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Garry Lee Porter

December 8, 1959 January 12, 2022
Garry Lee Porter
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Obituary for Garry Lee Porter
Garry Lee Porter, 62, of Urbandale, Iowa, passed away January 12, 2022, at his home. Visitation will be held 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Monday, January 17, 2022, at Johnson Family Funeral Home & Crematory - Earlham Chapel. Funeral services will be held 1:00 P.M. Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at the Earlham United Methodist Church. Burial will follow the services in Earlham City Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Garry Porter Memorial Fund and may be sent in care of Johnson Family Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at

Garry was born December 8, 1959, in Greenfield, Iowa to Donald Dean and Norma Jean (Dupey) Porter. He grew up and attended schools in Casey, Menlo, and Guthrie Center. Following his schooling, Garry moved to Des Moines where he lived until making his home in Urbandale 25 years ago. He worked as a salesman for Old Home Bread Company and Payless Cashway Lumber Company before being employed at Lowes where he worked for 7 years. He met the love of his life 25 years ago, Vickie (Merical) Gilbert and to this union Garry became an instant father of three children, Jeremy, Nickie and Savannah. One of the happiest days of Garry’s life was on January 10 when he married Vickie. Garry was a member of the NWA Fishing Association. He enjoyed fishing, target shooting with his guns, and spending time with his family. Every day he would ask Vickie 'who's home'?, when I told him Nickie, Savannah and Jeremy he would say 'OK' and not worry about the kids until they left the house again.

Garry is preceded in death by his mother, Norma Jean Porter, sister, Shelly DeAnn Porter, brother, Larry Dean Porter, his father-in-law, Floyd “Jr.” Merical and mother-in-law, Georgie Merical.

He leaves behind to cherish his memory, the love of his life, Vickie Gilbert of Urbandale, Iowa; children, Jeremy Gilbert of Earlham, Iowa and Nickie Gilbert of Urbandale, Iowa; grandchildren, Savannah Gilbert and Madysen Gilbert; father, Dean (Mary) Porter of Guthrie Center, Iowa; sisters, Cindra Kay Porter of Urbandale, Iowa and Linda Jean (Ron) Clark of Panora, Iowa; brother & sisters-in-law, Ramon (Cathy) Merical of Boise, Idaho, Teena Woodward of Alabama, Johnny (Carolyn) Merical of Dallas Center, Iowa, Roger Merical, Earlham, Iowa, Roben Fairchild, Earlham, Iowa, Rebecca (Marty) Merical of Dardanell, Arkansas, and Shannon Merical of Rippey, Iowa; Josh Fellner of Des Moines, Iowa and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends all of whom will miss him greatly.

When we met, I had a 1967 Firebird so he bought a 1968 Firebird so we could cruise side by side and watch the faces of car buffs. Mine is gone but I still have his.

One passion was Nascar racing if it included 7-time champ Jimmie Johnson. I thought all they did was drive around in circles! BORING. Then the cars crashed, and I was hooked. We watched the races every chance we got. Together. Two seasons at Newton racetrack was a highlight.

One day he told me he wanted to see the blue water of the ocean, so I made plans to take him to Gulf Shores, Alabama. I know, I know not the ocean, but he didn't care because it was blue and clear. We got lost in St. Louis, scared me. As usual he was silent, I was verbal. We spent one-night with Teena on the way to the Gulf. He was able to walk halfway down the beach to the water. I went the rest of the way. I walked in the water and picked up seashells for both of us. We then drove to Rebecca's where we visited and picked up Sophie. Sophie is our joy. She snuggled up to him the last week and on the day, she stayed with him until he was taken away. Our new kitten. We spent many summer vacations at Rebecca's with my Dad and Fern until Dad got sick. So many wonderful memories.

The hard part was watching Garry struggle and fight to stay with me. A stroke at 33. A seizure while working at Lowes started a long series of heart arrhythmias that took a heart shock to reverse. A pacemaker no longer helped. U of I Heart Clinic was next. Prepared us for a heart transplant. That was spring of 2008. November 2008 his heart was so weak (functioning at 18%) that he was fitted with a heart pump. Once his body healed enough for a second surgery, he was placed on the UNOS transplant list at priority #1 for 30 days. 01/09/2009 he was placed on the list. 01/30/2009 he got the call, be there in 2 hours. I know I am a little crazy but when we pulled on to the interstate there was news on about a woman killed in the Ia. City area. Coincidence? I think not but he never wrote his letter to the donor family. I guess it was too hard knowing someone died so he could live. He fought heart rejection headaches, backaches, and many ailments that would take too long to list. After so many problems he developed skin cancer in 2018. The cancer was removed, they pulled all his teeth so he could no longer eat solid foods, then he underwent 6 weeks of daily radiation. We came home 10/21/19 and he went downhill fast, dropping to 130#. He was unable to go outside for months. He had 6 weeks of home care. He was a little better and we took rides to Saylorville to watch the wildlife. On 10/21/20, 1 year from coming home after radiation, he fell and broke his collarbone and fractured a bone in his spine. MORE PAIN to endure. His weight dropped to 112# (he was almost 6ft tall and I weighed him on 01/08/22), home care came on Friday also. She said I should decide within 24hrs if we wanted hospice. No one thought he would make it to Monday. Then he had a life threatening arrythmia that caused his defibrillator to shock him back in rhythm. He and I talked about what Carolyn said and he told me he was not done fighting. Dean and Mary visited him on Saturday. Dean told him he should decide about hospice care because this was very hard on me. I told Garry I would take care of him for another 20 years if needed, he was my life. If hospice was to come, he would stay home with me because we wanted every second we had left together. He continued to deteriorate. Hospice came at 3pm on 01/10/21. Garry and I said our vows unofficially at 4pm on 01/10/22. You don't need a piece paper to feel married and we always felt married, but his eyes lit up, he repeated all the words and kissed me for the last time. I kissed on him a lot and he said, 'I feel you baby'. He seemed very happy. On 01/12/22 he wanted to get dressed and come to the living room. I dressed him and brought him out. About 3pm I went to shower, and the Angels took him from me and my family.

I thank my kids for being here with me and for me, Rebecca, Shannon, Johnny and Carolyn for checking on Garry almost daily. And a thank you to Linda and Ron Clark who have supported us thru all of this with calls and visits to Garry. He is missed already.
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Previous Events





6:00 PM 1/17/2022 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 1/17/2022 8:00:00 PM
Johnson Family Funeral Home - Earlham

140 NW 2nd St
Earlham,, IA 50072

Johnson Family Funeral Home - Earlham
140 NW 2nd St Earlham, 50072 IA
United States





1:00 PM 1/18/2022 1:00:00 PM
Earlham United Methodist Church

145 NE Sycamore Ave
Earlham, IA 50072

Earlham United Methodist Church
145 NE Sycamore Ave Earlham 50072 IA
United States

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