Leonard Porterfield, 91, passed away March 26, 2016, in Portland, Ore. Leonard was born Sept. 19, 1924, in Fristoe, Mo., to Mart and Nellie (Young) Porterfield.
He moved to Oregon in 1937, where he finished high school and then joined the Navy, serving as a diesel engineer on a minesweeper. He earned five medals during World War II before returning to Hood River, where he met and married Gertrude Scharf on June 26, 1946.
The couple was married for 65 years before her death in 2012. They had two children, Marla and Kerry. Kerry was killed during National Guard training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., when he was 20 years old.
Leonard was the superintendent of the Hanel and Neal Creek sawmills. He was also an orchardist in the Parkdale area. Leonard was very involved in both his church and his community. In the church, he was an elder, served on numerous committees and boards, taught adult Sunday school and performed a clown ministry. In the community, Leonard was a hospice volunteer for over 20 years. In that role, he performed over 40 funerals and assisted in many more. He volunteered for the Red Cross and taught classes in CPR and First Aid for many years.
He also frequently served on the Victim Impact Panel for DUII offenders where he told the story of how his life was changed forever when Kerry was killed by a drunk driver. Leonard hoped that his story might influence some offenders to change their behaviors and make better choices.
He was an avid golfer and voracious reader. He and Gertrude enjoyed many years of traveling throughout the United States and Europe, as well as being extremely involved in the life of their only grandchild, Tyler. Leonard was a devout Christian who lived his life by actions and not words. In addition to his wife Gertrude and son Kerry, he was preceded in death by his brother, Eugene Porterfield, and his sister, Hazel Bowe. Leonard is survived by his daughter Marla Bellis, grandson Tyler Bellis and his wife, Jazzmin, and great grandchild Tyson Ayo Leo Bellis, who was born two days after his death. Leonard is also survived by his brother Scott and wife Arlene, and many nieces and nephews.
The last four years of Leonard’s life were spent at the Blue Sky Foster Care Home with Mike and Elaine Maxim, who became like family to both Gertrude and Leonard.
Services are planned for 11 a.m., Wednesday, April 20 at Hood River Valley Christian Church, 975 Indian Creek Road, with graveside rites to follow at the Upper Valley Cemetery of Parkdale.
Remembrances can be made to Hood River Valley Christian Church Scholarship Fund or Hospice of the Gorge. Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations), 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, OR 97031. Please visit AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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