We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Lakeland Funeral Home
Richard “Dick” Edward Porte passed away on September 4, 2022, at the age of 77. He died peacefully in his daughter’s home in Largo, FL, under the compassionate care of Suncoast Hospice and surrounded by his supportive and loving family.
Dick was born in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. As a child he was in the first group of kids to receive the Polio vaccine directly from the developer Dr Jonas Salk (a story he loved to tell everyone he met). Later his family moved to Lakeland in 1953 where he attended Lime Street Elementary, SW Junior High and Lakeland High school (class of 1963). He made many close friendships that have endured and remained strong 68 years later.
Dick was drafted into the US Army in 1966. He served with both the 35th Infantry Division and the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” device and the Army Commendation medals for his devoted duty, personal bravery, professional leadership, and honorable service during the Vietnam War. He left the military with the rank of Sergeant in 1969.
Following his military service, Dick began a 40-year career marketing juice and other beverage products to the food service industry, both domestically and internationally. Because of the person that he was, many of his business contacts turned into lifelong friendships that have spanned decades. “A class act, a true gentleman, a great communicator, a great connector, a generous person, a lovely man, a devoted friend, father and uncle, a genuinely great guy and a kind-hearted human” was how he was described by everyone who knew or had the honor of meeting him. He will be remembered as the life of the party with a great smile that would light up a room and an infectious laugh that would bring joy to others.
Dick was a very fit and active person well into his 70’s. In his youth he played baseball and was a member of a Lakeland bicycle club that went on 100-mile rides around the state. Later his hobbies included softball, running Lake Hollingsworth, boating, playing tennis and golf. He loved a good beach day and some of his favorite places to visit with friends and family were Anna Maria Island, Indian Rocks Beach and New Zealand. He enjoyed taking care of things whether it be his appearance, his car, his home, or his yard which were always beautifully and perfectly presented.
He was preceded in death by his parents Jack and Rita Porte along with his brother John. He is survived by his daughter Shan, his son-in-law Kleber, his granddaughter Bella, his nephew Michael and Michael’s wife Andrea and daughters Jensen and Ellery.
Memorial services will be held on Friday, September 23, 2022, at Lakeland Funeral Home. Family will receive friends from 10-11am and services will begin at 11am. Military services will follow at The Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL, starting at 2:30pm. All are welcome to attend both ceremonies.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to either Suncoast Hospice (for taking such great care of Dick in his final days) or St Jude’s Children’s Hospital (one of Dick’s favorite charities).
Dick's tribute video can be viewed by clicking the link below.
Words of comfort may be expressed by clicking “Share a Memory” link.
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 9/23/2022 at 10:55 AM, Eastern Standard Time.