WORCESTER, Mass. - Bernard M. "Ben" Porter, 91, of 475 Chandler St., died peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, on Monday, April 30. His wife of 66 years, Doris (Coblentz) Porter died on June 14, 2008.
He leaves four children, Steven Porter and his wife Rosine of Reno, Nevada, Eric Porter and his lifelong friend Diane DeCiccio of Leiceter, Harri-Ann Porter wife of John Brooks of Hardwick and David Porter and his wife Elizabeth of Northborough; 10 grandchildren, Tiffany Kolander, Christine Adams of Colorado, Ananda Bena-Webber of New York City, Alisan Porter Autenrieth of California, Rebecca and Jacob Porter of West Millbury, Lee-Anne and William Porter of Northborough, Ashley Brooks of Charleston, SC, and Josiah Brooks of Nantucket and two great grandsons, Michael Scionti and Maverick Kolander, both of Colorado; a brother-in-law, Bernard Coblentz and his wife Joan of West Boylston; two sisters-in-law, Sandra Coblentz of California and Aileen Porter of Worcester; eight nieces and nephews, Hollis and Hope Coblentz, Ellen Leavitt, Melvin and Judy Porter, Candy Porter, Sherry Shamash and Hal Coblentz. He was predeceased by his brothers, Harold and David Porter and a brother-in-law, Ken Coblentz.
He was born in Worcester and was a son of Louis and Gussie (Levy) Porter.
He was a graduate of Classical High School where he served on every class reunion over a period of 70 years. He also graduated from Franklin institute in Boston.
He served in the Navy during WWII and the Korean War. He saw action in Attu, Iwo Jima and in Okinawa. He proudly saw the American Flag lifted on Mount Suribachi. He was acting quartermaster for the Col. Irving Yarock Post #32 of the Jewish War Veterans and was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He was a pharmacist mate first class before he was honorably discharged. He was awarded the WWII Victory Medal, the American Theatre Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Medal-3 Stars, Amphibious Forces Insignia, Good Conduct Medal and the Philippines Liberation Medal.
For many years he owned and operated the Holden Pharmacy with his brother Dave, and for 40 years he had been a travel agent with Valley Travel in Holden, and of late, with Travel Solutions in Westborough. In October of 2008, he led his last travel group to Ireland for the Wexford Opera Festival. He also led 76 cruises, almost all with groups.
He was a member of Temple Emanuel for over 55 years, a life member of the Retired Men's Club of Greendale, of which in 1964 he started the Club's Travel Program. He was a board member and past president of Opera Worcester, a member of Rufus Putnam Lodge of Masons in Rutland, the Scottish Rites of Worcester and Boston, Aleppo Shiners Lodge of Wilmington and Worcester County Shrine Club. He was a member of the Greendale YMCA for 50 years. He had been a Past President of the Massachusetts State Pharmacy Association.
He was happy to give sermons at the Genoa Community Church in Nevada, where his son Steven lived. Over the years he enjoyed golfing, tennis and hunting.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 3, in Temple Emanuel, 280 May St., under the direction of Richard Perlman of Brezniak-Rodman Funeral Home of Newton. Burial will be in B'Nai Brith Cemtery.
Memorial observance will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 3 at the Jewish Healthcare Center, 629 Salisbury St. Memorial observance will continue on Friday, May 4 at hours to be announced at Temple Emanuel, 280 May St.
Memorial contributions may be made to Temple Emanuel, 280 May St., Worcester 01602, the Jewish Healthcare Center, 629 Salisbury St., Worcester 01609, or the church of your choice.