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03/12/2022 Ralph Porter
Ralph Hamlin Porter, 96, of Knoxville, passed away peacefully at home on March 12, 2022, at 7:15 p.m. surrounded by family members and friends.

Ralph was born at home in Knoxville to Elizabeth Sowden Porter and Ralph H. Porter Sr. on February 1, 1926. He graduated from Knoxville High School in 1944.

Immediately following graduation, Ralph was inducted into the U.S. Marine Corps. He attended Boot Camp in San Diego, CA, and Basic Training at Camp Pendleton CA. Following Basic Training, he was shipped to Guadalcanal, South Pacific, and joined Co. B, 6th Engr Battalion, 6th Marine Div. He was involved in the landing on Okinawa on April 1, 1945, with his division and was there for 30 days until the Japanese surrendered.

After the surrender, his Div. was shipped to the Island of Guam to prepare for landing in Japan. Ralph was then one of 25 men from the 6th Marine Div. shipped back to Camp Lejeune, NC to attend Officers Candidate School. By the time they arrived, the war had ended, and more officers were not needed so the 25 men were given their discharged.

On July 11, 1948, Ralph married Dorothy Lorraine Sweem, the love of his life, at the First United Methodist Church in Knoxville.

Their blessings and joys grew through the years with the births of their son, Stephen, two granddaughters, and 4 great-grandchildren. Ralph and Dorothy also maintained close ties with their three sisters and their families.

In 1946, Ralph began working at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Knoxville. In 1981, he retired from the VA as Chief Purchase and Contract, Contracting officer, Supply Service.

Following retirement at the VA, Ralph served for two years as Administrator for Marion County Hospice.

During his lifetime, he served as Scoutmaster of Troop 360 and was involved in many organizations whose purposes were to enrich the community culturally through music, drama, and painting.

Ralph was baptized as an infant at the First United Methodist Church in Knoxville. He accepted Christ as his savior during evangelistic services there in the 1940s.

Through the years, the church was an important part of his life. He sang in the choir for over 40 years, taught various Sunday School classes, was Sunday School Superintendent, and served on many boards and committees.

He was a member of the VFW and the National Association of Federal Employees. Ralph also served on the Care Review Committee at Marion County Care Facility.
Ralph Porter
Ralph was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy; his sisters: Marjorie Larson, Edith Kaster, and Doris Dykstra and husband Leo; Yvonne Romans, a friend of Stephen; and 5 nephews.

He is survived by his son, Stephen, granddaughter Amanda (Josh) Greubel and their children Benen and Nya, granddaughter Melodie (Chris) Smith and their children Marjorie and Ricky, 4 nieces, 1 nephew, and many other wonderful family members and friends.