James "Jim" Franklin Porter, 86, of Camillus, died Saturday at Upstate University Hospital following a month-long hospitalization and three weeks after the death of his beloved wife, Janice. Born July 11, 1935 in Mineola, NY to James Francis and Matilda Stefan Porter, Jim grew up on Long Island and migrated upstate to attend Syracuse University. He graduated from SU in 1957 with an accounting degree, but more importantly with a lifelong partner. Jim and Janice were married Aug. 31, 1958 and made their homes in Syracuse, Trumansburg and primarily Camillus.
Jim had a knack for making friends wherever he went, be it on a park bench or Greyhound bus. That affability served him well as social director for his fraternity Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) and as a salesman for Moore Business Forms for more than 30 years, serving many of the same clients during his tenure.
Jim’s love of cars and the open road led to a retirement gig with Auto Driveaway. He visited each of the 50 states and could give road directions for any one of them with a suggestion of where to find a good diner or clams and oysters.
Jim enjoyed watching all sports and, despite his birthplace, became a devoted Red Sox fan, wearing a Boston cap when he died. He was a longtime season ticketholder to SU basketball games, but just as equally devoted to taking in his grandchildren's sporting events.
Jim came to appreciate his wife's love of music, serving as ticket-taker at her chorale concerts and attending Syracuse Symphony and other musical performances with her. He and Jan were among the heartiest clappers for their grandchildren's musical and drama performances.
Jim's loyalty, resilience and positive attitude crystallized perfectly when it came time to care for his wife during her decline with Alzheimer's. Even when COVID separated them, he always ensured she had plenty of bananas and caramel creams. His mantra of "Onward and Upward" will inspire his family forever.
Predeceased by his parents and wife Janice, Jim is survived by their four children: J. Scott (Susan) Porter of Seneca Falls, NY, Jennifer (Bob) Kraus of Manlius, NY, Jonathan (Lin) Porter of Mill Valley, CA and Jason (Jennifer) Porter of Bedford, NH.
Jim is also survived by ten grandchildren, Stephen, Hannah, Nora and Sean Kraus, Catherine and Jeremy Porter, Jack and Ben Porter, and Jocelyn and Jared Porter.
Also surviving are his sister, Alberta Sabia of Rochester; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Joint calling hours for Jim and Janice will be held Saturday, August 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in St. Joseph’s Church, 5600 W. Genesee St., Camillus.
A joint funeral Mass for Jim and Janice will follow at 1:30 p.m. If you are unable to attend, you can view the live streamed funeral Mass by visiting the website for St. Joseph’s Church. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be directed to the McHarrie Life Foundation, 7740 Meigs Rd, Baldwinsville, NY 13027 or the Alzheimer's Association, Central New York Chapter, P.O. Box 12226, Syracuse, NY 13218.