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Margie Porter was showered with gifts and adoration during a reception Saturday for devoting 50 years in service to Valley Cemetery.
“I don’t think there are words that can describe what she has meant to us,” said Charles Johnson, president of the Valley Cemetery board.
Yet, many words were used as friends and relatives touted Porter’s abilities. Words like kind, sweet and the phrase “a heart of gold.”
“I’ve never seen her get mad,” said Philip Ingram, a cemetery board member. Which is surprising considering in her position, Porter often dealt with the public.
Porter said she can still remember the day E.T. Holloway came to her home and announced she had been elected cemetery secretary/treasurer. It was 1960 and Porter was 38.
“I never dreamed I’d do it for 50 years,” said Porter. “It just grows on you. It’s a sentimental thing.”
Porter said Holloway was not the type of person who kept records. Instead, he taught Porter about the owners of various cemetery plots by weaving tales of their families.
“He passed the baton of knowledge to Margie,” said Johnson.
Even today, board members rely on Porter’s computer-like memory. Board member Annelle Hoene recalls a time when she was helping an out-of-town family find their relative’s grave site. Using the cemetery map, Hoene thought she could easily help the visitors. Eventually, she called Porter and “she walked me right up to the stone” without even glancing at the map.
“She’s a remarkable lady,” said Hoene.
At the reception held at the Taylorsville Masonic Lodge, Porter was presented a bouquet of flowers and a plaque commemorating her service.
“I just thank God everyday that I can do what I do to help people,” said Porter.