Victor Butler Porter, 90, of Decatur, Indiana, passed away surrounded by family following a several week illness on Sunday, October 24, 2021, at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was born February 3, 1931, in Decatur, Indiana, to the late Giles Victor and Velma Mae (Butler) Porter. On June 1, 1950, he married Kristine Striker, his bride of 71 years.
He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Decatur, where he served on various committees, including Youth Fellowship leader and Lay Witness Mission team.
Vic was Chairman Emeritus of Formula Boats/Thunderbird Products in Decatur, and remained active in the business, family-owned since 1976. A true entrepreneur, Vic’s early ventures included mobile home sales, real estate and his own business, Vic’s Frozen Food Center and Center Ice Cream. Vic founded two boat companies, Duo, Inc. in 1958 and Signa Corp. with five business associates in 1970. In 1973, Vic sold Signa to Fuqua Industries, and was named President of their small-boat division. In 1976, Vic purchased Thunderbird Products/Formula/Signa from Fuqua. Vic served on the board and various committees of the National Marine Manufacturers Association and was inducted into the NMMA Hall of Fame in 2016.
Vic was active in the Decatur Chamber of Commerce, including serving as president, and helped spearhead the development of Decatur’s Industrial Park. He received the Outstanding Young Businessman award in 1964. in 1990, Vic was a finalist for the Indiana Entrepreneur of the Year Award and was that year’s recipient of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award. In 1997, Vic was awarded the Stephen Decatur Community Service Award, and in 2000, Thunderbird earned the Large Business of the Year Award. In 2012, Vic received the Junior Achievement BEL Award for Northern Indiana. In 2016, Vic was a torchbearer for the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay.
Vic was active in Boy Scouts, and was an Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster. He was a member of the Decatur Masonic Lodge F. & A.M. 571, the Scottish Rite Valley of Ft. Wayne, the Mizpah Shrine, and the Adams County Calliopers. He also served as Adams County’s Republican Party Chairman from 1973-1975. He was on the Board of Directors of Adams Memorial Hospital, and in earlier years he was a volunteer fireman and helped coordinate a high school drug awareness program. He also served on the Board of Directors of Indiana Central College and the Cole Foundation Board. Vic founded the Porter Family Foundation, providing philanthropic funding to charities and organizations, including funding for the formation of Adams Woodcrest and donating land and funding for Adams Memorial Hospital. Vic and Kris also established the Victor and Kristine Porter Community Enrichment Fund with the Adams County Community Foundation. They enjoyed summers at Lake Wawasee and winters in Naples, Florida.
He is survived by wife Kristine, five sons, John (Eileen Wakefield) Porter of South Bend, IN, Scott (Shelley) Porter, Grant (Deb) Porter, Wayne (Karen) Porter, Ted (Emily) Porter, all of Decatur, and daughter Jean (Charlie) Brune of Decatur, 17 grandchildren, Mathew (Samantha) Porter of Indianapolis, Alex Porter of Fishers, Erik Porter of Redmond, WA, Kevin Porter of North Hollywood, CA, Kyle Porter of Decatur, Matthew (Alison) Mishler of Noblesville, Mark Mishler of Indianapolis, Mary Anne (John) Workinger of Decatur, Adam (Clint Bayman) Porter of Fort Wayne, Jeremy Porter of Decatur, Sarah (Mackenzie) Bolinger of Fort Wayne, Jason (Kimberly) Brune of Decatur, Ryan (Genevieve) Brune of Columbus, OH, Nathan (Lauren) Brune of Fort Wayne, Daniel (Katie) Porter of Decatur, Christopher Porter of Decatur and Joshua (Alexis) Porter of Decatur, and 19 great-grandchildren, London, Cameron, Astrid, Tessa, Isaac, Lucy, Ally, Drake, Ella, Cain, Zeke, Logann, Carter, Hailey, Caleb, Abigail, Noah, Eli and Eleanor.
Vic was preceded in death by three sisters, Vera Berry, Ruth Ogle and Zula Ehinger.
Visitation will be Friday, October 29, 2021, from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Haggard-Sefton-Hirschy & Zelt Funeral Home, Decatur.
A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 30, 2021, at First United Methodist Church in Decatur, with calling one hour prior from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Officiating will be Pastor Steve Austin. Burial will be held in Decatur Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, Decatur, or Shriners Children’s Hospital.
Arrangements were handled by Haggard-Sefton-Hirschy & Zelt Funeral Home.
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