Linda “Mammy” Jo Porter, a treasured wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, 77 of Bolivar, Missouri, passed away on June 13, 2024.
Linda was born on February 7, 1947, to Elizabeth (Everett) Hedrick and Walter Hedrick in Springfield, Missouri. The day after Linda graduated from Parkview High School, she married her husband and best friend, Martin Taylor Porter, Jr. The couple were side by side from June 4, 1965, until Linda entered eternal rest.
Martin and Linda moved to Bolivar in 1976 after purchasing a fescue seed business. They truly experienced the American Dream as they grew their business and raised their family in the Bolivar community. Linda’s hands were full raising her ornery boys, Tony, John and Randy (and often said she raised four, including Martin in the mix). Linda loved her whole family, but she had a special place in her heart for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Anyone who spent time with Mammy better be prepared to hear multiple stories about one of her children or grandchildren. Over the years she attended numerous sporting events, school concerts and graduations to support her family and would beam with pride. Mammy cherished holidays, especially Christmas, where she would decorate for a month in preparation for the event. Birthdays were also a big deal to Mammy. She would go to great lengths to make someone feel special, often hosting dinners to celebrate someone’s big day. Mammy was happiest when loving and serving her family.
In the early years of her marriage, she enjoyed playing fast-pitch softball and was a pitcher on her team, The American Tank. Prior to moving to Bolivar, Linda also served in the JC wives in Memphis, Tennessee and Nevada, Missouri. Linda enjoyed working in the seed business with Martin and looked forward to the fescue seed harvest each summer so she could visit with the customers she loved like family. After harvest, weekends at the lake were her joy. Her love for the lake came from her high school summers working at the Lake of the Ozarks where she became an accomplished slalom water skier.
Linda worshiped at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Bolivar, MO. She served as President for several different organizations including Polk County Republican Women’s Club and 7th District Republican Women and was the chairman of the Polk County Republican Central Committee, where she donated her time to many political campaigns. Linda was a member of the 20 Club and the Nu Chi chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority as well as various bridge groups. Her activities gave her the opportunity to spend time with the dear friends she made throughout her life in Bolivar. Linda has left her mark on the community that she loved so much, and it would be hard to find anyone who doesn’t have a warm story about her to share.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Elizabeth “Nanny” (Everett) Smith, her father, Walter Hedrick, stepmother Louise Hedrick, father-in-law Martin Porter Sr., and a host of cherished aunts and uncles.
Linda is survived by her beloved Martin (Poppy), a devoted husband and partner-in-everything for the past 59 years; her three “baby” boys, Tony (Regina) Porter of Bolivar, John (Jill) Porter of Bolivar and Randy (Tanya) Porter of Ashland; six grandchildren, Austin (Sydney) Porter, Andrea Porter, Abbi (Brett) Jones, Alex (Ryan) Conley, Nova Porter and Kegan Porter; four great grandchildren, Addy Porter, Juliet Jones, Axtin Porter and Annie Jones. Linda also leaves behind her brother Larry (Diana) Hedrick, her sister Dawn Hedrick, her mother-in-law Alice Porter and a multitude of cousins, nieces and nephews, extended family and close friends.
Visitation for Linda will be held at the Butler Funeral Home Monday evening, June 17, 2024, starting at 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM. Funeral Services will be held at the First Christian Church in Bolivar on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, starting at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First Christian Church in Bolivar.