Charles Richard Porterfield
March 5, 1923 ~ November 5, 2020
Charles Richard Porterfield was born in Middletown, OH, March 5, 1923, to Don Willis and Irma Louise Porterfield.
He grew up in Ohio and went into military service as a Navy aviator in 1943. He flew a Douglas Torpedo Bomber Devastator off the USS Princeton aircraft carrier. He once said, smiling, “I only put one in the drink.” After the war, he married Muriel Helen Menhennett, who also had a daughter, Patricia, from a previous marriage and attended Purdue University. After having their first child, Don, the family moved to Camas, WA, where his second child, Luellen, was born in Vancouver, WA. He worked as a civil engineer for Crown Zellerbach Paper Company’s Camas mill, which was the largest specialty paper mill in the world and also became a licensed land surveyor.
His creativity led him to become a very good photographer who photographed many local families’ portraits. He was elected to the presidency of the Junior Chamber of Commerce as well as the Toastmasters chapter and also served as the commander of the American Legion Post #48 in Camas. Chuck served as a board member of the Portland area council of the Boy Scouts of America.
He was an incredibly talented artist and was employed by Camas merchants to paint their front windows with different scenes at Christmas. He and my mother were active in square dancing and founded a club called ‘Stompin’ Stinkers.’ They tied skunk imaged fresheners to their name tags and when they got warmed up dancing, their group was Stompin’ and Stinkin.’
Chuck pioneered a method of aligning the rollers on large paper machines using a surveyor’s transit and was one of only two men in the entire United States with those credentials starting in the late 1960s. An unfortunate divorce led him to eventually leave the Northwest and moved to Minnesota and later to Clovis, NM, where he met and married Bettye Kimbrow and moved to Amarillo, TX, in the 1980s where he remained for the rest of his retired life.
He is further survived by four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
As I stand on a mountain top,
As the great bird approaches,
He is small in my sight,
But grows larger on approach,
Until I am blessed with a full sight,
Of his graceful wings,
Of proud countenance and good company.
All too quickly he grows small again on the horizon,
And disappears from view,
And I call out, “There! …. he’s gone!”
But there are other mountain tops beyond me,
And at the precise moment when I note,
The great bird’s departure from my view,
I know there are new eyes,
Taking up the sight of him,
And fresh voices calling out,
“There he comes!”
Charles “Chuck” Porterfield was called away from this material world to the arms of the Supreme Lord at 3:15 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. “God bless you, dad! As long as we had you with us, the world wasn’t as frightening a place.”
His ashes will be laid to rest next to his mother and father in Sidney, OH, at Graceland Cemetery.