VEAZIE – Byron H. Porter passed away Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at 7:16 p.m., at the age of 95.76 years old. Byron was born the fifth of eight children, to Respa (Frazier) and Horace Cleveland Porter, on April 7, 1918, in Monticello.
In 1931, in the midst of the depression, and at the age of 13 Byron left school to help out on the family farm. By the age of 17, he was working in the woods in logging. Many of his work accomplishments that he spoke of often and was proud of were working on most of the major roadways in Maine as well as many logging roads. He worked many years with pride for Thomas DiCenzo. Byron was a part of the construction of the original Presque Isle airport. He had many dreams throughout the years, working for himself with his crane and two dump trucks and later owned and operated a backhoe and bulldozer.
In 1958 Byron purchased Old Town Taxi which he owned and operated with his family until he sold it in 1964. Byron moved on to work as a mechanic for the State of Maine on Hogan Road in Bangor, was a union representative for the AFL-CIO/AFSCME, and retired in 1980 from his position as the Public Works Director for the Town of Orono. After retirement he spent a lot of time working at the coal yard in Bangor where he built coal bins and transferred coal from rail cars to the bins during the time of the oil embargo.
Byron met the love of his life, Pearl Spencer in 1940 and they were married just a year later on Dec. 3, 1941. Byron and Pearl spent 59 years together and wintered for 17 of those in Zephyrhills, Fla. Byron lost his soul mate in December 2000.
Byron continued to live in the home he and Pearl had shared in Veazie until 2009. He was able to achieve this despite being blind and deaf, due to the loving, compassionate care he received from a very special person, Charlene McLaughlin whom he lovingly nicknamed “Termite.”
In March 2009, Byron moved briefly to Winterberry Heights in Bangor, where he charmed then administrator Kris and Nursing Director Jeri. On August 21, of that year, he suffered a devastating stroke which took his ability to speak. Byron moved to Ross Manor where he remained until his passing.
Byron was predeceased by his loving wife, Pearl; his parents; six siblings; his son, Ronald Byron in 1951; and his granddaughters, Carol and Debbie. Surviving are his sister, Jeanette Bethune; brother, Merval Porter; and Byron and Pearl’s children, Harry and wife, Terry, of Veazie, Alan of Trevose, Pa., daughter-in-law, Kathy of Bensalem, Pa., Jean and husband, Bruce, of Greenbush, and Marcia and husband, Jeff, of Orono. Byron proudly leaves nine beloved grandchildren, Cheryl Young, Kristi Cauvin and Jeffrey Porter of Pennsylvania, Shane Porter of Veazie, Michael and Randy Abbott of West Old Town, Jeffrey Suddy of Vacaville, Calif., Matt Suddy of Orono and Ryan Suddy of Bedford, Mass.; 12 great-grandchildren will miss their great-grandfather as well, Jason, Caraline, Olivia, Jesse, Dakota, Christian, Kaitlyn, Jeffrey Jr., and Rocco of Pennsylvania, and Wyatt, Paxton and Charlotte of West Old Town.
The family wishes to express their profound gratitude to the staff at Ross Manor who provided the most caring, compassionate, professional and loving care we could ever have hoped for. Sharon, Ashley, Doris, Leslie and Brian you are by far the best of the best and we know there were many more that we did not have the good fortune to know as well as Dad did. To Dr. Penny Lamhut whom Dad nicknamed “PennyDocka,” because he loved the way she cared for him, and finally to the staff at New Hope Hospice, while ever so brief, your care was immediate when summoned and beyond what can be expected.
Byron’s greatest loves in his life were his wife Pearl, his family, children, animals, hard work, and heavy equipment. His life was full and long for which we are all grateful. Rest well dear Dad as you finally join your partner in life and now beyond.
A time of visitation will be held 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15. A funeral service will immediately follow at 3:30 p.m. with Pastor Steven Smith officiating at Birmingham Funeral Home, 438 Main St., Old Town. Arrangements are under the care and guidance of Birmingham Funeral Home.