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Larry Joseph Porter, Born May 7, 1938 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the son of Royal Lorenzo (Larry)
Porter and Marjorie Micklewaite Porter.
Nature was Larry’s joy in life; he loved being out of doors in a forest with tall pines and golden
aspens, lakes and streams and all kinds of animals. He loved to hunt and fish.
Larry shared this love of nature with his two sons, Clint and Rand. They enjoyed hunting and
fishing and hiking with their dad. If you ever were privileged to go for a ride with Larry, he
would confound you with the abundant facts he knew about the surrounding areas.
Photography was a hobby enjoyed throughout most of his life, and he had a good eye for it. His
family was so grateful he never stopped seeing beauty in his world even towards the end when
dementia showed its effects. When it became more difficult for Larry to spend time in the
mountains, he enjoyed spending his time raking leaves or just walking around his home and
property where he had planted over fifty trees.
Perhaps Larry’s greatest gift was interacting with people. Long before it became common,
Larry fought for the rights of women, including the women in his family and the women with
whom he worked. He was brilliant in his own right, and his intellect was coupled with a kind,
gentle, compassionate and caring nature. As his friend Larry German put it, Larry was “First and
foremost, a man of most unusual character and integrity.”
Larry always worked hard from the time he was young. He raised rabbits and pigeons, cut lawns
and delivered papers. During his youth, he spent many summers on his cousin’s ranch near
Randolph, Utah. He loved the Argyles who were and are so much a part of his family’s lives and
he was especially close to Wayne Argyle Jr., Ireta Argyle Norris, and Rosemary Argyle who were
closest to his age. The legendary annual picnics enjoyed by the Argyles and Porters on top
of Monte Cristo were a highlight of the summer for both families. And, like everyone else, Larry
loved his Aunt Mary. To him, she was a kind of second mother.
When he was in his late teens, Larry got a job working for the Southern Pacific Railroad where
his father also worked, and Larry worked himself up to becoming a signalman.
Larry was remarkable in so many ways. He played the clarinet, and he was quite simply an
extraordinarily gifted musician. Although Larry was grateful to his other music teachers, his
music career was especially influenced by the venerated Dr. Max Dalby, who used to lend Larry
his own clarinet when Larry was in his high school band. Dr. Dalby recruited Larry for the Utah
State University Band where Larry was first chair clarinet.
Larry served a tour of duty with Special Intelligence in the U.S. Army. He was first in his
graduating class from the Army Security Agency’s Intelligence Gathering Program and was
promised his choice of assignments for that honor. The army had other ideas, however, for
their #1 graduate, and Larry was stationed at the U.S. military base on the island of Okinawa.
Characteristically, he excelled at his work. When his army friends would get drunk in the
village, it was Larry who saw to it they made it back to base. His closest army buddy and best
man at Larry’s wedding, Larry German, wrote the following:
“Larry Porter is the kind of guy, as you know, who
anyone would want in his foxhole ... literally or
figuratively. I guess that is one of the reasons I,
selfishly, never wanted to lose complete contact
and want to retain our friendship ... to the end.”
After serving in the military, Larry received a music scholarship to Weber State University. After
graduating, he taught music at Roy Jr. High School for two years.
Larry married Sylvia Ellison Porter on June 15, 1967. They were married for 55 years.
Larry attended the University of Utah where he completed all the graduate coursework as a
doctoral candidate in economics. At that time, he took a job with the Bureau of Land
Management as Colorado’s BLM chief economist. Eventually he became the Assistant Area
Manager in the Grand Junction Field Office. His good friend and BLM co-worker, Linda Berkey,
stated that Larry had a scientific and logical mind that was coupled to a clear understanding of
humanity. She said that Larry worked so well with his staff that even those who needed to
improve their job performance left his office with a smile. Linda laughingly added that no one
ever got mad at Larry.
One of the most moving compliments Larry received was from one of his closest friends and co-
workers, Carlos Sauvage, who said that he used to ask himself when he reached a conundrum
in his life, “What would Larry do?” He said Larry was “often his role model.” Carlos went on to
add that Larry’s “integrity and thoughtful connections were so special and not the norm.”
The Grand Junction Field Office is responsible for managing over a million acres around the
Western Slope. Along with others both in and out of BLM, Larry helped implement the
visionary multiple use concept on public lands such as those his office implemented in creation
of the Kokopelli Mountain Bike Trail and the McInnis National Conservation Area. Larry also
helped oversee the expansion of Walker Field Airport, Rabbit Valley, and the Trail Through
Time, as well as the establishment of the Western Slope BLM Fire Center. Larry forged working
contracts between the BLM and the Museum of Western Colorado. He worked on The BLM
Wild Horse Program while also advancing many other significant BLM projects. As his Area
Manager, Frosty Littrell, once said with a grin that they were so progressive the Bureau hasn't caught up with them yet!
Larry served on the boards of the Colorado Federal Credit Union as well as the original board of
what is now the Dinosaur Journey Museum. He was also a board member for the Museum of
Western Colorado where he also served as Chairman of the Board.
On the morning of January 18, 2023, Larry’s wife Sylvia (Syl) was honored to be by Larry’s side,
speaking to him of the family he loved just before he passed.
Larry leaves behind his wife, Sylvia Ellison Porter, his sons, Clinton Rafe Porter and Jason Rand
Porter, daughter-in-law, Suzanne Foster Porter, his two grandsons, Ansel Joseph Porter and
Elliot Foster Porter, along with his brother, Gary Wayne Porter (Jeanine), and his sister, Renae
Porter Hepler (Al) and sister-in-law Joyce Porter. Larry was preceded in death by his parents,
his brother Dennis Porter, and his sister, Nancy Morse.
Those of us who were fortunate enough to know Larry, to care for him, and to share some measure of
his life upon this earth will forever cherish our precious time with him. The combined stream of love we
feel for this man is a positive flow of life and energy that will never die. We will hold Larry close within
our hearts, always so immensely grateful we have been allowed to share a world with this truly