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Obituary (SC): Thomas John Porter '66

Posted on 09/10/2018

Rear Admiral Thomas John Porter, USN (Ret.), 74, husband of Carol McLendon Porter entered into eternal rest on Saturday, August 25, 2018 in Charleston, SC after a heart attack followed by complications. Tom was born in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, on January 20th, 1944, son of the late John Russell Porter and the late Dorothy Vaughn Porter. Tom attended high school in Alma, Michigan, entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1962, and graduated near the top of his class in 1966. On March 20th, 1971, Tom married Carol McLendon of Charleston, SC at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Their son, Scott, was born September 9th, 1980. Upon graduation, Tom attended Submarine School in Groton, Connecticut, then Naval Nuclear Power School in Bainbridge, Maryland and Prototype training in Schenectady, New York. His first sea tour was aboard USS ETHAN ALLEN (SSBN-608) in 1968 serving as Electrical Division/Reactor Control Officer until 1970. After qualifying in submarines and completing engineering officer qualification, he reported to Submarine School as an Instructor in the Engineering Department and then reported to fleet ballistic missile submarine USS STONEWALL JACKSON (SSBN-634 Gold) in December 1972 as Navigator/Operations Officer until February 1976. He then assumed duty as Assistant to the Quality Assurance Officer, Supervisor of Shipbuilding Conversion and Repair at Groton until being selected as an Engineering Duty Officer and reporting to Pennsylvania State University in June 1976. He earned a Masters Degree in Nuclear Engineering with a minor in Industrial Engineering, graduating in 1977. For his next tour, Tom reported to Mare Island, CA Naval Shipyard where he served as a Nuclear Ship Superintendent for USS HADDOCK (SSN-621) and USS SEAWOLF (SSN-575), Project Officer for Submarine NR-1, Senior Ship Superintendent for the refueling overhaul of USS POGY (SSN-647), and Assistant Repair Officer. He then reported to Submarine Squadron Four in Charleston, South Carolina, in October 1981 as Repair Officer on USS FRANK CABLE (AS-40). In June 1984, he reported to Charleston Naval Shipyard as Repair Officer and completed the Senior Executive Program at Harvard University. Promoted to Captain in May 1987, he reported to Commander Submarine Force, U. S. Atlantic Fleet, as Assistant Chief of Staff for Material. In April 1988, Tom returned to Mare Island Naval Shipyard as Production Officer until June 1989. This was followed by tour as Production Officer at Norfolk Naval Shipyard from 1989 until March 1991. Tom assumed command of the Charleston Naval Shipyard in Charleston, South Carolina, in March 1991 until June 1994. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in September 1994 and served as Deputy Commander for Naval Shipyards and SUPSHIP Field Activity Support, Naval Sea Systems Command until retirement in 1997. In this role, he maintained oversight for all US Naval Shipyards and those civilian yards overseeing shipbuilding and repair. Tom's service decorations include the Legion of Merit, four (4) Meritorious Service Medals, two (2) Navy Commendation Medals, the Navy Achievement Medal, the National Defense Medal, two (2) Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation medals, and the Sea Service ribbon. After retirement, Tom worked as Defense Supply Chain Leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Management Consultants, and then Navy/USMC Team Leader for IBM in Northern, Virginia. For the last several years, he worked as an independent consultant in Charleston, SC. Tom and his wife Carol enjoyed international travel visiting five Continents as well as many European river cruises over the years. They were regulars with his 1966 Naval Academy classmates cheering for the Navy Football team at home games. He loved golf, and enjoyed special times playing around the world to include Scotland, Ireland, and England with his son, Scott. Tom's best friend was his son, Scott, and they referred to each as 'bestus buddies'. Tom was Scott's best man in his wedding. He was extremely proud of his grandsons and treasured the time spent with them over the last several years. Tom was a wonderful husband, an amazing Dad, Grandpa ("PaPa"), and friend. He had many true friends in his personal and professional life and was admired for his wonderful sense of humor and 'short stories'. Tom will be remembered by all for his kind heart, gentle spirit, and loving nature. Tom is survived by his wife Carol McLendon Porter of Folly Beach, SC; son, J. Scott Porter and wife, Krystal, and two grandchildren, Rhett Thomas Porter (5) and Reid McLendon Porter (2) of Charleston, SC. He was proceeded in death by his parents, and sisters, Paula and Katie. His funeral service will be held Friday, November 2, 2018 at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD at 10:30 a.m. Interment, Naval Academy Cemetery. There will be a reception following on campus in The Naval Academy Club at 12:00 p.m. Due to USNA campus security requests, parking needs and reception planning, please inform the family if you and guest will be in attendance. Please provide names of attendees to . This is sincerely appreciated. Memorials may be made to: Kali's Cure for Paralysis Foundation, 5475 Blue Heron Drive, Alma, MI 48801 or by visiting .