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PORTER LOIS K. PORTER October 30, 1919 - January 28, 2018 Lois Keller Porter, an accomplished violinist and former president of the Washington Area Secular Humanists, passed away at Prince George's Hospital on January 28. She was 98. She died from complications following an ischemic stroke, said her son, Aaron Porter. Lois Josephine Keller was born in 1919 in New Haven, Conn. and began her studies on violin at nine. At sixteen, she made her first major appearance as a soloist with the New Haven Symphony, performing Edouard Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole. After graduation from high school in 1937, she attended Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a four year scholarship, studying with Maurice Kessler. Lois graduated in 1941 with a bachelor's degree in violin performance. She then attended Columbia University for graduate studies in musicology. During World War II, she worked for the national civic music association in New York City, and was a warden in that city for the Air Warden Service of the City Volunteer Protection Services. Later, she was head of the publicity department of the Music Corporation of America. In 1950, While traveling to Georgia as national representative of the National Artists Management Company, she met George Porter, an editor for the Gainesville Times. They married in December of 1950, and settled in Gainesville. Lois was a faculty member of Brenau College for seven years, served as president of the National Federation of Music clubs in Georgia and was active with several chamber music ensembles. George's job as a newspaper editor took them to New Orleans, where Lois performed as concertmaster of the New Orleans Civic Symphony Orchestra and in many chamber music ensembles in and around that city. In 1960, they traveled with their children, Elise and Aaron, to the Philippines, after George was appointed press attaché to the American Embassy in Manila on assignment with the United States Information Agency. In Manila, Lois was active with many chamber music ensembles and with the National Philharmonic Society of the Philippines, with which she performed as a featured soloist. George's foreign service career took the family next to Penang, Malaysia and Singapore. In Singapore, Lois was a founding member of the Singapore National Symphony Orchestra, and served as the chairman of the board of the Singapore American School. They returned to the United States in 1971, where George finished his career at the State Department, retiring in 1979. They became residents of Capitol Hill, and were early members of Capitol Hill Village, an organization that helps residents age in place. They helped found the Washington Area Secular Humanists. Lois served as its first president from 1989 to 1991, and again from 1999 to 2001. Lois is survived by her daughter, Elise (William James); her son, Aaron; a granddaughter, Abigail James; and by several nieces and nephews. No services will be held. Contributions to her memory can be made to the Collington Foundation, specifying either the Collington Candlelight Concerts or the Collington Scholarship fund, and mailed to: Collington Life Care Community 10450 Lottsford Road Mitchellville, MD 20721Mitchellville, MD 20721
Published in The Washington Post on Mar. 15, 2018