Thomas Porter, 92, of Madisonville passed away Sunday, June 10, 2018, at Baptist Health Madisonville. He was born April 1, 1926, to the late Eva Bell Porter and Claud Porter. Porter grew up in Nebo and attended Madisonville High School where he was elected captain of the basketball and football teams as well as serving as senior class president.
Immediately following graduation, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. As a Marine, he was awarded the Purple Heart from his injuries in the brutal Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. Later in life, he also assisted as Military Draft Board member in Hopkins County. He was the founder and coach of grade school basketball programs in Nebo and enjoyed youth sports throughout his life. Porter also was a longtime Sunday school teacher and generous supporter of First Baptist Church in Madisonville.
Porter led the ag community in many capacities such as board member of the Soil Conversation District. There he led the innovation into no-till farming that now is a standard practice in agriculture. He also held office as president of Farm Bureau and for his farming acumen, he has been recognized by his alma mater, the University of Kentucky, as well as Madisonville Chamber of Commerce and other ag entities for his outstanding accomplishments as a farmer. As a community leader, Porter helped spearhead the group who established the Nebo Water District. This foresight resulted in affordable municipal drinking water for all of the Nebo community and the surrounding areas. Most of all, he is remembered as a devoted husband, admired dad, and proud (great) grandfather. Porter leaves a legacy of service to others.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Mary D. Oates, Emmabelle Leasure and Lora Lillian Lowrance; and his grandson, Seth Thomas Porter.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Kathleen Porter; sons Claud Porter and wife Karen of Owensboro, Tom Porter Jr. of Madisonville, Rob Porter of Bowling Green, John Porter and wife Christi of Madisonville and Dr. David Allen Porter and wife Terri of Indianapolis; 16 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
The service will be 2 p.m. Saturday in the chapel of Harris Funeral Home in Madisonville with Brother Jim McMurtrie officiating. Military honors will be conducted at the funeral by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Hopkins County Honor Guard. Burial will be in Nebo Cemetery at a later date. The visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday and from noon to the funeral hour Saturday at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made in Thomas' memory to the Christian Food Bank of Hopkins County or the Salvation Army. Condolences may be made to the family at www.harrisfuneralinc.com.