Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Bob Porter Obituary (2021) – Las Cruces, NM

Bob “BJ” Porter

Bob “BJ” Porter of Las Cruces, NM passed away on November 17th

2021 in the

Crosses.

Bob was born on September 3, 1929 in Colorado City, Texas to Jewell May Porter and Joel Fontain Porter. He grew up in the Mesilla Valley and Hatch Valley and lived most of his young life in a “jacal” – a house made of twigs and mud with no electricity or plumbing. His father worked in various jobs until he was finally able to lease a farm that he managed by hand and a small house with electricity and later buy it. The whole family worked tirelessly to make ends meet, growing their own meat and food. Bob flourished while attending Salem Grade School and later Hatch Valley High School, where he graduated as Most Popular in 1947.

President of the youth class and president of the student body. He enjoyed high school sports, raised sheep for 4-H, and participated in Future Farmers of America.

Because of his love of all high school sports, but basketball in particular, Bob decided, as a first-generation college student at New Mexico A and M (NMSU) on a small Sears and Roebuck scholarship, to try to be a walk-in for to be the Aggie basketball team. The opportunity to go to college and play ball at that level was a life changing one – Bob excelled in basketball as a 4-year-old letterman and senior year team captain, was a Distinguished ROTC Military Student, and was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraaternity. His true lifelong love for anything involving aggie never ended.

Bob graduated from New Mexico A and M in 1951 with a soil science degree, was called up as a 2nd lieutenant in the US Air Force, and was called up to active duty during the Korean Conflict. He served in the States as a personnel officer in Clarksville, Tennessee and beyond he returned to the reserve for two years of active service and was promoted to captain.

After serving in the Air Force in 1955, Bob joined the Dona Ana County Farm Bureau and began his career in agriculture as the assistant director of the Bracero program. He held numerous positions in the government organization and was Executive Vice President / CEO and Executive Vice President of the Western Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company for 15 years. Nothing made Bob happier than traveling around the state of New Mexico meeting and promoting farmers and ranchers. He had fond memories of the Farm Bureau meetings and conventions and was a true witness to the development of agriculture and ranching in New Mexico. Under his leadership, the government organization achieved record membership and has received numerous awards from the American Farm Bureau Federation for excellence. Bob has received numerous awards and recognitions for his influence in agriculture, including: Honorary State and American Farmer (FFA), Progressive Farmer Magazine, NM Man of the Year, Agriculturist of Distinction-Leyendecker Award (NMSU), Farm Credit Distinguished Award and New Mexico Farm Bureau “Riding on the

Brand “excellent.

Bob also became a licensed broker in the early 1970s, working with AI Socolofsky and, later, David Steinborn. He received his qualifying broker license and later ran Porter Realty from a home office. He kept his license until 2014.

Clearly recognized as a good businessman, Bob was elected to the boards of several local banks and savings and credit businesses, and then served 12 years on the board of directors of Federal Land Bank and 9 years at Farm Credit Regional Bank of Wichita, Kansas. He was also a member of the New Mexico Society of Executives Association and was a member of the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce.

Because of Bob’s pride in the NMSU, he believed in giving back. He has served on numerous NMSU boards and committees, including President of the NMSU Alumni Association, the NMSU Foundation Board, and the Aggie Athletic Association. He has also received awards for College of Ag Distinguished Alumni, NMSU Centennial100 Outstanding Ag Graduate, and NMSU James F. Cole Award.

In 1958, Bob married Nola Craddick and from this marriage had their only child, Brenda, born in 1961. During their marriage they were very fortunate to live in a wonderful neighborhood and to make lifelong friendships. They enjoyed many wonderful trips, especially those related to Bob’s job at Farm Bureau. The end of their long and loving marriage came in 1991 when Nola suffered a brief and terrible illness.

Ten years later, Bob found it incredible to be blessed with another love and married Laura Beal, whom he had known for many years. They had a marriage of shared family events and wonderful social and church activities until Laura passed away earlier this year.

Bob was one of a kind, had a hilarious sense of humor, and felt blessed every day of his long 92 years. He left a strong legacy of family, friends, and service.

Preceded in death by his parents, brother Brady and little sister Thelma Novelene, he is survived by his daughter Brenda, her spouse John Hudson, and his nephew Bill Porter and wife Debbie.

Commemorative donations can be made to: Bob and Brenda Porter Point Guard Endowment or the Bob

Porter Scholarship at NMSU (Advancing.nmsu.edusearch Bob Porter)

New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau Foundation c / o Bob Porter Endowment, 2220 N. Telshor Blvd., Las Cruces, NM 88011.

The tour takes place on Sunday, November 28th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the LaPaz-Graham burial house. The funeral is scheduled for Monday, November 29th at 1:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Methodist Church with a funeral in the Masonic Cemetery.

To send condolences, go to

www.lapaz-grahams.com

Published by Albuquerque Journal on November 27, 2021.

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