John (Jack) Hamlin Porter

Published 3:10 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Born March 4, 1922, to Arthur B. and Madeleine H. Porter of Salem, Mass., he was a graduate of Tufts College with a B.S. in chemistry, and was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity.

Graduating in 1943, Porter entered WWII military service with the 302nd Regiment, 94th Infantry Division, serving in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany and Czechoslovakia. In Europe, he advanced to master sergeant, receiving the Bronze Star Medal and four battle stars. He continued to serve in the Army Reserve until 1962, advancing to the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the Chemical Corps Reserve.

After the war, Jack was employed by the A.C. Lawrence Leather Company in Peabody, Mass., as a research and development chemist.&bsp; He transferred to their North Carolina plant in 1947 and married Helen Meak Smith of Forest City, N.C. They returned to Massachusetts, where he was employed by the B.B. Chemical Company, transferring to their Milwaukee, Wisc., office in 1950. From 1956 until his retirement in 1986, Jack was a leather finish chemist and salesman for Prime Leather Finishes, for whom he serviced clients throughout the United States, England, Ireland and South America.

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Jack was especially proud of his service to the Lions Club, an organization he served tirelessly for more than 55 years in Menomonee Falls, Wisc., and Columbus. He was president of both clubs, and was the driving force for many years behind the Tryon Peak cross.

In Wisconsin, Jack was extremely active with the YMCA&squo;s Indian Guides program, holding countless statewide and national leadership posts. He was also a member of Lincoln Lodge No. 183 F&AM, a charter member of the Menomonee Falls Historical Society, and church steward and head usher at Emmanuel Community United Methodist Church in Menomonee Falls.

He was accepted into the Massachusetts Chapter of the Society of the Cincinnati, the nation&squo;s oldest hereditary military service fraternity, founded by George Washington and his generals at the close of the Revolutionary War.

Jack was a lifelong seasonal resident of Alton Bay, N.H., where the family has maintained a &dquo;camp&dquo; on Lake Winnipesaukee for over 70 years. He was an avid oil and watercolor painter.

Predeceased by his first wife Helen (Smith) in 1989, Jack is survived by his second wife Fern (Goode), his brother David B. Porter of Concord, Mass., as well as sons Christopher J. Porter of Epsom, N.H., and Jeffrey S. Porter of Exton, Pa., daughter Jennifer M. Porter of Minneapolis, Minn., two step-sons, three grandchildren, and three step-grandchildren. &bsp;

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 25 at the Tryon Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. Memorial gifts in Jack&squo;s name may be made to the Columbus Lions Club.