Cover photo for Lonnie Porter's Obituary
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1940 Lonnie 2021

Lonnie Porter

August 1, 1940 — December 10, 2021

North Providence

On Friday December 10, 2021, Lonnie Joe Porter, 81 of North Providence, RI, passed from his life to his eternal life with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was the beloved husband of Nancy (Mitchell) Porter for 60 years. Joe, as he was known by all, was born in Easley, SC on August 1,1940 to the late Waddie and Hallie (Richey) Porter. He was predeceased by his 5 siblings, Mary Lou Knighton, Marlene Polofsky, Roger Porter, Donald Porter, and Karen Bagwell.

Joe served our country in both the Army and Navy for a total of 6 years, 4 of which he performed duties as a cook for the Navy. He faced combat in Cuba during The Bay of Pigs Invasion and was in active duty serving a tour on the Mediterranean Sea. While stationed at Quonset Point, RI, he met the love of his life, Nancy, while roller skating on New Years Eve 1960, and in just 5 short months they were married. While stationed in Norfolk, VA, they started their family with the birth of their daughter Robin. After his discharge, they made their home in RI, where their family grew adding 2 sons, Curtis and Craig.

For 4 years, Joe’s next career was working along side his father-in-law as a blacksmith. He then returned to his profession of being a cook for RI Hospital, Golden Crest and Bay Tower Nursing Homes, where he became a food service manager. He also worked at Harmony Hill School, where he not only cooked, but was a mentor to many who attended there. He loved country, bluegrass, and gospel music, and singing along while playing his guitar. After many years of hard work, he retired in 2007 to enjoy being grandpa to his 3 grandsons and any child that came to know him. He also loved entertaining his family, reading his Bible, and serving his Lord.

He was a long time member of Greater RI Baptist Temple where he taught Sunday School and was known to the children as Mr. Porter, the "Candy Man.” He loved to participate and cook for church functions. He and his wife would open their home to anyone in need. He later became a member of Grace Bible Church where he ushered and served with many life long friends. He then followed his family to Cranston Christian Fellowship/Hope Church where he was also an usher, greeting everyone with a warm hello and bright smile on his face. It was there he found his true passion, telling everyone he came in contact with, whether family, friends, or perfect strangers that “You Matter to me, my church, and to God”. Joe also loved to volunteer his time sharing the gospel and serving “breakfast for dinner” at the Providence Rescue Mission.

Joe is survived by his wife, Nancy (Mitchell) Porter, his daughter Robin Lapati and her husband, Ed, Curtis Porter and his wife, Jane, and Craig Porter and his wife, Stephanie, his grandsons Joshua Lapati, Mitchell Porter, and Jaxson Porter, many honorary “grandchildren” including Alena Nash, Nathan Nash, and Ethan Ferretti, his sister-in-law Susan Slade and her daughters Elizabeth and Heather, his aunt Mary Knight, several cousins, many nieces and nephews he considered his own children, as well as several great nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joe Porter’s memory to Hope Church for the elevator project.

His funeral service will be held on Saturday at 10 am in Hope Church, 1114 Scituate Ave, Cranston. Burial with military honors will follow in Highland Memorial Park, Johnston. Calling hours Friday 5-8 pm. The family requests that visitors please wear a mask, whether vaccinated or not.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lonnie Porter, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, December 17, 2021

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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