Fishing 04

James M. Porter

May 24, 1955 ~ July 22, 2022 (age 67)


ATHOL – James M. Porter, 67, of School Street, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 22, 2022 surrounded by loved ones, following a courageous battle with metastatic bladder cancer. 

The second oldest of five children, he was born in Athol Hospital on May 24, 1955 to Walter and Eileen (Battersby) Porter. He grew up in Athol and graduated from Athol High School in 1973. He married in 1984 and moved to Orange, where he lived for 23 years, before returning to Athol.

Jim was an avid outdoorsman. In earlier years he enjoyed hunting, and had fond memories of butchering deer in the garage with his hunting buddy, Joe, and of whipping up savory stews and steaks. He relished the various local game feeds and would be one of the first in line for a ticket.

He was a member of the North Worcester County Quabbin Anglers Association. He had an obsession for fishing, especially large mouth bass, and passed on that joy and knowledge of the sport to his son. He was happiest around, on, or in water and cherished exploring all the wonders of nature with Derek. He loved a good thunderstorm and watched with delight as Mother Nature provided a near tornado the day before he died. More recently, he found pleasure in fishing outings to Silver Lake with his niece Lisa, her partner Luke, and their daughter Maddysen. Another happy place was Long Sands in York, Maine, where he spent annual summer vacations in the same cottage for decades. 

He was a fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins. More recently he liked watching the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team games, MMA and UFC fights, and “25 Words Or Less”.

He immensely enjoyed any kind of family gathering, and had much love for his entire family, especially his sister Nancy, whose care and devotion over the last few years he greatly appreciated and mentioned often. 

He was employed by Union Butterfield in Athol until it closed following the union strike in 1984. He worked as shipping foreman at Athol Table Manufacturing for several years before being hired at the L.S. Starrett Company where he spent 17 years in the drill press Dept. 9 prior to his retirement. As a teenager and young adult he worked with his brother John, who owned various carnival rides. They would travel with their father, and later also their younger brother, to various fairs and carnivals throughout Maine where they would set up and operate the rides.

Jim is survived by his wife Deborrah Porter of Athol; his beloved son Derek and his fiance Haylea Northcott, both of Simsbury, Conn.; a brother, John Porter of Gardner; a sister, Nancy Tamasunas and her husband, Peter, of Athol; and younger brother, Richard Porter and his wife, Marie, of Athol. He also leaves sister-in-law Sharon Kellums of Colorado Springs, and brother-in-law Joseph Boudreau (his best hunting/fishing buddy) of Florida; nieces Lisa Porter, Allie Porter, Jamie Tamasunas and Amanda (Tamasunas) Keyes all of Athol; nephews, Jason Gerard of Worcester, Christopher Boudreau of Florida, William Kellums and Robert Kellums Jr. of Colorado; and numerous grandnieces and grandnephews.

He was predeceased by his father (Dec. 2, 1983), his mother (Nov. 7, 2004), a sister, Donna (Porter) Goss (May 5, 2004), and a brother-in-law Michael F. Boudreau (Dec. 1, 2003). 

The family extends its gratitude to Jim’s hospice nurse, Joi, for her gentle care and genuine compassion through this challenging time.

Per Jim’s wishes, there will be no calling hours. 

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Witty’s Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is assisting the family.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James M. Porter, please visit our floral store.

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