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Alan Dean Porter Obituary


Memories & Candles

“We enjoyed the peacefulness and kindness that Alan gave to our staff while working at Kelso High. Sincerely, Dave and Elana Carpenter Kelso High...Read More »
1 of 24 | Posted by: Elana Carpenter - Kelso, WA

“It is always a sad day to lose an old friend. I went to school with Alan in Richland. I remember him with many happy times. ”
2 of 24 | Posted by: Gene Burrill - Palmer, AK

“Dear Edna and Family, Reading about Alan speaks of a life well lived. He leaves you with great gifts. My thoughts and love are with you, Ruth...Read More »
3 of 24 | Posted by: Ruth Hutteball - Anacortes, WA

“To the Family of Alan Porter my heart goes out to you. I was very fortunate to have worked with Alan Porter at Kelso High School for 3 years with the...Read More »
4 of 24 | Posted by: Teresa Melone - Kelso, WA

“My deepest, heartfelt sympathies to all who knew and loved Alan, especially Edna, Tracy, Jeff and Nora. What an exceptional, giving and loving man. ...Read More »
5 of 24 | Posted by: Sally Penley - Olympia, WA

“My memories of Alan go back many years: junior high school, high school and church youth group. The last time I spoke with him was at our 3o year...Read More »
6 of 24 | Posted by: Charlotte Wilkes Acree - WA

“I remember Alan as a young man growing up in Richland,WA. Although I lost contact with him and his family as he grew into an adult, it appears he had...Read More »
7 of 24 | Posted by: Cindy Payton Hoffman - Santa Fe, NM

“Dear Edna and family, We send our condolences and heartfelt prayers to you in this time of loss. The world is much diminished without Alan, because...Read More »
8 of 24 | Posted by: John and Theresa Daly - VA

“My thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult of times...we will miss him terribly at Kelso School District.... Tom Wyman ”
9 of 24 | Posted by: Tom Wyman - Kelso, WA

“I am sorry for your loss and Kelso High School's at Alan's passing. I worked with Alan for the last several years with the PAL's kids and he will be...Read More »
10 of 24 | Posted by: Michael Skeie - Kelso, WA

“Alan was a colleague and friend. I admired Alan's knowledge in the field of counseling and envied his technological skills. Alan supported many...Read More »
11 of 24 | Posted by: Denise Miles-Foges - Kelso, WA

“Alan has always been a very important part of my life. Not only was he my brother but also my friend and confident. As children we played together...Read More »
12 of 24 | Posted by: Susan Porter Wambach - OH

“Alan's caring for the at-risk youth in our building created success for all students. He always thought outside the box to problem solve. I will...Read More »
13 of 24 | Posted by: Cindy Wardlow - Kelso, WA

“As the secretary to the principal at Kelso High School, I want you to know that Alan was always kind, thoughtful and very gentlemanly to me when we...Read More »
14 of 24 | Posted by: Helen Street - Kelso, WA

“Words have a difficulty time forming knowing that Alan is gone. As a brother-in-law and friend for 36 years I grew to know him as a person who you...Read More »
15 of 24 | Posted by: Mike Wambach - Grand Rapids, MI

“Alan Porter was a very nice person. He taught at my school, Rose Valley Elementary, in Kelso, WA, and I liked it. I am glad I got to meet Mr. Porter....Read More »
16 of 24 | Posted by: Ella Baumgardner - 2nd grade - WA

“My sincere condolences, I knew Alan in high school,He is a wonderful person who shared with all.I am truley sorry for your loss. ”
17 of 24 | Posted by: Steven King - Kirkland, WA

“My earliest rememberance of Alan was in junior high school. He was a kind, thoughtful person back then and after reading about his adult life, it...Read More »
18 of 24 | Posted by: Rick Dennis - Kennewick, WA

“Alan and I grew up going to the same church, Richland Baptist. We were friends of the family, Dean and Pat Porter with their children. I knew Alan...Read More »
19 of 24 | Posted by: Bruce A. Frost - Chesterfield, MO

“I'm so very sorry to hear about Alan. I ran around with his sister, Sue in grade school and he was always there with us wanting to play as well. My...Read More »
20 of 24 | Posted by: Carol Converse Maurer - Eureka, CA

“My heart goes out to you. We have always been very close to Pat & Dean and the family and spent lots of time with them when our children were young...Read More »
21 of 24 | Posted by: Ida L. Wheeler - Wenatchee

