Richard Arthur Porter, 73, of Orr’s Island, Maine, embarked on his final journey to his eternal reward on November 5, 2023. Born on September 21, 1950, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Robert and Ruth Porter, Richard, at the age of 10, moved with his parents to his beloved Orr’s Island home. He attended the Harpswell Islands school and graduated in 1968 from Brunswick High School, where he excelled in football and the track team. Richard then chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and attended The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, majoring in Education and becoming a member of the Summerall Guard in his senior year.
Graduating in 1972 with a degree in secondary education, Richard initiated his teaching career in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1975, he earned a master’s degree in education from The Citadel. Known as “Mr. P” to his students, he dedicated 36 years to the Berkley County school system in South Carolina, teaching science at Cainhoy High School and Hanahan High School. In 1990, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching, recognizing his commitment to excellence in teaching, devotion to the learning needs of students that exemplify American education at its finest.
In 1980, during one of his summer adventures, Richard met Donna Jean Williams in Columbia, Tennessee. After a year of long-distance romance, they married on June 12, 1981, celebrating 42 years of marriage last June. Their union brought two children, Robert James Porter (born January 8, 1984) and Catheryne Jeanne Porter (born September 14, 1986).
Beyond teaching, Richard immersed himself in the Scottish Highland games, evolving from a professional athlete to a judge and notably serving as the director of athletics for the Charleston Highland games for two decades. He participated in countless games in the United States and even had the opportunity to participate in Glasgow, Scotland. As he got older, he found it was easier to hold a clipboard rather than throw heavy things.
He was an active member of the Lord’s Church, taking on roles as a teacher and deacon. In Charleston, he and Donna initiated an outreach ministry for out-of-state students at The Citadel, offering them respite and support. Inspired by his retirement and love for God and country, Richard co-founded “Coffee for the Troops” in 2013, a collaborative effort with the Brunswick Church of Christ to send coffee and snacks to deployed American forces. Over 3,000 boxes have been sent to troops worldwide since the program’s inception, with Wicked Joe Organic Coffees in Topsham, Maine, as a key partner.
Survived by his wife, Donna, and son, Robert Porter of Cookeville, Tennessee. Richard also leaves behind chosen children, daughter-in-law Brandy Porter and son-in-law Gee Santos of Maumelle, Arkansas, and half-brother Ray Miller of Philadelphia, PA. He leaves 3 grandchildren: Colton Porter, Bennett Porter and Evie Porter of Cookeville, Tennessee.
He is predeceased by his parents Robert and Ruth Porter, daughter Catheryne Porter Santos, and half-brother Robert Miller.
A service in Richard’s honor will take place on Saturday, November 11, 2023, at Brackett Funeral Home in Brunswick, Maine, with visitation starting at 1:00 PM and the service at 2:00 PM. Interment will follow at Orr’s Island Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Brunswick Church of Christ, Jordan Avenue, Brunswick, Maine, or Coffee for our Troops c/o Brunswick Church of Christ with “Coffee for our Troops” in the memo line.