Kay Porter

Obituary of Kay Porter

Patricia Kay Lane Porter, 75, loving wife, Mom, and Nannah, passed from this life to her eternal home with Christ on Thursday, April 1, 2021. 


Kay, as she was known to all, was born to the late Zada Ruth Stapleton Lane and James Earl Lane, on February 27,1946 in Kingsport, Tennessee - the same year the Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life" premiered, which is fitting because, not only was this one of her favorite movies, this was a description of the kind of life she lived and helped create for the family and friends she loved so well.


She graduated from Ketron High School, Bloomingdale, in 1964, and Whitney Business College, Kingsport.


She was married to her spouse, Ronald “Ronnie” Porter, in 1965. Kay is survived by her beloved husband: Ronnie; her children: Teronya Holmes and husband, James, of Kingsport, Tiffany Smelser and husband, Mark, of Blountville, and Brandon Porter and wife, Dinah, of Franklin, TN; and her dearly loved grandchildren: Hannah Smelser Shank and husband, James, Porter Smelser, Nevan Smelser, Delaney Porter, Cassidy Porter, Sadie Porter, Silas Porter, Josiah Porter, Aaron Holmes, William Holmes, and Preston Woods. She is also survived by her brother, James (Jimmy) L. Lane and spouse Barbara; and two special nieces, Terri Templeton and Sonya Hensley, and many more loved ones, including an aunt, cousins, and more dear nieces and nephews.


Kay met the love of her life, “Ronnie”, at Ketron High School, where she was a cheerleader. When they say “opposites attract”, they were talking about “Ronnie & Kay” - the mischievous, athletic, entertainer and the quiet, smiling, beauty queen. The word on the street has always been that “Ronnie outkicked his coverage”, and no one has ever figured out what kind of magic trick he worked to convince her to marry him. His explanation is simple - “God made us for each other - there is no other explanation.”


Ronnie loves to tell the story about how the first time he kissed Kay he fell off the porch. They both enjoyed such fond memories of their teenage and young adult years together, and the friendships they enjoyed and maintained throughout their nearly 61 years together (5 years of dating and almost 56 years of marriage).


After marrying in 1965, they lived briefly in Knoxville and then Melbourne, Florida, where Kay worked as an Executive Secretary at Harris Corporation. They loved the beach and made some great friends there, but after only one year as “Flatlanders” they moved back to Kingsport because they were homesick for their families and missed the beautiful mountains and four seasons of East Tennessee.


Kay lived an adventurous life with Ronnie in Kingsport, where they happily raised their family of 3 children and eventually helped raise their 11 grandchildren.  


In her younger years, Kay was just crazy and adventurous enough to willingly accompany Ronnie on his motorcycles, bikes, go-karts, hiking, water skiing, snow skiing, and camping excursions. They enjoyed many family vacations to the beach and Disney and all points in between. She eventually slowed down on some of the more adventurous outings, but remained supportive and understanding, though often worried, as Ronnie continued to do these things on into their golden years. They loved and complimented one another so well, and have continued to enjoy doing things together, such as day trips, sight-seeing, “cruising Broad”, and sitting by the fire watching old movies - just being together.


Kay enjoyed gardening, canning, and cooking delicious meals for her family, skills she learned from her own mother, Ruth Lane. To this day no one can replicate the amount of love and comfort they poured into every amazing dish. She also loved entertaining crowds of family and friends with her extraordinary culinary creations and gorgeous decorations while Ronnie entertained with his games, “shows”, and shenanigans. 


As a member of Cassidy United Methodist Church, Kay enjoyed many friendships, participated in the women’s circles, served as a hostess for countless bridal and baby showers, and also served as a devoted youth leader with Ronnie for many, many years. Her service and devotion is evidenced by how many of those young people remained in touch with her, and are now raising their families in church today.


Kay worked as a bookkeeper at Indian Springs Elementary School from 1976 until 2010, and also assisted her husband in his residential construction business. She enjoyed her job and the people with whom she worked, who will testify that she always had a smile and kind word for everyone, especially the children and youth. She also loved the fact that she and Ronnie, who transitioned from his engineering career to teacher/builder, had the same hours as their children and grandchildren - including summers and holidays off together as well. Family time was always a priority.


As far as mothers go, there was no comparison. The childhood she provided for her children  could almost be described as “magical”.  From the comfort she gave when they were sick, the nutritious and delicious meals she prepared, the opportunities she gave for both hard work and play, getting them ready for church every Sunday, enduring every athletic and dance and music lesson and event possible, to ensuring that vacations, holidays, and EVERY day was extraordinary - she made sure that her children, and their friends, felt loved and special in so many ways. 

And then she did it all again, and if possible multiplied it exponentially, for her grandchildren! She loved them so much and so well! Her favorite thing in life was having the entire family together - for holidays, birthdays, family vacations, or anything. Her children, grandchildren, and their spouses enjoy such close relationships with one another and with the Lord because of her example, her strong commitment to gathering loved ones together as often as possible, and her unwavering prayers and faith. There has never been a doubt that everything she has ever done was rooted in LOVE, for the Lord and for her family and others.  


Kay’s life was simply poured out for those she knew and loved - her beloved husband, her children and grandchildren, her extended family, and her friends. Though her family mourns that she has gone too soon, they rejoice that she lived life so well, and has surely heard her Lord and Savior say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  


Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31: 25-31


A “Celebration of Life” service will be held Saturday, April 10, at 1:30 pm at Celebration Church, Blountville, in the worship center, with Robert Russell officiating, to be followed by visitation with family and friends in the Celebration Church gymnasium from 3-5 pm. The family requests that you honor her memory by wearing bright colors, such as her favorites of blue, green, yellow, and purple, instead of black. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ministry served by her granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Hannah and James Shank: 



Carter-Trent Funeral Home in downtown Kingsport is proudly serving the Porter family.


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Celebration of Life Service

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Celebration Church
429 Shipley Ferry Rd.
Blountville, Tennessee, United States


3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Celebration Church
429 Shipley Ferry Rd.
Blountville, Tennessee, United States
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