Cover photo for Dorothy L. Porter's Obituary
Dorothy L. Porter Profile Photo
1927 Dorothy 2023

Dorothy L. Porter

October 1, 1927 — December 4, 2023

Dorothy Lorene (Long) Porter, 96, died December 4, 2023, under the loving care of both PioneerCare and Hospice of the Red River Valley in Fergus Falls, MN.

She was born on October 1, 1927, in Abilene, KS. Dorothy was the sixth child of Jeremiah Isaiah and Erna (Hahn) Long. She was brought up in a home where money was scarce, but books were available. After graduating from Abilene High School in May 1945, Dorothy received a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Kansas University in Lawrence, KS, and a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Kansas State University (KSU) in Manhattan, KS. In exchange for her room and board, Dorothy worked as a house girl for KSU’s Dean of Home Economics, Margaret Mary Justin, where her horizons were broadened. It was at KSU where she met her future husband, Gene Warren (GW) Porter, in a “Man and Society” class. They were married on August 20, 1950 and remained until Gene’s death in 2018.

Upon graduating from college, Dorothy and Gene relocated to Fergus Falls, MN, for ‘a year’ and stayed a lifetime. Dorothy was employed by Lake Region Hospital as a nurse until 1952, when Rex was born. Mary followed in 1953, Ann in 1954, and Paul in 1956, thus at one point raising her four children all under the age of four. Dorothy returned to work as one of the two school nurses (with Connie Rostad) for the Fergus Falls Public School system for twenty years, until 1986. They were responsible for ensuring that the students were healthy, seeing that they had up-to-date immunizations, eye, hearing, height, weight, and scoliosis screenings in addition to answering any questions students they had on a multitude of personal health questions. She also served as the Health Club advisor.

Dorothy was very active within the community, donating her time to numerous groups including the Fergus Falls Public Library, Friends of the Library, Concert Association, A Center for the Arts, Ottertail County Historical Society, Fergus Falls Area YMCA, Federated Church, American Red Cross, Blood Mobile, Hospice, Glaucoma Screening, Family Planning at Lake Region HealthCare and Planned Parenthood.

Dorothy was admired for her curiosity, her generosity and her optimism. Her curiosity fueled her interest in travel and the arts. Her generosity towards her family members, friends, and the community is legendary. Her education, experiences and optimism were at the heart of her firm belief in preventive healthcare. She liked outdoor activities, and particularly enjoyed tennis, swimming, canoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing, and bicycling. Dorothy loved to travel. In Gene’s company she visited all 50 states and over 40 countries. They spent winters in Florida. She took three lengthy bicycle trips, through Europe, Canada and the United Kingdom. She was a voracious reader, at one point simultaneously belonging to three book clubs. Dorothy was measured but never distant, curious but never intrusive, moderate but very clear in her personal opinions. A clear case of composure, sensibility, and sensitivity.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Gene; and siblings, John, Emma, Samuel, Edward, and David. She is survived by her children, Rex (Debbie) Porter of Deerfield, WI, Mary (Luis) de Sousa of Oxford, England, Ann Porter of Fergus Falls, and Paul (Katy LeBarron) Porter of Edina; eight grandchildren, Kevin (Lorna) Porter, Rebecca Porter, Tina (Ryan) Porterhawk, Miguel (Zora Tamas) de Sousa, Nicole (Michael) Welle, Alexis (Dan) Johnson, Emma (Troy Sabean) Porter, and Erik Porter; and five great-grandchildren, Annika and Pierce Welle, Kieran and Marit Johnson and Mallory Porter.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to organizations where Dorothy devoted her time, energy and passion.

Memorial Service: 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at Federated Church in Fergus Falls, with visitation one-hour prior to the service at the church.
Clergy: Reverend Dr. Douglas Dent and Reverend Dr. C. Edward Morgan
Interment: Knollwood Memorial Gardens, Fergus Falls, MN

Arrangements provided by Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, December 12, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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