“Memories of a childhood in Richland, WA flash before my eyes - Alan was part of that memory. Our thoughts and prayers to your family at this time....Read More »
22 of 24 | Posted by: Karen Jones - Renton, WA

“Dear cousins ... what a shock to get the news that Alan had passed away suddenly. Our families spent a lot of time together when we were kids. I...Read More »
23 of 24 | Posted by: Kathy Paine - Wenatchee, WA

“my family and I are so very sad that Mr. Porter has left us, He was a great mentor, and friend, When my daughter was a freshman @ Kelso he became her...Read More »
24 of 24 | Posted by: Christina Brown - VANCOUVER, WA


Alan Dean Porter, age 60, died on April 10, 2009 in Vancouver, WA. He was born on February 28, 1949 in St. Louis, MO to Alva Dean Porter and Patricia Mulvihill Porter and soon moved to Richland, WA where he grew up. In 1971 he moved to Portland, OR and married Edna Marie Harrison and spent much of his life there.
Alan's life centered around education. A graduate of Central Washington State College in 1971, he earned his Master of Education in Teaching at Portland State University in 1979 and his Master of Education in School Counseling at Lewis and Clark College in 1994. He began his career teaching special needs students and later became a school counselor, working tirelessly to remove barriers to students' education. He was most passionate about working with at-risk youth and those who would be first generation college students. He dedicated over 30 years to his students and colleagues in the Portland Public School district and upon retirement continued to work as a school counselor and advocate. He spent nearly a decade working as an adjunct professor in the same program at Lewis & Clark that he graduated from. He took great joy in working with young counselors and felt it was a way to stay current in his profession. He also recently began volunteering for the Washington School Counselors Association and regularly attended WSCA conferences.
Throughout his adult life, Alan endured many medical problems and yet always kept a positive attitude. At 26 he was diagnosed with kidney failure and nine years later received a kidney from his brother, Kevin. Later in life his health deteriorated more and yet his strong spirit, positive attitude and sense of humor inspired many.
The great joy in Alan's life besides education was family. He spent time researching family genealogy and delighted in watching his daughter, and later his granddaughter, grow. His wish when he was young and learned his life may be cut short, was to see his only daughter grow up. He was blessed not only with this chance but to spend two years getting to know his only granddaughter as well. Alan was also an avid reader who enjoyed American politics and history, watching basketball and baseball, and collecting movies. He loved technology and spent countless hours converting family photos and old music and movies to digital formats.
Alan's life was suddenly cut short when he suffered a heart attack, but as his wife, Edna, noted, we could have lost him 35 years ago and he would be the first to say those years were a treasured gift. He is survived by his mother, Pat of Richland, WA; his wife, Edna of Vancouver, WA; daughter and son-in-law Tracy and Jeff Miner and granddaughter Nora of Elma, WA; sisters Susan Porter Wambach of Ohio, Lori Prussing of Richland, WA and brother Kevin Porter of Friday Harbor, WA, and their spouses. Our hearts break for you.
A public Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 1:00pm at Lewis & Clark College in the Flanagan Chapel with reception following. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donation be made to the following organizations:
Northwest Kidney Kids, Inc.
300 N. Graham
Suite 300
Portland, OR 97227
Phone 503-280-3620
Fax 503-282-2395.
www.nwkidneykids.org

Lewis & Clark School Counseling Diversity Scholarship
Pay to: Lewis & Clark Graduate School
Attn: Lisa Pogue
0615 Palatine Hill Rd
Portland, OR 97219
Laura Pederson 503-768-6144
A Memory Book will be compiled of letters to or about Alan. Pages will be in an
8.5"x11" format to fit into a 3-ring binder. Anyone wishing to, may submit a letter
to the Memory Book. They can be brought to the service, written at the reception
(paper and pens provided) or mailed to his family:

Family of Alan Porter
15706 NE 18th Ave
Vancouver, WA 98686

Alan's philosophy in the words of Dag Hammerskjold:

Tired
And lonely,
So tired
The heart aches.
Meltwater trickles
Down the rocks.
The fingers are numb,
The knees tremble.
It is now,
Now, that you must not give in.

On the path of the others
Are resting places,
Places in the sun
Where they can meet.
But this
Is your path,
And it is now,
Now, that you must not fail.

Weep
If you can,
Weep,
But do not complain.
The Way chose you—
And you must be thankful.

A snapshot that reflects how he lived his life, in the words of an unknown author:

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and
well-preserved body — but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn
out and loudly proclaiming. . . WOW! What a ride!"

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