Obituary for Richard W. Porter of Southern Pines

Lt. Col. Richard W. “Dick” Porter, 87, of Southern Pines, passed peacefully at St. Joseph of the Pines on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023 with his wife and daughter by his side.

Dick was born in Cedar Rapids, IA, on December 21st, 1935.  He was the son of the late Clarence and Edna Velva “Pat” Tatge Porter and the second eldest of six children; James, Richard, Janice, Pat, Robert and William.  Dick was an athlete and excelled in basketball, football, baseball and track & field.  He was Sr. Homecoming King and President of his of his Senior class at Tama Highschool, Tama, Iowa, class of 1953.  After his high school graduation, he went to University of IA for one year, then followed his family west to Phoenix, Arizona where he went on to earn his Bachelors’ in Philosophy at Arizona State University in 1957, at the same time, he earned his commission in the US Army.  Dick met Roz at ASU and they were married the same year on May 17, 1957. The Army took the couple across the US and abroad including Colorado, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Kentucky, North Carolina, California, Germany, Washington DC and New Mexico.  Dick excelled in his career as an Intelligence Officer, decorated in Vietnam (with the Army Accommodation Medal for Valor “ARCOM “V” for heroism), and as foreign area intelligence and signal officer, he specialized in the Russian language, and was given other awards and honors.  Dick retired at White Sands Missel Range and went on to serve our country for another 15 years in the Civil Service where he spent some time in Washington DC supporting New Mexico Senator, Pete Domenici.  Dick and Roz retired in Sneads Ferry, North Carolina in 1998 to be closer to their three children on the east coast. Always an athlete, Dick competed in the Senior Olympics for track and field and later in life loved chair volleyball.

Dick was dedicated to his family and beloved by all who knew him. Dick was the devoted husband of Rosalind “Roz” Porter for close to 66 years.  He was the father of Elizabeth Beth” Zavodny, husband Larry; Richard Ethan Porter, wife Polly, and Megan Grieshaber, husband Alfred.   Dick is survived by his 9 grandchildren: Jessica, John, Brittany, Amy, Nissa, Esteban, Hailey, Wyatt and Leann and 2 great grandchildren.  He is also survived by sister Pat Willett, husband John of California and Bill Porter, wife Norma of Texas.

A memorial and celebration of life service will be held at the Boles Funeral Home, 425 W. Pennsylvania Ave. Southern Pines, NC 28387 on Saturday May 6th, 2023 at 1 pm.

Online condolences may be made at

Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.

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