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Obituary (MA): Porter Lewis Jr. '60

Posted on 04/23/2018

U.S. Navy Commander Porter Lewis Jr. (retired) of Yarmouth Port, died at his home on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, surrounded by his loving wife, Cecile "Boo"; his children, Elizabeth, Madeleine, John and Martin; and his beloved standard poodle, "Sampson." He is also survived by his sisters, Barbara and Carol; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

At age 15, Porter met the love of his life at church and soon after he and Boo played the villain and heroine respectively in Henning Nelms melodrama "Only an Orphan Girl"; and their fate was sealed. Porter and Boo's courtship was legendary among Naval Academy midshipmen of the day, and a mere three days after graduation from the Naval Academy, on June 11, 1960, they were married at Christ Church Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

He earned a bachelor of science degree from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. and later earned his master's degree in communications from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif.

Commander Lewis began his 25 year career as a submarine officer serving on both diesel attack (SS) and nuclear ballistic missile (SSBN) submarines and later served in a variety of tours including OPNAV in the Pentagon; CinCUSNAVEUR in London, England; and COMSUBGRU TWO in Groton. The pinnacle tour in his career was serving as the commanding officer of U.S. Naval Communications Station United Kingdom in Northern Scotland from 1978 to 1981; he retired from naval service in 1985.

Upon retirement from the Navy, Porter decided to be his own boss as a small business advisor which led to his becoming an IRS enrolled agent and starting a successful tax preparation business. In 2001, he and Boo decided to retire to Cape Cod, Mass. where he was able to fully engage his three lifelong passions – his church, painting and travel.

Porter was a parishioner and vestry member of St. James Episcopal Church, New London from 1984 to 2001 and then became a member of Christ Church Episcopal, Harwich Port, Mass. He served many pivotal roles at Christ Church Episcopal including; vestry member, licensed lay Eucharistic minister, senior warden and choir member. Porter also committed many years of selfless service with Samaritans as a suicide prevention hotline volunteer.

In his early years, Porter was an avid runner and his crowning athletic achievement was completing the 1983 London Marathon strongly "in the middle of the pack." In retirement, he immersed himself in his love of painting and produced numerous works depicting landscapes from his and Boo's world-wide travel as well as local images of "Cape Life." Porter shared (and even sold!) his work at numerous bazaars and art shows, and was a member of the Chatham Guild of Artists and Eastwind Studio and Gallery in Orleans, Mass.

Porter and Boo shared a passion for travel in retirement and enjoyed many cruises including a once-in-a-lifetime 90-day Pacific Rim cruise. However, the highlight of their travel adventures was when they shared their cruise experiences with their children and grandchildren; taking them to exotic locales like Alaska, Bermuda and Mexico.

Porter Lewis lived his life as God's servant with passion, energy and an abundance of love. He will be missed by the many many friends and family members whose lives he touched.

Friends of Porter are invited to join his family for a funeral service to be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 23, 2018, at Christ Church Episcopal, 671 MA-28, Harwich Port, MA 02646 (reception in the church hall to follow).

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Church Episcopal.

Words of comfort may be made to his family at

Published in The Day on Apr. 20, 2018