Orabell Porter

04/15/1932 - 10/28/2009

Orabell Shelley Porter, born April 15, 1932, in Linden, Arizona, passed away peacefully on October 28, 2009, in Gilbert, Arizona. She is survived by her brother, Maurice Gardner, her sisters, Merle Westover, Gerry Willis, and Leabeth McLaws, five children, Craig, Denise, Barry, Tammy and Myra, and twenty-three grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. Belle, the daughter of William Clark and Alice Willis Gardner, was raised on the family ranch. The seventh of eight children, she mastered the discipline and independence required for ranch life. She and her family were known for the unselfish service they rendered to all and for the fun and joy they created wherever they went. On May 20, 1950, after graduating from Snowflake Union High School, she married her sweetheart, Leland H. Shelley, in the Mesa Temple. Without a mortgage, the couple built their own home in Heber. Belle created a home full of love, happiness, and beauty for her family. She was an unfailing source of encouragement and support. Belle was widowed on April 18, 1974. One month later, she was called to serve as the ward Relief Society president. Her strength and leadership were a blessing to all. Additionally, Belle was named as the successor to her husband, Leland, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Navopache Rural Electrification Association, and was believed to be the first woman in America to so serve. Two years later she married Kenneth E. Porter and grew to love five more children, Michelle, Diana, David, Annette, and Gilda. They made their home in Mesa where Belle continued her life of service and joy. She was famous for her cooking skills and her art work. A master seamstress, she often made her own beautiful clothes. She made countless dresses, aprons, quilts, baby blankets, and other items for family and friends. She had a wonderful soprano voice and was a talented pianist. Christmas and other holidays, birthdays and family reunions were always turned into memorable occasions. Even though Belle faced many health related challenges throughout her life, including bouts with cancer, she always sought for opportunities to be of service to others. Her cheery nature and the graceful way in which she dealt with her own challenges always lifted others. Belle loved her Father in Heaven and faithfully taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ by precept and by example. She was greatly loved, and will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her. Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 31, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 1852 N. Stapley Drive, Mesa, Az 85203. Burial will be in Heber, AZ that afternoon at 4:00 p.m. Viewing will be from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday evening, October 30, 2009, at Bunker’s Garden Chapel, 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, AZ 85201.

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