header 1
header 2
header 3

In Memory Of Our Poets

Walter Howard Porter (1935-2017) - Class Of 1953

Nov 26, 2017, Opelika Auburn News

February 2, 1935 - November 15, 2017, Walter Howard Porter, 83, died peacefully on November 15, 2017.

Walter was born February 2, 1935, in Montgomery, Alabama to the late Katherine and William B. Porter. Walter was seven when his father died and his mother provided amazing love and care for him and his brother, the late William B. Porter, Jr.

After graduation from Sidney Lanier High School in 1953, Walter served in the U.S. Army, returning to graduate from Auburn University and Louisville Baptist Seminary.

Walter is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Mary Lynn. Other survivors include his niece Laura Kolaric and her husband, Joe, and great-nieces, Caroline and Elizabeth; his nephew, Steven Porter and his wife, Marianne, and great-nephews, Matthew and Adam; and favorite cousin, Mary Ann Baltzer.

Walter was a good man, a man of uncommon common sense, with straight talk and dependable advice. Associates and friends did not doubt the strength, discernment, and resolve of a Walter Porter decision. He was a defender of the least of us and an opponent of those who would deprive anyone of their civil rights.

He was a religious man, in the best sense of the word. His religion provided an intellectual framework for his faith in the eternal mystery of God. His calling was as a minister to college students; first at Valdosta State College in Georgia for eight years, and then at Auburn University for ten years.

Walter formed lifelong relationships with many of these students and continued to provide challenge, comfort, and love in equal measure. The 14 students, who spent 10 weeks with the Porters building a church in Cherokee, North Carolina, in 1966, continue to gather each year.

After building a home at Lake Martin for Mary Lynn and himself, he served students at Auburn High School for 14 years. While living in the Union Community at Lake Martin he worked with the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department and the Indian Shores Property Owners Association.

Through the years, Walter played a pivotal role with Mary Lynn in loving and caring for young children, three of whom became his "grandboys."

Walter was a member of Auburn First Baptist Church for 55 years, serving as a deacon, trustee, choir member and Sunday school teacher.

Walter and Mary Lynn opened their homes and their hearts to those who came their way; and in so doing, lived the two greatest commandments: to love God and to love others as themselves.

A memorial service for Walter will be held at Auburn First Baptist Church on Sunday, December 3 at 2:00 p.m., officiated by Dr. Tripp Martin, Pastor. Visitation will begin one hour before the service in the sanctuary vestibule.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

The College Student Ministry
Auburn First Baptist Church
128 East Glenn Avenue
Auburn Alabama 36830