Porter is now the patriarch of our family. His father died last week, at the good age of 92. We are thankful that he did not linger in a nursing home, and that his mind was still his own even as his body deteriorated. His obituary was published in the Hartford Courant of August 22, 2019. Because the Courant charges a shocking price, I'm publishing the longer (and more genealogically satisfying) version here.
William Stoddard Wightman of Old Saybrook, Connecticut died August 15, 2019 at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown. Born February 21, 1927 in Bristol, Connecticut, Bill was the son of Stoddard Elsworth Wightman and Hilma Louise (Lulu) Faulk. He is survived by a son, William Porter Wightman (Linda) of Altamonte Springs, Florida, and a daughter, Prudence Wightman Sloane (Jay) of Salem, Connecticut, as well as three grandchildren, Heather (Jon) Daley, Janet (Stephan) Stücklin, and Spencer Sloane, and ten great-grandchildren, Jonathan, Noah, Faith, Joy, Jeremiah, and Nathaniel Daley, and Joseph, Vivienne, Daniel, and Eleonora Stücklin. He was predeceased by two wives, Alice Davis Porter of Higganum (1952-2001) and Arline Johnson McCahan (2002-2012), one sister, Elinor (Wightman) (Fredrickson) Fisher, and one great-grandson, Isaac Daley.
Bill enlisted in the Navy the day after he turned seventeen and was trained as a medic for the invasion of Japan, but was “saved by the bomb.” After the service he worked as a shad fisherman and helped Ernie Hull build the marina at Saybrook Point. He then went to Mitchell College and the Rhode Island School of Design, getting a degree in textile engineering. He worked thirty years for Albany International designing paper machine clothing. This gave him the opportunity to work abroad in France, Sweden, Holland, Brazil, and South Africa. He retired in South Carolina in 1982, living there until his second marriage in 2002 when he moved to Old Saybrook. He was an avid sailor and proud owner of the Fenwick cottage, the “Maggie P.” In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington.
As our new rector has taught us, we are bold to say,
May he rest in peace and rise in glory!