Butch and his family during Thanksgiving 2008. Valene Brandt (l to r), Lynn Stroble, Cookie and Butch Porter, Lillian Porter and Lori Talley. Courtesy Photo
Ford (l to r), Lois and Butch Porter standing in front of the famous horse team Sam and Prince during The Legend of Rawhide. Courtesy Photo
(April 23, 1939 - December 23, 2008)
The Lusk Herald
January 28, 2009
John Bernard "Butch" Porter
Butch Porter, beloved father, husband and friend, passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 23, 2008 at his home in Aurora, Colo.
Butch was born on Sunday, April 23, 1939, in Lusk, Wyo. to Lois Wendt at the John Bryant home. His father, John Wendt, had been accidentally killed on Aug. 29, 1938 in a tragic work accident. He hit a high-tension wire when he stepped backward on the roof of a cottage he was helping move through an intersection. Butch was a very welcome sight to Lois and her whole family rejoiced when he was born.
Lois remarried a gentleman named Wallace Ford Porter in the fall of 1939 at the whimsical cajoling of Ford’s four children, who were students in Lois’s class at the Old Woman’s School. They set them up to go to the dances together and the romance blossomed from there. Lois was $300 in debt and Ford was $500 in debt, but they rolled up their sleeves and began their new family life. Ford Porter adopted little Butch Wendt and he was most adored, loved and spoiled by his new siblings, Mike, Carl, Earl and his only sister Lois Porter.
Butch participated in the Rawhide Pageant beginning when he was very young. His mother Lois, was an avid player in the beginning of the pageant and wrote, directed and acted in the pageants early years. She was the secretary and so Butch was always in every performance. Ford would use his team Sam and Prince for the show. This team loved to perform and they would slide the wagon in front of the grandstands with Lois driving. Bill Magoon and Ford would hold the horses still from the excitement and then Butch and his dad would jump on the back of the tailgate and off they would go. Ford would often be concerned with the safety for Lois and so one year he replaced Sam and Prince with Lois’s team Dime and King. They were a better team, but had no showmanship. The letters came pouring in. People wanted to know where the hell were the white team? Sam and Prince were immediately put back into the pageant. Butch always remembered those years fondly. He and some of his family and friends attended the 50th anniversary of the Lusk Rawhide Pageant in 1996 and there he purchased a commemorative belt buckle. He wore that belt buckle all the time and was very proud of it. His daughters chose to bury him with that buckle.
On Aug. 5, 1949, Butch lost his brother, Mike, to a car accident. Mike, along with his brothers Earl and Carl, were all WWII Veterans. He would send letters home to Lois and Ford and PeeWee. That was his pet name for Butch. Butch was only 10 and it was a great devastation for him.
Butch excelled at school and was involved in the Future Farmers of America and he also lettered several years in football. He belonged to the Pronghorn Motorcycle Club and graduated from Glenrock in May of 1957. He enlisted the same month with his dear friend Kenny Miller and several others to the 461st Engineer Company U.S. Army Reserves. In 1960 he graduated from the Fort Carson non-commissioned officers academy.
In May of 1960, Butch became a godfather. The baby wasn’t born yet, but Kenny and Bonnie Miller made him the godfather of the baby that was to be born in January of 1961. He was very proud of little Shane Miller and looked after him the rest of his life.
That year was quite busy and when he started dating a girl who had picked him up in the car lot with her friends, one thing led to another. On Oct. 7, 1961, he was married to Linda Jonelle “Cookie” Wolter in Casper. She was a beautiful 16-year-old girl who came from a good family and they were all quite smitten with Butch. Her family owned Wolter’s Bakery in Casper and everybody loved that bakery and the old family recipes, hence, her nickname ‘Cookie’. On Feb. 14, 1963, their first daughter, Venus Valene was born. They were living on Brigham Young Street in Casper when three years later their second daughter, Yolanda Lynn was born on June 15, 1966.
