Rev. Willett R. Porter Jr.


Rev. Willett R. Porter Jr. (Will) of Mahopac went home to be with the Lord Nov. 4.

He was born Aug. 28, 1927 in Brooklyn to W. Ralph and Gertrude Harris Porter.

He attended Andrew Jackson High School in Queens.

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He received a Bachelor of Science in agriculture (animal husbandry) from Cornell University, 1949, where he was a member of the Alpha Zeta fraternity and a coronet player in the Big Red Band.

He received a Master of Theology from Drew University in 1952.

Pastor Will was ordained a deacon in 1951, and an elder in 1953 of the Methodist Church.

During his 64-year ministry, the churches he served included: New Paltz, Lloyd, and Plutarch from 1951-1964;

St. John’s United Methodist Church of Elmont, N.Y., 1964-1973; Mt. Kisco United Methodist Church. 1973-1989;

Mt. Hope United Methodist Church of Mahopac Falls. 1994-2015; in addition to supply preaching and interim pastorates in several other churches.

Besides preaching, he was involved in many community activities. He was an umpire in the New Paltz Little League and an avid baseball fan; chaplain and life member of New Paltz Volunteer Fire Department; charter member of New Paltz Lions Club; and past president of Elmont Youth Athletic Association National Baseball League.

He was named Mt. Kisco Citizen of the Year in 1989.

He was the first recipient of the annual Humanitarian Award by the Northern Westchester Raul Wallenburg Unit of B’Nai B’Rith; past president of Mt. Kisco Rotary Club and Paul Harris Fellow; past president of Northern Westchester Clergy Association.

He was the first chair of Northern Westchester Hospital Chaplaincy Committee; Mt. Kisco Boys Club board member; Mt. Kisco Day Care Center board member and former chair of Mt. Kisco Village/Town Board of Ethics.

Rev. Porter was very active in the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church:

member of Conference Disability Committee; former member of Conference Board of Pensions; served as president of the New York Methodist Federal Credit Union; interim director of the New York State Methodist Student Movement and longtime member of the Bowery Mission Ministries Board.

He is survived by his spouse of 62 years, Shirley Bates Porter, of Mahopac, as well as sons: John B. (Gail), David B. (Paulette), W. Ross (Lisa), Steven R. (Mary-Ann) in addition to grandchildren: Melissa , Michael , Philip, Steven, Jr., Coryn, and Katelyn. He was a beloved great-grandfather of Mark, Hadley and Riley as well.

Funeral Services were held on Saturday Nov. 7, at the United Methodist Church in Mt. Kisco. Interment followed at Oakwood Cemetery in Mt. Kisco.

An additional service honoring Rev. Porter’s life and ministry will be held on Dec. 13, at 2 p.m. at the Mt. Kisco United Methodist Church.

Family and friends are making donations in his memory to the Mt. Kisco Rotary Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 757, Mt. Kisco, NY  10549 and to the Mt. Kisco Food Pantry.

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