Folsom Funeral Service

Porter, William W.

William Wendell Porter, Jr., a resident of Dedham since 1958, died peacefully in his sleep Sunday, September 6th, 2009 at his home in Dedham after many years of a brave fight with cancer.  He was 81.  Bill was born May 19, 1928 in Boston, MA, a son of William W. Sr. and Mary E. (Brown) Porter.  He grew up in Brighton and graduated from Brighton High School with the Class of 1947.  It was in High School that his lifelong love of music began.  Bill played trombone in the Brighton High School band, and in the Larry Queen Orchestra in which he continued after graduation.  He joined the Bob Batchelder Band which frequently played at the Totem Pole Ballroom at Norumbega Park in Newton and he played with them for eight years.  In 1950, as a member of the Parkway Concert Orchestra, he met his future wife Muriel, when she joined the Orchestra, and they wed in 1955.  Both were still involved with the Parkway Orchestra where Bill played lead trombone.  Bill also played with the Olde Kids on the Block, and was an active member of the Westwood Swing Band.  His interests were not just confined to his musical talents.  He was a Past President of the Westwood Rotary Club, a former Chaplain of both West Roxbury Lodge AF & AM and Constellation Lodge  AF & AM, and a longtime member of Allin Congregational Church in Dedham where he served on the Diaconate, sang in the choir, and was the Sunday School Superintendent for 26 years.  Bill was also the Past President and Founder of the Parkway Concert Orchestra Board of Directors, and a member of the Retired Mens Club of Dedham.  Bill retired in 1987 after 34 years as a Marketing Agent for Commercial Union Insurance Company.  After his “retirement” he continued selling insurance with the Patterson Insurance Agency in Westwood.  He is survived by his adoring wife of 54 years, Muriel E. (Brown); his devoted daughters, Joyce E. McFarland, and her husband Gary, of Norfolk, and Virginia L. Barry, and her husband Jim, of Walpole; and his brother Lawrence Porter of Burlington.  In addition, Bill was the proud grandfather of four wonderful grandchildren, Andrew William McFarland, Matthew Robert McFarland, Sean James Barry, and Meredith Lee Barry.  Also survived by his brother-in-law Wayne Brown, and his wife Joanne, of Columbus, Ohio.   Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Memorial Service Saturday, September 12th at 11 AM at the Allin Congregational Church in Dedham.  Private interment will be in Gethsemane Cemetery in West Roxbury.  In lieu of flowers donations to the Allin Congregational Church, 683 High Street, Dedham, MA 02026 would be appreciated.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Joanne Hurst
    September 8th, 2009 | 10:06 am

    Bill Porter was a wonderful human being and will be greatly missed! Hugs to the family.

  2. Horst/Isbell Ambiel
    September 8th, 2009 | 11:27 am

    Bill was a very special person. It was our joy to have
    known him and Muriel and enjoyed their music. Our love and sympathy to his lovely family.

  3. Martha Martin Sutton
    September 8th, 2009 | 12:55 pm

    My deepest sympathy is extended to the entire Porter family. We will miss him, but heaven is very lucky to have him now. Peace.

  4. linda Diraffaele
    September 8th, 2009 | 3:30 pm

    Mr. Porter was an incredible individual! He was an inspiration to all who met him. I will miss his broad smile and his wonderful sense of humor. God bless to his wife and the girls and his families. He is in our prayers. God Bless

    September 8th, 2009 | 9:40 pm


  6. Jan and Walter Stone
    September 9th, 2009 | 9:00 am

    Our sincere sympathy to you and your family. It’s always very hard to lose a loved one, but the memories will always be your strength. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  7. Cindy Firth Wilson
    September 9th, 2009 | 9:38 am

    Mr. Porter was a very nice man who always had a smile. He will be missed. My deepest sympathy to the whole family.

  8. Gregory Sands
    September 11th, 2009 | 12:10 am

    Years ago, I made Bill’s acquaintance as a fellow musician in the Westwood Swing Band and always looked forward to our encounters on and around the bandstand. Bill’s spirited and agile trombone work, open-mindedness, and sincere interest in young people led me to appreciate him as both a devoted musician and a sterling human being. My deepest sympathy go out to Bill’s family and friends.

  9. Mary, Jon, Caylee Verdun
    September 11th, 2009 | 7:52 am

    Our deepest sympathy to your family. We know that a wonderful husband, father, grandfather will be missed very much. He was a true gentleman that always had a kind word for all. Much love.

  10. Francis (Fran) Yurt
    September 11th, 2009 | 8:00 pm

    Bill and I , along with our friend Larry Carbonaro, my late brother Bernie Yurt, and the late Jim Britt, Started what was the nucleus of a 12 piece band called The Larry Queen Orchestra, in the late 1940s. We worked many music jobs together inluding almost every New Years Eve from then to the late 1900s, when age and physical disabilities overtook our lives. I will sorely miss Bill. He was a great guy. He was the only other member of our beloved Larry Queen Orchestra, that I could still have talked to, about our lives in the music world.

  11. Christopher Emanuel
    September 14th, 2009 | 10:06 am

    Bill Porter was my favorite person to see on Sunday morning at Allin Congregational Church. Ministers came and went, but Bill was my first church leader. He ran the Sunday School when I was growing up. He would run a service for the children before we broke off into our classes. Now as a member with a family, I always looked forward to shaking hands and saying hello to the person with the biggest smile at church.

  12. Rob Bowers
    October 6th, 2009 | 4:29 pm

    I saw Bill’s obit a while back and only today browsed to this site. I didn’t know if this was indeed my old friend.Frankly, I feel cheated that I lost contact with Bill 60 odd years ago but would still classify him as an old friend and would love to have had a chat with him during those lost years. I graduated with Bill from Brighton in 47 , played in the Larry Queen band and often thought about him.We had much in common.We used to make believe we were riding horses in a steeplechase while there was a break in class.My condolence to the Porter family Sincerely Rob Bowers

  13. September 9th, 2010 | 11:16 am

    I was thinking about my old friends from my days as the drummer for the Larry Queen Orchestra and decided to try to contact them online. I was saddened to learn that Bill and Bernie had passed and I had never known. I joined the group as a green young (so very young) man when I was paged over the PA at the Dedham Drive In and asked by my Dad if I wanted to play with a group of musicians he knew. Bill, Bernie, and Fran treated me as an equal and I played music with them for many years right up to the time I moved to Florida in 1996. Bill was as kind and gentle a man as I have ever known and The World is a little poorer now that he is gone.

  14. Joan Murphy Fullmore
    December 6th, 2012 | 7:41 pm

    I am a west coast relative of Muriel. We were only able to communicate by mail. I enjoyed hearing of their musical exploits.

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service