Virginia Winebarger Porter passed peacefully in the morning of Friday, November 19 with her family by her side. Virginia was born to William and Nancy Elizabeth Sharp on August 17, 1931 in Lillybrook, West Virginia, a town which no longer exists. There were a total of six kids in the family but Virginia always said she was the middle child. Mom was an original coal miner’s daughter born to a father who worked in the coal mines. She lived in the east until she was 15 years old when the family moved west to Oregon. Virginia graduated from Bend High School.
Later the family moved to Mitchell where she met Dean Winebarger, a North Carolina native who came west after World War II. Virginia and Dean were married 20 years and had two daughters, Connie and Norma. Virginia later married Howard Porter, adding Howard’s five children (Marylou, a second Connie, Jim, Doug, and Patrick) to the family. Howard and Virginia were married for 39 years until Howard’s passing in 2013.
Mom had many hobbies including crocheting and made many items for family and friends. She was an avid horseshoe competitor and once won a first place award in a competition. Virginia and Howard were snow birders and at one time or other owned nearly every form of RVs. They had many wonderful trips to the desert country of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and into Mexico and visited eight countries on a tour of Europe. Mom loved camping and it didn’t matter where because she just enjoyed being out in nature. A special place to visit was Snake River where Howard and Virginia enjoyed fishing for channel cats and bass.
Virginia enjoyed her church and her church family. She attended the Prineville Nazarene Church for 50 years and served for years as a greeter, smiling and shaking hands with people as they entered the church building and making people feel welcome. Mom enjoyed holidays and the family gatherings. She prepared big meals for family and was a great bread and roll maker.
Virginia is survived by daughters Connie (Dan) Chamness and Norma Powell, both of Prineville and step-children Marylou (Denny) Wayne of Lewiston ID, Connie (Mike) McGillvray of Veneta, Jim (Maria) Porter of Bend, Doug (Molly) Porter of Juneau AK, and Patrick Porter of Springfield. She is also survived by her sister Dorothy (Roy) Brooks in Siloam Springs AR. Virginia is survived by grandchildren Brian (Neva) Allen, Sherri Powell, Ty (Emily) Powell and Scott Powell plus many great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren. Virginia’s parents, husband Howard, brothers Hoil, Bud and Robert and sister Lucille preceded her in death.
We thank everybody for all the love and prayers during this time.