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Rue Reese Porter

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Retired J. Minnie Smith teacher, Rue Reese Porter, died Aug. 23, 2010, in Dallas, Texas. The former Poplar Bluff and Dexter resident was 92. In her final days, she was surrounded by her family, who love and will dearly miss her.

She was born Dec. 9, 1917 to William D. Reese and Katie Lee Dempsey Reese in Brownington. Rue was one of eight children born to the Welsh immigrant and his wife. Rue's husband, Hubert, her parents, brothers, and sisters all preceded her in death.

Rue graduated from Osceola High School in 1936. She received a National Youth Administration scholarship to Missouri State Teacher's College in Warrensburg. The first in her family to attend college, she earned her teaching certificate by working in the college cafeteria. During college, Rue made dear friends that kept in touch throughout her life. Rue met her husband, Hubert Porter, at college. The two were married on April 29, 1943, in Newburgh, N.Y., while her husband was stationed at the U.S. Army post at West Point. While Hubert served in the South Pacific during World War II, Rue returned to Missouri to work as an inventory clerk at the Lake City Munitions Plant in Kansas City.

Rue taught for 32 years throughout Missouri. She received her Master's Degree from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. She began her career teaching in a one-room schoolhouse but spent most of her years teaching first grade. Rue taught in Shady Grove, Brownington, Westline, Lilburn, and Essex. She taught first grade at J. Minnie Smith School from 1965 - 1982. After retirement, she taught reading at the Adult Basic Education Center. Rue believed attending college changed the course of her life. She worked diligently to provide the same chance for her children, grandchildren, extended family, and students.

The wife of a Southern Baptist preacher, Rue worked with her husband at rural churches including Charter Oak, Leora, Black River, Qulin, and Broseley. After her husband's death in 1985, she joined Temple Baptist Church where she was active in the Women's Missionary Union and taught Sunday school until the age of 80. Late in life, she moved to Texas to be near her daughters and joined the First Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas.

Mrs. Porter is survived by her daughter and son-in law, Carolyn and Robert Power of Richardson, Texas; her son and daughter-in law, Norvin and Marty Porter of Herculaneum; and her daughter Kathy Porter of Dallas, Texas. She is survived by six grandchildren, Ron Power of Austin, Texas, Brian Power and his wife Kathryn of Houston, Texas, Travis Porter and his wife Christie of Kansas City, and Kyle Porter, Jessica Porter, and Jordan Porter of Herculaneum as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and lifelong friends. Her Christian faith and devotion to her family were central to her life.

The family suggests donations to the Hubert Porter Memorial scholarship fund, care of Cane Creek Stoddard Baptist Association, 1080 Herschel Bess Blvd., Poplar Bluff, Mo. 63901.

Serving as pallbearers are Rue's grandsons, Ron and Brian Power, Travis and Kyle Porter, and nephew and great-nephew, David and Scott Porter.

The family will receive and visit with friends and relatives from 6-8 p.m. Saturday at Cotrell Funeral Chapel in Poplar Bluff. The funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug, 29, 2010 at Temple Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff with Rev. Steve Patterson officiating. Burial will follow at Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Poplar Bluff.

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