Thomas Winfred Porter

Thomas Winfred Porter 86 died on May 25, 2020.

He was born on March 1, 1934 in Duluth, Minnesota, the son of Leroy and Mary Leahy Porter. He was graduated from Edina High School in 1952 and earned a degree from University of Minnesota in 1956. He is also a graduate from Seton Hall Law School where he received a J.D. in 1964.

Mr. Porter served in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1958-1961. He married Jean Bernardon August 16, 1958 in Maplewood, NJ. They divorced in 1982. While raising his family in New Hampshire, he worked for a private law firm in Rochester, NH, from 1965-68, during which time he tested the Miranda Rights law before the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, assuring that right for the citizens of New Hampshire. He then worked at National Grange Mutual Insurance in Keene, NH from 1968- 1982. He moved to Harleysville, PA, and worked at Harleysville Insurance Company as a Tax Attorney from 1982-1984. He then moved to Lawrence where he met and married Marilyn Laws who preceded him in death in 2009. From 1984 to 1989 he worked in private practice at Alder and Nelson in Oberlin Park. He then became the City Prosecutor for the City of Lawrence, a job he loved, and worked there until his retirement at 78 in 2012.

Tom was a loving father and grandfather; his survivors include two sons, Thomas and Joseph Porter, daughter, Kathleen Porter, and 6 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, older brother, Roy, and sister, who was a long time Lawrence resident, Marianne Porter Gowen.

Services will be at Holy Family Church in Eudora. Date and time TBD.

The family suggests memorials to the at Holy Family Catholic Church, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, PO Box 1260, Lawrence KS 66044. Online condolences may be sent at

Messages & Condolences

From David Holroyd...

Tom was a compassionate person. I had personal experiences with him with regard to tenants and he always worked to assist them in the best outcome. At court and in personal life he always had the smile that is in his photo. He took the time when he was not at work and in his public life to speak to me a kind word. The City of Lawrence lost a valued employee when Tom retired.

From George Catt...

Tom Porter was an able officer of the court. It was a privilege to have have known and worked with him. Judge George Catt

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