Stanley Sigurd Porter passed away gently at his home in Oroville on February 23rd, 2014 at the age of 84. A celebration of Stan’s life will take place in Oroville on Saturday, March 29th, from 1:40 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pastime Bar & Grill. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Stanley was born June 24, 1929 to Jenny Swanson and William Porter and was raised on his family’s farm in Port Ludlow, Wash. which is near some of the colorful real world characters that inspired “The Egg and I” and “Ma and Pa Kettle.” He was raised with a deep sense of family, hard work and service to others as the 10th of 13 siblings: Jane Shaw (d), Hank (d), Dick (d), Jesse Wallace, Ray (d), Ruth Munizza, Frank (d), Iris Swishelm, Clint (d), Helen Sinclair, Joanne Steiner (d) and John.
Stan attended grade school at Port Ludlow and high school in Chimacum (after Port Ludlow High School burned). As part of the Second World War effort, Stan raised thousands of chickens with his brother Clint, and was in charge of the cream. He also raised prize winning calves. In high school he excelled at football, basketball and baseball. During the summers, he enjoyed backpacking in the Olympics and Cascades, a life-long joy that he eventually passed onto his children.
Stan attended Washington State University, where he was President of Delta Chi Fraternity, Duke of the Intercollegiate Knight’s honor organization and a member of the Crimson Circle. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Arts and a Masters in Education. He later received his Superintendent Credentials from University of Washington.
While at WSU, he met Sydne Viola Swain and the two wed in Spokane on June 8, 1952. Their marriage of 42 years produced three children: Sidney (b 1954), Stanalee (b 1956), and Swain (b 1965).
Stan taught high school briefly in Lebam Washington, before being drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War in 1952. He trained at Camp Roberts, California, then Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, in the signal core and was also an instructor. After the Korean War, Stan took a teaching position in Spokane, before moving to Kettle Falls where he taught High School Math and Shop from 1955-1961. Stan was a Member of Kettle Falls Lion’s club and High School Guidance Counselor.
Stan was Principal of Oroville High School from 1961 through 1968. His tenure was characterized by a deft and caring hands on approach and prioritizing resources for the maximum benefit of Oroville’s high school students. Stan cared deeply about developing his charges’ ability to succeed and prosper.
In 1968, Stan left education and joined the Easley Agency real estate office. He was happy and had a way at finding the right property for people, so he bought out Easley in 1969 and renamed the firm Porter Real Estate. His “Happy Stan, the Real Estate Man” radio commercials were well known in North Central Washington. The office name morphed over the years into Realty World-Porter, and finally into Sun Lakes Realty, which continues today with wife Tamara as one of Oroville’s longest running successful businesses.
Stan loved people and he loved the Okanogan and was an active force in developing Okanogan County and Oroville area for half a century. As Chairman of the Okanogan Development Committee, Stan proposed an Old West theme for Oroville (later adopted by Winthrop) and promoted a Funtown USA campaign for Oroville in the mid-1970s. Stan attracted many residents to Oroville, helping them find homes and businesses, and then helping them succeed and integrate into the community.
Stan enthusiastically participated in numerous local groups, including Oroville Chamber of Commerce (President), Oroville-Osoyoos International Rotary Club (President), Okanagan County Development Committee (Chairman), American Legion (52 year member), Eastern Star (Worthy Patron), Kiwanis, Mason, Eagles (Charter Member), Osoyoos Curling Club and others.
Stan took on many ambitious projects throughout the course of his life, such as building an elaborate family dream home on the Okanogan River – a massive, nearly single handed undertaking. Stan also professionally drilled a lot of wells for the local residents and ran his own apple orchard operation. He also created a half-acre organic vegetable garden and an impressive exotic fruit orchard, all of which he happily shared widely.
Stan began a second marriage on March 4, 1995, when he wed Tamara Marshall, and the two joyfully did everything together for the rest of Stan’s life. They travelled extensively to exotic places including making a trip of a lifetime in 2004-2005 to Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and India. They worked together perfectly at Sun Lakes Realty until Stan’s retirement.
Stan was rich in friendships from all age groups and walks of life, and spending time with friends was one of his chief joys. He and Tamara could be often seen with friends in their party barge, named “Moderation,” heading up and down Lake Osoyoos or the Okanogan River toward Zosel Dam Stan loved to hike and fish particularly in the Pasayten Wilderness with his children, and was known to tell wonderful stories detailing the alluring natural landscape and the great adventures he experienced and hoped for others. Beyond his friends, Stan donated his time and property generously and was a frequent participant in Oroville May Day parades. He donated the use of his land and much energy toward developing the dream of Centennial Park on Oroville’s Main Street, next to Sun Lakes Realty.
After a tough battle with cancer, Stan declared himself “retired” on Jan. 8, 2014. He never gave up his fight for life and kept a cheerful outlook to the very last moment. He had an optimistic and gentle spirit, and was an inspiration of courage and strength, compassion, dignity to his family and friends at every stage of his life. He was a deft and skilled teacher and a pillar of the community. Stan’s sense of humor and enthusiastic embrace of life were remarkable and infectious. He enriched many lives and will be lovingly missed by all he touched in his long and happy life.
Stanley is survived by his loving wife, Tamara, and children, Sidney (wife Terry), Stanalee Wright (husband Michael) and Swain (wife Sheridan); grandchildren, Chandra (husband John), Marla (partner Anthony), Amanda, John (wife Sarah), and Magnus; and great grandchildren, Matt, Chris, George, Kristina and John.
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