OPD chaplain Steve Porter remembered

Steve Porter

Steve Porter is going to be missed. He served the Oxford Police Department as a chaplain and part-time dispatcher for 30 years.
“He was a great person to talk to,” Police Chief Mike Solwold remembers. “He was easy-going, pleasant to be around, always there.”
As chaplain, Steve assisted officers and citizens during times of tragic events, offering counsel and giving notice to families when there was a death.
“You knew you could count on him as someone to talk to about anything,” Solwold said. “He always had the right answer.” They shared some great laughs over the years, chatting about life in general.
Steve was the kind of guy that came to your aide when you needed it. He allowed his property to be used for firearms training, which saved the Department thousands of dollars over the years. The only thing he asked was, “No shooting on Sundays!”
His son, Andy Porter says, “He was a very upbeat person. He would talk to anyone in line at the grocery store or at the doctor’s office. He never met a stranger and he loved people.”
Andy and his mother, Jan Porter, recall two stories Steve would tell from his years as a dispatcher.
One time, he got a 911 call that the library was closed. Come to find out, it was 5th grade child with a math question. Steve, also being a teacher, instructed the student to hang-up and call back on the non-emergency line, where he helped them with their homework.
Another time, a five-year-old boy called 911 for an ambulance. “Why do you need an ambulance?” Steve asked, “Where is your father?”
“In the shower,” replied the child.
“Can I talk to him?”
“No, no.” The child hung up.
Steve called back. The father answered, “Cancel the police, but you might want to keep the ambulance coming.”
Steve thought that was pretty funny.
Growing up on a farm between Oxford and Leonard, Andy says his father taught him to work hard, and to put family and faith first.
Steve and Jan Porter would have been married 50 years in June. “It was a bumpy road at times,” she said. “He struggled with underlying health conditions, but he found his faith to be most consoling.”
Visitation for Steve Porter will be on Thursday March 26 from 9-11 a.m. at Oakwood Community Church located at 5791 Oakwood Rd, Ortonville, MI 48462. The memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. With the current restrictions in place, the family is asking that only family members attend the memorial service at 11 am.
The service will be streamed live on the Oakwood Community Church Facebook page.
Mr. Porter’s official obituary can be read on Page 9.

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