Obituary of William S. Porter
WESTBROOK - Dr. William S. Porter, 88, of Westbrook, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 6, 2018. He was the beloved husband of Patricia (Van Megroot) Porter for 63 years.
William was born in Niagara Falls, NY on May 5, 1930 to the late Samuel and Elsie (Robertson) Porter. He graduated high school, as the valedictorian, in Niagara Falls. As his interest in science began in high school, he earned the prestigious Bausch & Lomb science award. He then received his Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from the University of Buffalo. Scoring perfect grades on everything he was challenged with, Yale waived the prerequisite of having to obtain a Master’s Degree and awarded him a PhD in Theoretical Nuclear Physics. Additionally, he was elected into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, one year early, during his junior year at Yale.
From school, he was recruited by the Los Alamos National Lab where he conducted classified nuclear research. While he was there he was declared "Lightening Chess Champion" of Los Alamos, competing against some of the brightest scientist in the world including a Nobel Laureate. When praised for this accomplishment, in his modest form, his response was, "Well remember, when you're number one, you only have one direction to go."
William began his teaching career at Bucknell University as a physics professor and worked for NASA in Washington D.C. during the summers as a theoretical nuclear researcher. After that, he was invited, and accepted a position to establish the physics department at Southern Connecticut State University. He held the position of chairman of the department for many years. He produced many publications over the years, including physics textbooks.
He and Patricia traveled extensively around the world and enjoyed many decades at their homes in Connecticut, Florida, and Maine. He was also an accomplished pianist performing solo concerts in Canada and the United States. In fact, for a brief time, he contemplated becoming a "Concert Pianist" but instead decided to further his education at Yale.
Besides his wife, William will be missed by his son Christopher Porter and wife Jeanette of Clinton, as well as his grandchildren, Preston and Kelly.
Services for William will be private and at the convenience of his family. The B.C. Bailey Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. To leave a message of remembrance, please visit www.BaileyCares.com. In lieu of flowers those who so desire may donate in Williams memory to the Westbrook Fire Department, Westbrook Chemical Engine #1, PO Box 691, Westbrook, CT 06498.