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Thomas Lawson Porter, Jr.
September 24, 1931 ~ August 7, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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Thomas Lawson Porter, Jr., passed away Monday, August 7th, 2023 at the age of 91 years.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Betty Jo (McCord) Porter of O’Fallon; Two children, Linda (John) Wadkowski of O’Fallon, MO and Wm Lawson (Cecilia) Porter of Cumming, GA; Five Grandchildren, Lauren (Landen) Young, Charlotte (Blake) Matheson, John “Johnny” (Brooke) Wadkowski, Elizabeth Porter and James Porter; and Three Great-Grandsons, Rhett & Beau Matheson and Porter Young.
Tom was born in Memphis, TN, on September 24th 1931; son of the late Thomas Lawson Porter, Sr. and Blanche Estelle (Sandy) Porter, and elder brother to the late Frank “Hank” Lee Porter.
Tom graduated in 1950 from Central High School in Memphis, TN and served in the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1954. In 1954 he met Jo in the Adult Sunday school class at Union Avenue Methodist Church, where they were later married on August 24th 1957. He then graduated from The Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University) in 1958, with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering. After graduation, Tom and Jo moved to the Washington DC area where they started their family in 1960. They then moved to Fort Walton Beach, FL in 1961, where Lawson was born in 1965. Tom spent over 30 years working for Keltec, where he retired in 1994.
In 1994 Tom and Jo “bought the farm” and moved from the Gulf Coast of Florida to a mountain top in Northwestern Arkansas. There he built his dream home, where he did much of the work himself, and also served as the general contractor.
Tom had a lifetime love of traveling, especially with his wife Jo. Together they (and sometimes with family and friends) travelled to many countries spanning six continents. He was an avid reader and could always be found with or looking for his book. Although a somewhat private person, he did share his faith by serving as a Sunday school teacher and Bible Study leader. Tom also enjoyed bird watching, television watching (especially football and nature channels), square dancing, and spending time with his family.
Tom and Jo moved to O’Fallon, Missouri in 2009, to be closer to family where they continued to travel until 2019. Tom was deeply devoted to Jo and together they celebrated almost 66 years of marriage.