A few months later, Butch was transferred to the AMSA #22 in Denver, Colo. There they purchased the home in Aurora that he would live in the rest of his life. Their family grew again on Oct. 8, 1970 when Lillian Jocinda was born. Butch, never wanting an odd number of children, made sure that Lori Ann was born on Sept. 5, 1971. He raised his daughters to be kind, honest and to treat people with respect. He was proud of them and treated them very good, but when they deserved a spanking, they got it!
A few days after that little Lori Ann was born, the only father that Butch had ever known passed away from a stroke in Casper while driving his car. It was a bittersweet time for Butch. He had his beautiful baby girl, but his Dad didn’t get to see her. They buried Ford in Lusk so he would be at home forever.
Butch retired from the Army on May 9, 1989 and immediately set about to the busiest person one could imagine. He became a member of the Masonic Lodge in Aurora and he threw himself in with gusto and volunteered to every and any project there was to do. His family was proud and very pleased to attend the many functions he participated in and accompanied him to many events. He was the Grand Master of the Aurora Lodge in 1998 and had just been elected two weeks before passing to be the Grand Master of the Nevadaville Lodge. His work and his kindness will never be forgotten by any lodge he was a part of his lodge brothers’ lives are forever touched by him.
On June 9, 1996, he again lost a brother. This time though, they had shared a lifetime together. Earl lived in Colorado and their families visited often. Earl loved to crochet and had made each of Butch’s girls a beautiful afghan for them to keep forever. He left them a legacy.
His mother, Lois, passed away Jan. 12, 2004. She along with her husband Ford, and their two sons, are all buried in Lusk. They are on the hillside with the sun shining through the trees in the early morning and the whistle of the train coming through at all hours.
Papa Porter was the love of his family’s life. All four girls and their families couldn’t do anything without him. They all lived close to Papa Porter and Grandma Cookie. He gave away each one of his daughter’s hands in marriage to a man that he had to approve of first. That was not an easy task and you couldn’t pull one over on him! He was also at the hospital when every baby was born or shortly thereafter. He was an important mainstay and they looked to him for advice, companionship, education and recreation. There wasn’t much he couldn’t do or didn’t know about. He taught all of his son-in-laws many valuable lessons and they all treasure that. He loved to have family gatherings, go camping, motorcycle riding, rebuild cars and four-wheelers, and boss everybody around. What Dad says, goes! He owned a John Deere tractor that his mother proudly gave him as a birthday present one year and subsequently he collected many John Deere items over the years. His hobbies included, but were not limited to- sewing upholstery, sudoku puzzles, playing cards, playing games on the computer, visiting all of his friends and family, rebuilding antique cars, remodeling homes, businesses & garages, going to auctions, telling stories, and smoking cigarettes!
John is survived by his dear wife of 47 years, Cookie. His loving daughters, Valene Brandt (John), Lynn Strobel (Steve), Lillian Porter (Dong Lee), and Lori Talley (Greg- passed away April 8, 2007). Papa Porter has six handsome grandsons - Daniel and Justin Brandt - Dakota and Austin Talley - Damon Strobel and Cooper Lee. Papa has one beautiful adoring granddaughter, Daisy Strobel. Two little great-grandsons - Dante and Ashton Brandt follow this up. His loving and devoted brother, Carl Porter and his family and his only sister, Lois Walberg and her family survive him. His Aunt Della Siekert and Aunt Edith Hoffman and their families also both survive him and he has many numerous loving nieces and nephews, faithful friends, and many others who just liked to be around him! John has a place in many hearts and all are blessed to have known him!
John “Butch” Porter was laid to rest on New Years Eve day at the Fairmount Cemetery in Denver, Colo.
Memorials or stories may be mailed to: Valene Brandt, 11190 Elati Street Northglenn, CO. 80234-3924
Or please share them online for all to see at: http://www.legacy.com/Denver/GB/GuestbookView.aspx?PersonId=121894768
All memorials, stories, and thoughts are greatly appreciated by his family. We are touched by your sympathy. Paid Obituary
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