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1410 E Bowman Ave.
Las Cruces, NM 88001-3001
Phone: (575) 526-2419
Fax: (575) 526-7944
Bennie Porter
In Memory of
1933 - 2019
Memorial Candle Tribute From
Getz Funeral Home
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
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Obituary for Bennie Porter

Bennie  Porter
Bennie J Porter, 85, crossed into eternity on Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at Mesilla Valley Hospice in Las Cruces, NM after a brief illness and a 53 year struggle with multiple sclerosis. His last fourteen years were spent in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Ben leaves behind three children, his son Alan Porter and wife Stanna Porter; his son, Scott Porter; his daughter Janet Shaw; six grandchildren; and fifteen great-grandchildren, with one more on the way.
Ben was born in rural Delaware County Oklahoma to Loss and Edna Porter on November 12, 1933. He was the fourth of four boys and was followed by five sisters. His early years were spent milking cows, pulling weeds, shucking corn and every other sort of thing one would expect on a family farm. The late depression period and the start of the war took his family to California in search of a better life. A few years later, while part of his family remained in California, Ben returned to Oklahoma to finish high school in 1951. After high school he moved to Washington DC, lured by an uncle who worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in their DC headquarters office. He served as a clerk in the training division and was honored to meet and occasionally assist J. Edgar Hoover, performing various clerical tasks for him at times. He was immensely proud of this opportunity. While in DC, Ben attended classes at George Washington University.

He was drafted into the US Army in April 1954, an opportunity he gladly accepted. He went to radar school at Fort Bliss and was later transferred to Germany where he served in the Occupation Forces and later the NATO Forces in Mannheim. His training as a radar operator was set aside for the more useful talents as a clerk, a job he was suited for because of the typing skills he developed while working as a clerk at FBI headquarters. This, along with the favor developed with his commanding officer, proved advantageous in providing numerous opportunities for travel. Ben experienced many of the wonders of Europe during this time, and even learned how to ski.

After receiving an honorable discharge from service, the GI Bill provided Ben with the opportunity to go to school full time. He attended Harding Christian College in Arkansas and received his bachelor of arts degree in journalism with a minor in political science and in Bible. In the summer between his junior and senior years he was a construction worker on the Minot Air Force base in North Dakota. While in Minot, during his senior year of college, he met and married LeVan Lila Indvik .

Ben’s first job after graduation was teaching science at Union Valley Junior High School in Hutchinson, Kansas. He also taught chorus, though his training in music was fairly limited. He simply loved to sing and he was willing to give it a try. He was known at church for having a beautiful tenor voice. While in Hutchinson, Ben and LeVan had two boys, Alan and Scott, fourteen months apart.

His teaching career lasted but a short time and was followed by his entry into the FBI academy at Quantico in July of 1962. Ben later served as a special agent in Jacksonville, Florida. FBI service in Cincinnati and then in Springfield, Ohio followed. In Florida he worked espionage and murder cases and in Ohio he worked bank robbery cases.

While Ben was in Jacksonville working a murder investigation at the Naval Air Station, he developed an informant that the Ku Klux Klan was trying to recruit. Ben was transferred to the New Orleans field office a few years later because of his relationship to this informant. At the time, a hot investigation was taking place regarding the murder of three civil rights activists who had been killed for registering black people to vote. Ben’s informant played a key role in the indictment and conviction of several Klan members involved in those murders. This case became the basis for two movies, the later of which was “Mississippi Burning” starring Gene Hackman. According to Porter, the older movie was the more accurate.

On December 21, 1965 Ben and LeVan’s daughter, Janet, was born. She was later nicknamed Rosie Pockets, because that was what she called ring-around-the-roses, a child’s game that brought her much joy as a small girl.

Mr. Porter resigned from the FBI in March of 1966 and moved to Littleton, Colorado where he spent a short time selling security systems to banks. During this time, symptoms of multiple sclerosis began to appear, and a positive diagnosis was finally given in October of 1968. During this time he worked as a trust officer for the American National Bank of Denver and he also worked a short time for Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Life-long love for the Lord led him to enter into ministry in late 1969. His first ministry position was in Littleton, Colorado and in 1970 he and his family moved to Cortez. After six and a half years there, he and his family moved to Montrose where he served several more years before his health deteriorated to the point he could no longer serve full time. In 1994, Ben moved to Oklahoma where, in spite of his own struggles with MS, he helped his mother whose health was failing. His mother passed away in 2003, and in May of 2005 Ben moved to Las Cruces to be near his son, Alan, and family.

Mr. Porter has always been devoted to church attendance, first at the University Church of Christ and more recently at the Las Cruces Church of Christ. This, along with regular swimming (three times a week), gave him a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Ben was a swimming regular, first at the NMSU aquatic center and later at the Las Cruces Regional Aquatic Center. He swam until just two years before he passed. On his 75th birthday, Ben celebrated by swimming 75 laps at the lap pool.

During the last two years of his life Mr. Porter was cared for full time by his son Scott and a number of care providers that he really loved, along with nurses and other healthcare professionals from the Veterans Administration. The complications of MS, dementia, heart and kidney disease led him down the last leg of his pathway in life. This pathway led him across the threshold of heaven’s gates where his family is certain that Ben’s loving Savior greeted him with a smile and the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Anyone who had the experience of talking to Mr. Porter for more than a few minutes was going to hear about the Lord Jesus. Jesus was his delight. Faithful, persistent, and thankful were the traits that best characterized his life.

Mr. Porter was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and two sisters. He is survived by one brother, three sisters, three children, six grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren, and more nieces and nephews than can be kept up with.

A memorial service will take place on May 5, 2019 at 5pm at the Las Cruces Church of Christ on North Valley Drive. All are welcome.

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