Thomas Porter
1934 - 2020
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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

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Jun. 21, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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2 entries
June 24, 2020
I agree with everything John Frydman said and really thought the picture of Tom was perfect! Tom had a great sense of humor and was a great pleasure to be around. He and I spent a lot of time in and out of Court. After he retired we had lunch together because I missed seeing him. I am truly blessed to have known Tom and he will be greatly missed.

Timothy Riling
Tim Riling
June 23, 2020
I apologize for not submitting this sooner. However, I wanted Tom's family to know how much I appreciated Tom's demeanor and my interactions with him were always delightful. I am a criminal defense attorney in Lawrence and worked many cases with Tom. I have worked against prosecutors from across the State and not always harmoniously. Many I couldn't stomach at all but had to interact with as that is what I do. But with Tom it was truly always a joy to visit with him when we would discuss legal and other matters. He was very understanding of people's (i,e defendants) problems and his deals were always fair and reasonable. The photo in his obituary was perfect as Tom was generally smiling and in a good mood and that photo captured his essence.

To this day and until I retire when I schedule a hearing in the Lawrence Municipal Court I always use the letters "T.P." to remind myself that that is a Lawrence city matter. In that small way I will always be remembering Tom.

I am sorry for your (our) loss.

Sincerely yours,

John Frydman

John Frydman
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