Cover photo for Thomas J. Porter's Obituary
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1926 Thomas 2021

Thomas J. Porter

September 17, 1926 — October 4, 2021

Thomas J. Porter, long-time resident of Cherryvale, KS died Monday, October 4, 2021. He had recently celebrated his 95th birthday. He was preceded in death by his parents Reginald Porter and Myrtle Hall Porter; his brothers, Harry Porter, Dick Porter; sisters, Eleanor Porter Riordan, Virginia Porter Fiser and Emma Porter Cummins; daughter Deania Porter Wheatley; and wife, Helen Payne Porter. Survivors of the family are sister Francis Porter Power and brother James Porter (Edie); children Diane Porter Mahaffey (Tom), Peggy Porter Ostrom (Mike), and Steven Porter (Markel); Grandchildren Jon Wheatley (Steffanie), Joshua Wheatley (Kelli), Nathanael Wheatley, Michael Ostrom (Heather), Jessica Ostrom (Nick), Thomas Porter (Emilee), Steven W Porter, and Caleb Porter; Step-grandchildren TJ Mahaffey, Matthew Osburn, and Aundrea Osburn; Great-Grandchildren Erin Mahaffey, Bryce Wheatley, Jordan Wheatley Myers (Eli), Colton Wheatley, Brendan Wheatley, Michaela Gronseth, Alyssabeth Gronseth; Great-great grandchildren Brantley Wheatley, Aleah Wheatley, Thadyn Myers, Kai Myers, Lindy Kirk, Kaylianna Kirk, Xavier Glen.
Tom was born in McAlester, OK, lived in Crowder, OK, and then moved to Cherryvale, KS when he was seven years old. Directly after high school, he joined the Army in 1944 where he was a communications specialist. Word has it he could send messages faster than the telegraph. After serving his tour of duty in Japan, he attended Kansas University and earned his degree in Pharmacy. During his years at KU, he met and married Helen Payne. They won a radio contest and was married on the radio show “Bride and Groom” in California. Tom worked at Carl Drug in Cherryvale before owning it after the owner died. Many local high school students have fond memories of working for him.
Tom was active in golf and coaching Little League, played the French Horn in the Mid-Continent Band for nearly 80 years as well as area musical productions and area bands, was active in civic organizations and his church, and loved to paint. Tom was a faithful son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather, the spiritual leader of his home.
A celebration of life sharing time (limited to 5 minutes, please) will be held Thursday, October 14, 2021, at 6:30pm at the Presbyterian Church, 211 S. Montgomery, Cherryvale, KS. His funeral service will be held on Friday, October 15, 2021 at 2:00pm, also at the Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to the Presbyterian Church.

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