ISHPEMING, MI. - Joseph H. Porto, age 96, formerly of 820 Arthur St., Menasha, WI, and 8 Scenic Hills Dr., Marquette, MI, died Saturday, February 15, 2014 at Bell Memorial Hospital in Ishpeming, MI., under the tender, considerate and compassionate care of the emergency room and acute care staff there; especially the care of Joe's personal care-giver, Lynn Larson, who gave him the most exceptional and devoted care in the last 3 1/2 years of his life.
Joe was born January 28, 1918 in Neenah, WI, son of the late George and Maria (Navara) Porto. He had two brothers: Anthony and Salvatore; three sisters: Josephine, Madaline and Johanna; who all preceded him in death.
Joe married Ada Agnes Schommer, the love and anchor of his life, on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1938. Together they built their life through many struggles and hardships as well as many successes and good, treasured times. They loved travelling the U.S. and abroad. Their cottage on Big Bearskin Lake near Hazelhurst, WI, however, was their most favorite place to be. Ada died in August of 2008. They had a deep and abiding love for each other and now they can travel eternally, through eternity, together.
Together Joe and Ada had five children: Judith Shepherd, Marquette, MI, Thomas, Oshkosh, WI, James (Gayle), Racine, WI, Mary (Marshall) Johnson, Appleton, WI, and Christopher (Jane), Sarasota, FL.
From these five children came 19 grandchildren: Cindy Wiegand, Lusby, MD, Wendy Obroeckling, Dyersville, IA, Greggor Wiegand, Winchester, VA, Adam Shepherd, Dubuque, IA, Lesley Anne Maples, Dubuque, IA, Tracey Porto, Oshkosh, WI, Karen Van Horn, Fayetteville, AR, Keith Lee, Little Rock, AR, Daniel Kowal, Franklin, NC, Karen Zeuske, Hartland, WI, Sarah Kowal, River Falls, WI, Jessica Haven, Wauwatosa, WI, Jacquelyn Porto, Dallas, TX, Jillian Porto, Gainesville, FL, and Jamie Rae Porto, Tampa, FL. There are also 22 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter, Leigha Wiegand.
Joe was preceded in death by three grandchildren: Pattyanne Wiegand, and twins, Wendell and Sol Shepherd; and a great-granddaughter.
During World War II Joe was the superintendent of the Republic Steel Manufacturing Co. in Evansville, IN, where they produced the overflow of the 110 P-47D Thunderbolt Bomber. Joe traveled back and forth from Evansville to Farmington, NY, where the original plane was produced. However, Farmington could not maintain the necessary production needed and hence built the plant in Evansville to meet the necessary production.
After the war Joe moved back to Menasha, WI, and worked for Marathon Corp. From there he made his final employment move to Miller Electric Manufacturing in Appleton, WI, where he eventually worked for 35 plus years until his retirement at age 72, as a purchasing agent.
A traditional Latin Requiem Mass will be held on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 12:00 Noon at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 1782 Chapelle Rue, near 2700 Lost Dauphin Rd., DePere, WI with Fr. Daniel Themann SSPX officiating. Family and friends may visit at the church on Wednesday from 10:30 AM until the time of the mass. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Michael's Catholic Church. Westgor Funeral Home, 1140 Appleton Road, Menasha, WI (920) 720-0314. Online condolences: www.westgorfuneralhomes.com
"Little Big Man"
As your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends and co-workers: you never denied us anything you were capable of giving to us, anything in our need and desires. You were always the first one there in our despair, guiding us through whatever pain we were in. You were our ANCHOR. Through your example we have learned to be the Anchor for others. You taught us to survive. How we will miss you and anchor and survive, till our time comes, WE WILL! We love you Joe. Our "Little Big Man."