Betty Jane (Dennis) Porte
Betty, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, & great-grandmother passed away peacefully surrounded by her family at Riverside Apartments, January 11, 2016.
She was born on December 29, 1928 to Clark and Marion (Tompkins-Anderson) Dennis of Coleman. She attended Coleman High School and graduated in 1948.
On August 12, 1950 Betty married Peter Max Porte and they enjoyed 42 years of marriage. Betty graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science and near completion of Master’s Degree. In Betty’s youth, she worked in Mt. Pleasant at the hospital and in Midland for Dow Chemical. During the youth of her children, she spent her time nurturing and forming their lives. Betty loved raising her seven children and provided humor and hospitality for their friends. She was fondly referred to as Mrs. P during the “Happy Days” era of Mrs. C. She encouraged her children to become strong & independent people. She taught her family to work hard and keep moving in times of trouble. One of her grandchildren said her house was “like a small city inside of a house”. She and the kids grew vegetable gardens at her parents’ farm and they spent the summer canning the harvest. Each summer they traveled to Diamond Lake for vacation, went on camping outings and made a memorable trek to Washington D.C.
She was a substitute teacher at Coleman Schools, taught remedial reading & adult education. She was a member of St. Philip Neri participating in chicken dinners and altar society. She was a Girl Scout leader, delivered Meals on Wheels, and fruit baskets to church parishioners. She was on the board for County Connection. Upon the death of her husband, Pete in 1992, Betty volunteered at the Sisters of Charity in Paterson, NJ & traveled into New York City. She spent many hours tending to numerous flower gardens and traveled in the U.S.
Surviving are her daughters Ann MacCord (Kalamazoo), Madeline Bahling (Auburn), Dolores Porte (Sanford), Donna (Kelly) Babcock (Coleman), Emily (Tim) Gross (Grand Rapids) and son Pete (Debra) Porte (Lake Havasu, AZ), son-in-law Dan Leppanen (Marquette), sister Doris (Ron) McNea (Harrison) and brother Don (Kasey) Dennis (Coleman), sister-in-law Shirley Dennis (Coleman), lifelong friend Etta Ruth Brugger & extended family Danny (Lorraine) Eurich. She has 17 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren & numerous nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband Pete and daughter Rita Leppanen (Marquette), her brothers Art Anderson, Carl (Mary) Anderson, Bill (Laura) Anderson and Calvin Dennis; her sisters Ellen (Ivan) Dutcher, Marion (Raymond) Davis and extended family, Ray Eurich.
We would like to thank numerous caregivers for making Betty’s last few years eventful and fun-Jennifer Laskowski, Sandy Swift and Doris Lamblin as well as many others who touched her life at Riverside.
Calling hours and memorial services will be held at St. Philip Neri in Coleman. Friends may call from 3-7 p.m. on Friday January 15 and funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday. Friends may call from 9-10 a.m. with Father Schabel officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Coleman Athletic Association and Coleman Family Center. O’Laughlin Funeral Home, Inc. is assisting the family with arrangements.