Danel W. Porter

Danel W. Porter

Danel Wyatt Porter, age 86, loving husband, father, grandfather, avid golfer and gunsmith, died Nov. 9, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida with his family at his side.

Dan was born March 24, 1935 in Panama City, Florida, the youngest son of James Ivy Porter and Sarah Grice Porter. After graduation from Bay High in Panama City, he joined the U.S. Air Force, serving initially as an aircraft weapons mechanic and later as a small arms instructor. He completed tours of duty during the Korean and Vietnam wars. He married Sherlie Bodenham Porter, the love of his life, in 1958. They were married until her death in 2018.

After retirement from the Air Force in 1976, Dan and Sherlie settled in Lake Placid, Florida, where Dan began a second career as a citrus harvesting foreman for Lake Placid Groves (later Consolidated Tomoka Land Company). Each year, after harvesting season wound down, he devoted himself to spending time with his family and improving his golf game. Later, after retiring from his second career at Consolidated, he built custom golf clubs and black powder rifles.

Dan was known for his wry wit, “pot framming” while cooking, and a love of hunting, camping, good coffee and all kinds of cake. He maintained a gentle, unassuming demeanor and a wish to be polite and helpful even as his eyesight and memory faded. Despite advancing dementia, he remembered every word to the old country classics, and often sang his favorite verse of an old folk song, “Way down yonder in the forks of the branch, The old sow fiddled and a little pig danced,” long after other memories had faded.

He will be deeply missed by his children, Lee Autrey (Dennis) and James Porter (Lisa); grandchildren, Jason Brady, Matthew Autrey, Jered Brady, Kaley Porter and Daniel Porter; great-grandchildren, golf partners, and nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Frances Porter Slawson; and brothers, James Porter and Malachai Porter; as well as Sherlie, his wife of nearly 60 years.

A memorial service with full military honors will be held at the Jacksonville National Cemetery on Dec. 27, 2021, where he and Sherlie will be buried together.

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