeology program at SRJC and taught 1961 to 2004. Ed was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Historical Museum of Sonoma County in 1983 and worked on its Exhibits Committee to 2018. Joining the Drake Navigators Guild (DNG) and working with Chinese porcelain fragments found at Point Reyes, Ed and Clarence Shangraw at the Asian Art Museum determined that both Drake (1579) and Cermeño (1595) cargoes were present. Ed became a noted expert on early trade porcelains. Starting in 1996, Ed and the DNG led the work to have the Drakes Bay National Historic and Archeological District National Historic Landmark established in 2012. For many summers, Ed and Saryl traveled Europe in a 1970s VW camper working on projects including the raising of the "Mary Rose". His research led to a 1994 article in National Geographic: "The Hanseatic League". Ed and Saryl served as shopkeepers when the "S. S. Jeromiah O'Brien" returned to Europe in 1994. Twenty years ago, Ed and Saryl, became aware of porcelain fragments found on a remote beach in Baja California, Mexico. That led to the discovery of the lost wreck site of a sixteenth-century Manila galleon. Working with Mexican authorities, various technical experts and volunteers, Ed built fieldwork teams each year. Ed leaves a legacy of more than 90 publications and many museum exhibits and ship models. Ed is survived by his brother, Ronald (Marsha), son Michael (Elaine), daughter-in-law Cathy, grandchildren Steven (Stephanie), Kevin, Peter and Laura and great-granddaughter Sophia. More information is at www.winepi.com/EdVdP.html. Friends and colleagues are invited to a memorial celebration on Saturday, July 28, 2018: please visit the website.

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Published in Press Democrat from Jul. 15 to Jul. 16, 2018.
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4 entries
July 16, 2018
My sincere condolences to Michael for the loss of his father, Ed Von der Porten. He was the faculty advisor to the student newspaper, The Santa Rosan, when I was its editor at SRHS back in 1964 or 1965. ALter, I went of a dig or two out at Drakes Bay with him. And, Michael, you may not remember, but I baby sat for you and your brother when you lived on Grahn Drive. I lived just around the corner on Montecito Ave. I have many fond memories of your parents. Candace (Bell ) Roney, San Jose, CA
July 16, 2018
I extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Von Der Porten. During my sophomore year at Santa Rosa High School (Montgomery Campus) I was one of the many students Mr. Von Der Porten labored to teach English and instill an appreciation for Shakespeare et. al. I wish I had appreciated his efforts and patience as much then as I do today. Thank you Mr. Von Der Porten, may you rest in peace.
Michael Lindsay
July 15, 2018
I had Mr. Von der Porten as a teacher at both Cook Jr. Hi. and SRHS. He was a great teacher, but unfortunately I didn't take his instruction as seriously as I should have. I wish I had been more interested in History back then. Sorry to read of his recent passing, but he sure packed a lot into his 84 yrs., along with his wife. Condolences to his family, especially Michael who I got to know at LBH&G. Judith Mead, Santa Rosa, CA
Judith Mead
July 15, 2018

While I only knew his son and his wife I find his passing a great loss to so many locally. My condolences to his family.
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