On a sad note, we lost Claude on October 21st. He stopped to help a motorist involved in a wreck on I-20. As he exited his vehicle, he was struck by a another pickup and killed. Here is the obituary for Claude.
Claude Porter was one-of-a-kind. He was a kind and funny man with a servant’s heart. This is evidenced by the life he led and the manner in which he died. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He lived his life for the Lord and was active in his church, where he was a member of the choir. He was a people lover, giving candy to the neighborhood children and lending a hand wherever and whenever needed. He never met a stranger.
He was born near Bogue Chitto, MS, and was the only child of sharecroppers, Curt and Ethel Loftin Porter. He moved to Pascagoula, MS, in 1941 when his father took a job at Ingall’s Shipyard. Claude quit school in the 11th grade and went to work in a shoe shop making $0.40 per hour. In 1942 he registered with the Draft and was inducted into the US Army on 9/15/43. He served in the Philippine Islands during WWII. He was assigned to the 21st Infantry Regiment, Company “C” of the 24th Division of the US Army. PFC Porter was a decorated veteran earning a Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Arrow Head, Bronze Combat Stars and the Good Conduct Medal. Claude did not consider himself a hero, but he was known throughout his life and even in his tragic death, as a good Samaritan. “Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
After returning from the war, Claude finished high school and graduated in 1951 from Mississippi State University. He earned a degree in Agriculture Vocational Education. He taught in several different schools and was later employed with J & L Steel Corp. In 1987, he retired from Vickers Aerospace.
He and his wife, Joyce, have been members of the National Airstream Association. They have toured most all 50 states and Canada during their 30+ years of traveling. Claude served as the President of the Airstream Club. He had many life-long Airstream friends. Claude was often asked to provide entertainment and always had the crowd laughing and many times in tears. He was the greatest story teller and had the memory akin to an elephant. He remembered details and could tell a story like none other. He will be sorely missed by his Airstream family.
Mr. Porter was also an avid hunter, spending countless hours hunting with his son, Randy Chapman and twin grandson’s David and Daniel Chapman. He already had
plans for the upcoming hunting season. Claude had many hunting buddies and friends who will miss him.
Claude also volunteered his time at the local food pantry, South Rankin Food Resource Center. On most days, he woke early, studied his Bible, and had coffee with his friends at Bridge’s Quickie. He also met weekly to have coffee with his friends from Vickers.
Claude loved his children and grandchildren unconditionally and always enjoyed sharing in their lives and accomplishments. He was very proud of them all. Pappaw Porter will never be forgotten and his memory will live on for generations to come.
Claude is survived by his devoted wife of 38 years, Joyce Wilson Porter. Other survivors include his children Randy Chapman (Loretta); Ricky Chapman (Tina); Rita Chapman Wigal; Dickey Porter; Claudia Porter Parker; Leah Porter Hassell; grandchildren David and Daniel Chapman; Whitney Beard (James); Ashley Chapman; Heather White (Chris); Bridget Wigal Dunlap (Ryan); John Porter; David Porter; Teresa Porter; Jamie Parker; Caitlin Hassell; Christian Hassell; great- grandchildren Haden Chapman; Noah Yamas; Ava Yamas; Tanner Coleman; Harper Rae White.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the First United Methodist Church, Richland Building Fund or the charity of their choice .
Visitation will be at Chancellor Funeral Home, Florence, MS, from 5-8 pm on Thursday, October 23, 2014. There will be a visitation at 9 am before the services at 10 am on Friday, October 24, 2014, at the Funeral Home. Interment will immediately follow at Richland Cemetery, to include full Military and Masonic services.
Online guestbook may be signed at www.chancellorfuneralhome.com.