Jean Eloise Steele Porter passed away on June 26, at the age of 90.
Jean was born in Knox County, Ill. in September, 1924. She grew up among aunts, uncles, grandparents and lots of cousins. She was the fifth child among six siblings: Kenneth (who died at age three) William, Charles, Alice (Furman) and Roger Steele.
Jean attended the first eight grades in school in DeLong, Ill. before the family moved to Galesburg, where she attended three years of high school.
Jean’s parents, William and Eva Steele, came to Whidbey Island in July of 1941 when Jean’s older brother was stationed at Fort Casey.
Jean completed her senior year at Langley High School.
She married high school sweetheart Omer K. Porter in December 1942 after graduation. The couple had four children: Sharon Goodwin (Jerry), Suzanne Mezo (Randy), Kenneth Porter and Keith (Jacqui) Porter.
Jean attended the Church of Christian Fellowship on Saratoga Road, which later became the Langley Christian and Missionary Alliance Church before relocating. The church is now known as the Island Church of Whidbey.
Jean was a charter member of the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church.
She was active in the church quilting group, which made quilts for the students at the Alaska Bible Institute; Child Evangelism Fellowship “Good News Clubs”; and in Jr. Church programs, as well as starting the church library with Pastor Russ Smith.
Jean worked in the library for 25 years.
She also made a great number of quilts for family members, baby showers and for the Good Cheer Thrift Store.
Jean became involved with Good Cheer as a volunteer in 1971 and worked in various positions, including assistant manager in 1975 and 1980. She remained involved with the store until retiring in 2006 when she was no longer able to drive due to poor eyesight. She then sorted materials for the store, which were brought to her by special delivery, at her home.
Jean was a creative person with her quilting, oil and watercolor paintings and homemade Christmas cards.
She was a member of the Home-Makers group for several years.
She loved games — Scrabble, dominoes, card games; and she was very competitive.
She also participated in fishing, clamming, camping and beachcombing with the family, and enjoyed traveling to many states.
Her friend, Don, helped to take care of the family farm for several years, mowing, pruning trees, picking fruit and keeping up the garden.
Jean stayed on the farm for 63 and a half years before moving to Maple Ridge in 2012.
There, she enjoyed playing bingo, pinochle and Boggle, as well as card games with the girls during their monthly visit.
Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Omer, in 1993, several months after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary; and by five siblings.
Surviving family members include her four children and their respective spouses; four grandchildren, Liana and Doug Mezo, Kevin Porter and Micah Goodwin; a step-granddaughter, Colleen Chakos (Gene); four great-grandchildren, Keaghan Mezo, Brynn and Finley Bogosian and Isaac Goodwin; five step great-grandchildren; four step great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 2 at Visser Funeral Home.