Donald "Wayne" Porter '68 July 1, 2022 11:59 AM updated: July 1, 2022 12:05 PM
April 12, 1946 - June 21, 2022
Donald Wayne Porter, 76, went to be with the Lord on June 21, 2022, passing away peacefully in his home after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Wayne was a man deeply committed to his Savior Jesus Christ, his family, his country, and his community.
Wayne was born on April 12, 1946, to Ralph and Nevada Porter. A Dalhart native, he was the third generation of Porters to farm and raise cattle here. As a young man, Wayne participated in the 4-H program, winning state in Farm and Ranch Management, placing high individual in livestock judging, and showing the Grand Champion steer. When he was 14 years old, Wayne and his father started the Angus herd that would become his life’s work. He graduated from Dalhart High School in 1964, then attended Texas A&M University, where he was a staff member of the First Battalion of the Corps of Cadets and served as a yell leader during his senior year. He graduated from A&M in 1968, with a degree in animal science.
After graduation, Wayne was drafted into the United States Army. He was on active duty in the Army from 1968 to 1972, and he eventually earned the rank of captain. He came to faith in Christ as a result of his involvement in the Vietnam War, where he flew helicopters as part of Apache troop 7/1 Air Cavalry, participating in more than 650 combat missions and earning several medals of distinction, including the Bronze Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After he returned to civilian life, he married Edith Chambers of Rule, Texas, on June 10, 1972, and they built a life together in his hometown of Dalhart. Wayne’s legacy of diligence, perseverance, and a pursuit of excellence lives on in his six children, who have each followed their parents’ example in walking with the Lord and serving others.
Wayne owned and operated Porter’s Grocery Store, the business that had belonged to his uncle and father for over 40 years. After closing the business, Wayne invested his efforts in breeding Angus cattle of the finest quality. In 1992, he was recognized as the Outstanding Farmer-Rancher of the Year, and in 2019, the American Angus Association awarded him the Historic Angus Award for 60 years of work in the cattle breeding industry.
In addition to his work, Wayne consistently served the community of Dalhart in a variety of ways. As the voice of the Dalhart Golden Wolves for more than 20 years, he was recognized as Fan of the Year in 1991. He also coached various youth sports and spoke at various Veterans Day events. He was a member of the XIT A&M Club, serving in various offices over the years. He was a committed servant at First Baptist Church of Dalhart, where he taught Sunday school and where he had served as a deacon since 1977. Wayne often said, “Dalhart is a great place to raise corn, cattle, and kids.”
Wayne never met a stranger. He was known for finding the best in a person and for treating others with hospitality and dignity. His love for the Lord guided him in life, and he was passionate about helping others come to know Jesus the way that he had.
Wayne is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Edith Chambers Porter; six children: Tara Green (Tag), of Dallas; Valerie Shell (Matt), of Georgetown; Donna, of Amarillo; Amber Reed (Will), of College Station; Magan, of Dallas; and Johnathan (Madison), of Dalhart; eleven grandchildren: Stephen Shell, Susannah Shell, Millie Reed, Meredith Shell, Skylar Reed, Allison Shell, Annie Reed, Emma Green, Luke Green, Porter Green, and Duke Porter; and two sisters: Diane Thompson, of Sanger; and Debbie Brennen (Jim), of Garland. He is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Nevada Porter, and his brother, Gary Porter, also of Dalhart.
A memorial service to honor Wayne’s life will be held at First Baptist Church of Dalhart on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. A graveside service with military honors will follow at Dalhart Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Wayne’s name to the Parkinson Voice Project at 646 North Coit Road, Suite 2250, Richardson, TX 75080, or at parkinsonvoiceproject.org/Donate.