September 29, 1926 - October 31, 2016
Jean Porter, age 90, died at Salem Hospital on October 31, 2016, from complications of pneumonia.
Born Norma Jean Duke on September 29, 1926, in Jackson, Michigan to Calvin and Esta Duke, Jean grew up near McPherson, Kansas. A few weeks before her 18th birthday, she was hired by the Civil Service to do clerical work for the US Government. She took a train to Washington DC, without telling her parents, and moved into the “Kansas” apartment building in a complex with 5,000 other young women from around the country. The area in which she lived and worked, later became Arlington National Cemetery.
Shortly after WWII ended, Jean met Frank Porter, a veteran who served in a tank unit in Patton’s Army. They fell in love, and on April 6, 1947, since Jean was only twenty-years-old and did not want to ask for her parents’ permission, they crossed state lines and were married in Rockville, Maryland.
They bought a home in Alexandria, Virginia, and Jean advanced in her career with the Federal Government. She spent several years working as a technical information specialist in the Physical Sciences-Engineering Department of the US Army Foreign Science and Technology Center in the Intelligence Support, Information Services Division, Library Services Branch located in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Jean and her husband both retired in 1974 and moved to Hudson, Florida, where they enjoyed an active and happy life. Frank died in 2005, and the following year, Jean moved to Salem, OR so she could be close to family.
Jean was intelligent, lively, and fiercely independent. She was an expert bridge player, and was always up for a party. She lived at Hidden Lakes Retirement Community from 2006 until her move to Madrona Hills in 2013. Although Jean didn’t have children of her own, she was adored by her nieces and nephews and all of their children and grandchildren. She is survived by her nieces Elaine Sanchez Alex, Salem, OR, and Maria Davis, Arlington, VA,and nephews Larry Kubin Terri, McPherson, KS, Greg Kubin Deb, Goddard, KS, Gene Kubin Gloria Baldwin, KS.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, December 10, at 2:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salem, OR. Jean’s ashes will be interred in Arlington National Cemetery with her husband, Frank Porter. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1444 Liberty Street SE, Salem, OR 97302, or to Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, 12502 USF Pine Drive, Tampa, FL 33612.