Jeff Williams Porter died June 25, 2014. Jeff was born in Dyersburg, Tenn. on December 10, 1957 to Clay and Mary Porter, the second of four children. While in his thirties Jeff enrolled in college and went on to get a Masters in Fine Arts degree from Miami University in Ohio. While studying, he taught undergradutate art classes as part of his fellowship.
Jeff was widely read and spent much time alone in his woodland studio apartment, writing challenging pieces about politics, economics, religion, and the environment and creating art, which was his life's passion. Jeff moved to Southern Oregon in 2002 and further developed his semi-relief paintings portraying the plight of poor workers and the environment. His art work was meant to make the viewer think and to question.
Jeff made his living as a handyman and what a handy man he was. It seemed he could do anything from simple repairs, house painting, and major renovations to pet and child care. He took pride in his work but he took more pride in how he treated people. He was funny, genuine, kind, generous, and honest to a fault. He loved to tell a good joke, his Tennessee drawl always adding to the story. He was there whenever he was needed and many people depended on him and cared for him.
Jeff is survived by his elder brother, Clay Porter, Clay's wife, Debbie and their daughter, Anna of Odessa, Texas; his sister, Amy Porter Kaiser, Amy's husband, Paul and their two sons, Richard and Jared of Bartlett, Tenn.; his sister, Emily Porter Stephens, Emily's husband, Steve and their daughter, Lauren of Batavia, Ohio; and, of course, the Southern Oregon family he created.
He touched the hearts of everyone he met. For those who were blessed to have had Jeff in their lives he will be greatly missed. He is everywhere; in our homes and in our hearts.
A memorial service will be held later in the year, at a time to be announced.