Donald Porter Profile Photo

Donald Porter

October 5, 1933 — August 7, 2023

Donald Porter

Donald Eugene Porter of Eden Prairie, MN, died on Monday August 7, 2023, from complications of Myasthenia Gravis and Diabetes. He was born in Minneapolis on October 5, 1933, to Dorothy Tornell Porter. He credits the love and sacrifices that his mother made for him and his younger brother, Jerry, to improve upon their lives. Dad knew from a young age that getting a good education would be key for his future, so he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota.

It was during graduate school that he met his loving wife of 65 years, Joyce Walter. His intellect, disposition and sense of humor convinced her he was the one. After graduation they married, packed up and drove cross country to Palo Alto, California, for the first of many adventures as a married couple. While there Dad earned his PhD from Stanford University, his proudest achievement besides marrying Mom.

Dad considered himself to be very fortunate that his career working at manufacturing companies and in academia challenged him and provided lifelong friends and colleagues. These entities included Stanford University, RainBird Sprinkler Company, FarmHand, Berkley and Company and the University of North Dakota. While a professor at UND he had opportunities to consult and be on boards of many businesses, which he considered his most satisfying years.

Even though he was pretty busy, making time for family remained a priority. He good naturedly attended band concerts, enthusiastically supported his kids in non-stop sporting competitions, helped with homework, and took us water skiing in the summer and snow skiing in the winter. He loved Joyce devotedly and took care of her until the end. A few days before he left us, he picked out some pencils on Amazon to order so she had plenty for her crossword puzzles.

Travel was a lifelong passion. Business trips to Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Europe and many other places often culminated in a slide show for us, with him describing the wonderful and unique things he had done. He and Mom took many fun trips together as well. His favorite experience was attending a lavish dinner in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles sometime in the 1970s.

He and his brother helped his mother build a cabin on the Whitefish Chain of Lakes in the 1950s and it became a beloved refuge for the family. Forty years ago he and Mom built their own house down the shoreline and cherished the peace and calm of lake living. He swam every day until his mid 80s. Winters in Sun City Grand, AZ, provided sunshine and warmth during the colder months.

Besides Joyce, he is survived by their four children, Ann, Gail (Zsolt), Jean (Steve), and Neal (Mike), and their five grandchildren, Carly, Thor, Kip (Terah), Jens and Nell, several cousins, his sister-in-law Janice Porter, and his nephew Rick (Deb) Porter.

Dad always had an optimistic view of life, a happy disposition, a love of learning, and a larger than life laugh.

A family service will take place in September near their beloved lake home in central Minnesota.

Condolences can be sent to: Joyce Porter, P.O Box 44902, Eden Prairie, MN 55344.

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