BARBARA IRENE BEYER PORTER
October 8, 1928 ˜ April 29, 2019
Barbara Porter, age 90, passed away on Monday, April 29, 2019 at The Gardens At Town Square retirement community in Bellevue, Washington with her son Gregory at her side.
Barbara was born of Leontine Van Haelst and Lawrence Beyer at Emmanuel Hospital, Portland, Oregon on October 8, 1928. She grew up in Portland, attending St. Rose Grade School, Holy Child Academy, and later received a BA in Elementary Education and Music from Lewis & Clark College. An accomplished pianist, Barbara taught piano throughout her high school and college years, and again after she was married.
Following graduation from Lewis & Clark, she joined the Portland Public Schools to teach at Laurelhurst Elementary. She then moved to San Francisco and continued to teach grade school in San Jose. There she met Richard Belden Porter, an officer in the US Navy, on a blind date set up by his sister Patricia and friend, David Gross. In 1955, Barbara and Richard were married in Portland, Oregon and settled in Culver City, California, near Santa Monica where their daughter Kristen and son Gregory were born. They later returned to San Jose where daughter Kimberly was born.
The Porters moved frequently due to Richard’s job transfers working as HR Director for Crown Zellerbach Paper Company. From San Jose, they moved to Portland, Oregon and Baton Rouge, Louisiana where Barbara taught catholic school. They then moved to Pleasant Hill, California where Barbara began teaching piano once again and continued her career in Vancouver, Washington where she and Dick later retired and he passed in 2002. The last eight months of Barbara’s life were spent near her son Greg and his triplets, Barbara’s grandchildren, in Bellevue, Washington.
Barbara exemplified a life very well lived. She had a great love of classical music and enjoyed playing piano, traveling, cooking, antiquing, collecting, reading, crocheting and sewing, playing bridge, shopping and spending time with friends and family. Barbara belonged to the Newcomers club, piano club, book club, lung club, the list goes on. She cherished her annual trips to Hawaii with her husband Dick and later with her sister Dolores. Her greatest passion though was her Lord. She was an active member of Saint Joseph Catholic Church where she served as a Eucharistic Minister, attended bible study and Golden Fellowship, and participated in other church activities. Her many good works included praying for sick and bringing them communion. Among other things, Barbara was known for her kindness, generosity and will to live every single day to its fullest. She was truly an inspiration to all who knew her.
Barbara is survived by her son, Gregory Porter; daughter, Kimberly Porter-Christianson and her husband (Dennis); six grandchildren, Amanda, Hannah, Benjamin, Jeffrey, Brett and Brian; and great-grandson, Corbin, whom she held for the first time just a few days prior to her passing; sisters, Juanita Lamberger and Dolores Panzica; along with generations of nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 47 years, Richard; daughter, Kristin Weller; and brother, Frank Beyer.
A funeral Mass will be held at Saint Joseph Catholic Church at 400 South Andresen Road on May 20th at 11a.m. with a reception following.
Donations to The American Lung Association are requested in lieu of flowers.
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Published in The Columbian on May 16, 2019.