- Alfred Lee Porter, 91, passed away following a brief illness on February 1, 2018. His family was at his side throughout his last days. Al was born on August 28, 1926, the thirteenth and last surviving child of Guy and Edith (Long) Porter of Monticello, Aroostook County, Maine.
Al led an exemplary life. When he was 13, his mother died, and at 14, he and his father sadly "walked away from the farm" and went to work in the woods. His life was seriously sidelined in his mid-teenage years when he fractured his back in a farming accident and spent over a year in a body cast. During that recovery he was moved to a sanatorium where his health was further compromised, but he was determined to overcome all odds and survive. After two years and twenty-two days in healthcare facilities, Al returned to the working world to make something of himself, which he surely did.
Al was the epitome of self-reliance and was never afraid of hard work. He spent many years working for Southard's, a longstanding Bangor business, repairing small engines and machines. Thereafter, he drove a cement truck for a number of years until he settled in his final position as part of the Dow Air Force Base Maintenance Crew. When the base closed, Al continued on with the crew working for the City of Bangor where he served as a mentor to several younger employees in whom he took special interest. Year after year, we could always depend that Bangor International Airport would be one of the few runways open on the east coast, whatever the weather, with Al leading the snowplow crews throughout day and night. It was comforting to reflect on Al's high standards when flying home on snowy nights.
Al was a dedicated family man. He married the lovely Mary Miles in 1950, drawn to her ready smile and tingling laugh. They were blessed with two remarkable children, Glen and Cindy. In the 1960's Al and Mary decided their family needed to experience the Maine coast so they purchased and pitched a tent on a pretty peninsula on Ray's Point in Milbridge, Maine. There, Al drew upon his ingenuity and built a splendid summer place out of simple materials. He used his own hands, first logging trees, then delivering the logs to be made into 24 foot timbers for the frame. Then returning with the milled beams and plate glass for the oversized, angled windows nestled between the timbers. The glass had been discarded and Al recovered it from a dismantled Bangor business. On Al's watch, nothing ever went to waste. For countless summers the family enjoyed coastal living while Al lobster fished and dug clams treating their many visitors to the finest of Maine shore dinners.
When Al and Mary retired, wanderlust took over, and they spent eleven winters in Hawaii, living in Waianae where the native Hawaiians lived, followed by ten winters in Lakeland, Florida. In recent years, Al and Mary wintered in Milford still making the best of life with the love and support of family and friends. Al was an excellent driver all of his life, taking his wife out for breakfast to their favorite haunt Pat's Pizza, just the day before he was hospitalized and less than a week before he died.
Al is survived by his wife of 68 years, Mary Miles Porter, his son, Glen Lee Porter, daughter-in-law, Jean M. Deighan, daughter, Cindy L. Madden, and son-in-law, Anthony W. Madden; grandchildren are Derek A. Madden and his wife, Nicki, with great-grandsons, Ford and River; Cassandra Madden Fournier, and her husband, Josh Fournier, and great-granddaughter, Aria; Katherine Lee Porter; Alexander Lee Porter and his wife, Keya Patten Porter, and great-granddaughter, Vaila.
A memorial graveside service will be held later in the bloom of early summer. Those who want to remember Al in a special way may make gifts to the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine, 205 Church Hill Road, Augusta, ME 04330.
Published on  February 10, 2018