Darrel James Porter
March 15, 1935 – March 24, 2018
Darrel Porter passed away March 24, 2018 at the Albany Mennonite Home. He was 83 years old and his passing was from late stage Parkinson’s disease and a hip fracture.
Darrel was born March 15, 1935 in Albany, Oregon. He was the son of Roy Porter and Lylith Grate Porter. He married Jane Lynne Gallant in 1966. They had two daughters; Daralyn Jean Porter and Barbara JoAnn Porter.
Darrel was a hard worker and put in full days on the family farm at the age of 12 years. He got his start in farming by raising pigs in his teen years while attending high school. After graduating, he worked various jobs until he went north to Seattle and took a job at Boeing Aircraft. While at Boeing, he purchased a small farm on the Green River and again proceeded to raise pigs. The winter flooding dashed his plans for that property.
His next venture was a feed store in Kent, Washington. He made several improvements to the store and opened a small retail nursery. There was a demand for hay, so he bought a truck and trailer to expand his business. While Janet tended the store, he made several trips a week to eastern Washington, hauling hay to his store and customers in the area.
After working long hours, seven days a week, there must be something better for him and his family. Darrel next bought a fishing resort on Spectacle Lake in Northern Washington for a slightly slower pace. Due to the short fishing season, he supplemented the family income by working in the off season. He drove truck and worked for a local apple packing company.
He sold the resort and moved back to Albany. Darrel owned a gasoline station for a while before purchasing a farm on Oakville Road. His first venture was planting a peach orchard. While waiting for the peach trees to produce, he started growing tomatoes. He sold them at local farmer’s markets and along the highway at the coast and in Bend. He would sell a whole pickup load in 2 or 3 hours. He later bought another farm and planted it and part of the original farm with hazelnuts. In the off season, Darrel drove freight truck for most of the years he farmed in Albany. He also drove a street sweeper and cut and sold firewood.
Darrel’s hobbies were few. For a few years, he went gold mining in southern Oregon. He also enjoyed going to auctions, especially tractor auctions. If a tractor sold low, he would purchase it, fix it up a little, and then resell it for a profit. He also liked to take 1 or 2-day road trips by himself to see sites in Oregon that he was interested in. Working on his farm was probably his real hobby.
Darrel served his country in the National Guard for a few years.
Darrel was inflicted with Parkinson’s disease for the last 25+ years. He attended Parkinson’s meetings and tried to learn all he could about the disease. He was convinced that exercise was the key to slowing down the progression of the disease. He hiked and rode his bicycle regularly in the early years.
Darrel is survived by the mother of his children, Janet Gallant. He is also survived by his daughter Barbara JoAnn and her husband William Schorzman; grandchildren Couper and Chase Schorzman; brothers Donald, Bill and Lester; four nieces; and four nephews.
Darrel’s daughter Daralyn Jean Porter preceded him in death.
He was laid to rest at Willamette Memorial Park in Millersburg on April 3, 2018.
P.S. Two days before Darrel’s death, he told some of his family that he was going to purchase a hay truck and start hauling hay again. So up in heaven, if you see a hay truck flying by, that’s probably Darrel.