Barton Porter, a prominent New Castle rancher, died Monday, May 26, 2003, at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs. He was 79.
He was born May 19, 1924, at Porter Hospital in Glenwood Springs to Frank and Julia Porter. He graduated from high school in New Castle and attended Colorado State University.
Mr. Porter served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
He married Martha Ellen Lancaster of Grand Junction on Nov. 15, 1949, and has been devoted to her for 54 years.
His family worked the Porter Ranch for generations. Mr. Porter remained successful through perseverance and the philosophy, “where there’s a will, there’s a way,” and with Mr. Porter, there was always the will.
Mr. Porter was an artist and the ranch served as his palette and canvas, with irrigation water serving as the paintbrush. The 15-mile ditch, the reservoir at the head of the ranch and the pressurized sprinklers that covered the Porter land were dreamed of and came to fruition with his help.
Mr. Porter knew all phases of the cattle industry, from producer to feeder to packer. He was also active in real estate development.
He was a school board activist, a longtime supporter of 4-H, and a member of Stewards of the Range, a group dedicated to a common sense approach to use of natural resources.
Mr. Porter’s opinion was often sought, and he was respected by family and friends. He was a champion for property rights and individual rights.
His first priority was his wife and family. He was happiest when taking a drive through the ranch with his wife, playing pinochle with his grandchildren, at the sale barn, working with numbers or watching his grandchildren play ball.
He was preceded in death by his parents; by sons Michael Lauren Porter and Alan Adair Porter; and by a brother-in-law, Joseph McBurney.
Mr. Porter is survived by his wife, Martha Porter of New Castle; by sons and daughters-in-law Bill and Marla Porter of New Castle, Dan and Margie Porter of De Beque, Eric and Marilyn Porter of Silt, and Terry and Elizabeth Porter of New Castle; by grandchildren and grandchildren-in-law Alan and Joy Porter, Paula and Roger Kuhn, Cheryl and Trent Snyder, Shane Porter, Maria and Duke Ramthun, Josh Porter, Shana Porter, Thad Porter, Tish and James Anderson, Travis Porter, Walter Porter, Kelly Porter, Lisa and Ryder Miller, Ty Porter, Michelle Porter, Brad and Heather Ferganchick, and Julie and Jarrod Lang; by 18 great-grandchildren; by sisters and brother-in-law Helen McBurney of Palisade, and Shirley and Ed Smith of Evergreen; by a step-brother and step-sister-in-law Stanley and Ruth Jennings of Ely, Nev.; by Della Dawson and Lula Coryell; and by countless other friends and relatives.
A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 31, at the Porter Ranch south of New Castle.
Rifle Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
What can I leave you, my sons,
When for me, this life here is done?
I stand on this our land in my nocturne,
And ponder as the fields from sleep to green return.
With wills and trusts this fenced farm I give
To you in loving care and humble joy to live.
For free and straight your kin will grow,
While ranging wide within your own fencerow.
Oh, take this land and know this truth,
Old age will follow your virility and youth.
So harvest well while time is kind,
And in the rhythms of the season find
The legacy I give is much more than land.
– By Martha Porter
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