Mr. Eddie Leon “Lee” Porter, age 77 years, of Jefferson City, Mo. passed away peacefully Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at his home.
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Mr. Porter was called many names throughout his life: Eddie, Eddie Leon, Lee, Dad, Pops, Grandpa, friend, trooper, a legendary firearm instructor, mentor, outdoorsman or a decorated war veteran. In all those roles, he will be remembered for his selfless personality that was also ornery with good intentions. He was a man you always wanted in your corner and in a tough situation, he was one that you could count on to do the right thing by standing up for his family and peers.
Lee was born on February 24, 1943 in Poplar Bluff, Mo. a son of Curtis Lee and Mildred (Barber) Porter. In 1966, he married Carolyn Graves in Hawaii and to this marriage his two daughters were born. In 1979, he married Sandra Smith in Holts Summit and to this union his son was born. He was later married on December 30, 2006 in Holts Summit, Mo. to Brenda Joyce Burd, who survives.
Lee grew up in Texas and graduated from William Adams High School in Alice, Tx. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Texas A&I College in Kingsville, Tx.
After college he proudly served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War until he was honorably discharge in 1969 as a Sergeant. While in Vietnam, he was worked with Army intelligence under the MACV-SOG, 525th Division, 27th regiment stationed in Cu Chi Vietnam. From his service in Vietnam, Lee was awarded a bronze star.
He was employed with the Missouri State Highway Patrol from 1969 until he retired as a Sergeant in 1996. He began his career on the road as a trooper in Nevada, Mo. until he was transferred to Jefferson City, where he spent the majority of his career at Troop F and the Headquarter Office. He worked undercover in the narcotics unit for many years and was a firearms instructor at the Highway Patrol Academy. During his tenure he was a member of the Highway Patrol Troopers Association.
He loved teaching Kempo Karate, riding his motorcycle and going to the gun range because he was an excellent marksman. Lee was an avid outdoorsman, and preferred to be outside with his family: camping, hunting, and fishing. He took great pride in making his Oak log home in Holts Summit and the time that went into cutting the trees to make it possible. Lee was a guy that enjoyed a good conversation with anyone and truly listened to others stories.
Survivors include: his loving wife, Brenda Porter; three children, Leslie Wilhelmsen (husband Ronnie) of Sarpsborg, Norway, Stacey Fischer (husband Devin) of Russellville, Mo. and Clayton Porter (wife Kristi) of Shakopee, Minn.; three step-children, Joe Kemple (wife Kristen) of St. Louis, Mo., Lance Smith of Kansas City, Mo. and Corey James of St. Louis, Mo.; four grandchildren, Emily Kemple, Riley Kemple, Michael Wilhelmsen and Hanna Wilhelmsen; six step-grandchildren, Kailey, Kent, Klaire, Kirk, Issac and Oscar; three nieces, Julie Porter, Tiffany Porter, and Lisa; and many beloved friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one brothers, Danny Cole Porter; and an infant brother, Curtis Marshall Porter.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a private celebration of life service will be held in the Freeman Chapel. Graveside services and interment with follow at Riverview Cemetery.
A webcast of his celebration of life will begin at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 29, 2020, for friends to view by going to the "photos and videos" tab on this memorial page and scrolling down to the link. Friends may mail sympathy cards to the funeral home or leave condolences online to be given to his family.
Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 5:00 until 7:00 PM Monday, July 6, 2020. Graveside services with military honors will be held at 2:00 PM Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at Riverview Cemetery. The public is welcome to attend while following social distancing guidelines and welcomed and encouraged to wear personal masks or other personal protective equipment while in attendance.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Central Missouri Honor Flight, P.O. Box 334, Columbia, Mo. 65203 or the Missouri Association of State Troopers Emergency Relief Society "The MASTERS", 780 County Road 383, Whitewater, Mo. 63785.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Freeman Mortuary, 915 Madison Street, Jefferson City, Mo. 65101.