Military Monday: 1,298th recruit Brigade Review San Diego Naval Training Center

My Father was the Guest of Honor for the 1,298th Recruit Brigade Review at the Naval Training Center of San Diego on Friday, March 11, 1977. He was representing the NAACP, San Diego Branch as the President.

Dr. Walter James Porter
(Far Right)

Dr. Walter Porter Representing NAACP


Walter Porter receiving a gift

The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011

A Lasting Memorial: Sentimental Sunday

Photos by ImageSeed Photography & Mike Norris…All Rights reserved

Speaking to Staff and some Parents @ Porter Elementary
re: Naming of School and who Dr. Walter Porter was.

Today is the 10th Year Anniversary of my Father’s Passing.  It is very difficult for me to do justice in honoring my father in a short and sweet post.  It is not like my father was extra-ordinary because he was just a regular guy who sometimes did things in an extra-ordinary way.

During my father’s Celebration of Life Services, there was mention as to naming a building, street, maybe one of the Salvation Army Centers, just name something after him.  I thought, “Wow! That would be nice!”  Well, in 2003, as I was reading a local newspaper, The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint, I came across an ad requesting names for the naming of two schools to be built under Proposition MM.  (The light-bulb went off!)

“The Campaign for the Naming of a San Diego City School was ON!”

Now why on earth would we name a school after my father?  We have other great men (Black men) in San Diego, so why Walter?  I think it is because of the Essence of who Walter Porter was, and it was in the heart of the people who knew him and his life, that they chose to have this school named after him.

For those of you that did not know who Walter James Porter was, (known as “Wally” to others) here is a letter my mother wrote for the school naming campaign I organized:


Janet D. Delaney
Director of Community Relations
San Diego City Schools
4100 Normal Street
San Diego, CA 92103

May 28, 2003

Dear Ms. Delaney:
When my beloved, now deceased husband retried from his administrative position with the San Diego Community College District in June 1994, his retirement party was attended by hundreds of people.  The Admiral Kidd Club’s large dining room was packed.  He received so many plaques and proclamations that the two huge bulletin boards I had constructed in a large room in our house were inadequate to contain them.  He received letters of commendation from the (then Republican Governor of California and from the Democratic President of the United States of America.
When, as a long-established nursing home resident, in 2000-2001, for many months, it was noted that Dr. Walter J. (“Wally”) Porter received more guests than had ever been recorded in the history of that institution (and some visited after sign-in hours.)
Hundreds more people packed the Neighborhood House Association at Wally’s Celebration of Life Memorial Service on August 18, 2001.  They came from near and far.
Wally belonged to the community.  He was devoted to helping as many people as possible.  As Mrs. Freddye Jackson, retired principal, once remarked: “He really cared,” and to Wally, the “Community” stretched from the Mexican border to the North County border and far beyond whether he was selling raffle tickets in San Diego or soliciting funds (and getting them) from the Pentagon, he energetically and tirelessly worked on behalf of his community.  Whether he was helping an individual solve a problem on a “one-on-one” basis or leading an extremely large group toward a successful altruistic goal, his magnetic personality, genuine warmth, incredible sense of humor and leadership skills accompanied by his rich baritone voice enabled him to “move mountains.”
In addition to working tirelessly as a community college administrator, Wally participated enthusiastically in innumerable organizations.  He was a man who didn’t know how to say “No!”  Some organizations he worked with for a while.  Others appeared to be permanent.  In fact, he was dressing to attend a Salvation Army Breakfast Meeting when he suffered his first stroke. (I was at home and called 9-1-1.)  A partial list of his organizations follows.  (I’m bound to leave some out, since he was active in Los Angeles before we moved here in 1968-1969 with our family).
(My daughter has sent you Wally’s resume, so I won’t repeat all that).

Partial List -San Diego Community College Administrator’s Association
-Charter member, San Diego Southeast Rotary Club
-President, San Diego Chapter, N.A.A.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
-Martin Luther King, Jr., Educator’s Breakfast and Parade Committee
-Starlight Musical Theater Board of Directors
-Salvation Army Advisory Board
-La Jolla Playhouse Advisory Board
-Alpha Pi Chapter, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity
-Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
-Tema, Ghana (Africa) Sister City Society
-100 Black Men (National Coalition) San Diego Chapter
-San Diego Museum of Art, African Arts Committee
-San Diego Catfish Club
-Mentor for San Diego Links-“An affair of Honor.” (Yearly event)
In spite of (the above) and many other endeavors, Wally found time to be a loving husband and father.  He always had time for us, individually and together.
Dr. Walter J. (Wally) Porter is as fine a role model as has ever been born.  The Community of San Diego deserves to have a school named in his honor.
Respectfully submitted,
(Mrs.) Betty M.P. Porter

Even though my father has been physically gone from this earth, I feel his Spirit daily.  I found myself trying to walk in my father’s shoes and did not give my self a chance to breathe. Now I have found my own calling, and am free to be who I am.

My father had his ashes buried at sea..So the School is a wonderful testament and memorial to his life.

The School Naming Committee unanimously voted to name a school after Dr. Walter Porter, and then the San Diego Unified School Board District voted unanimously to name a school after Walter Porter.  So….

We had a School Naming Ceremony….
Formerly Kennedy Elementary School

We Had a Groundbreaking Ceremony…..



We Had a School Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony:

We Formed a Foundation, Raised some monies for some projects & Had 1st Annual Gala Honoring Community Leaders

Had A Second Gala & Honored Community Leaders


We have participated in Book Reading to the children, and many other activities……
Willie G, Yvette Porter Moore, Donnell Johnson
Community Member
Yvette Porter Moore
Yvette Porter Moore
We as a community are going to continue to keep the name & Spirit of Wally Porter alive as we Re-establish the Porter Foundation, and help our children to continue pursuing their education.
The Two New Schools in Dr. Walter J. Porter’s Honor (North & South Campus):
Painting donated by Porter Family Estate
© Yvette Porter Moore-All Rights Reserved


A Living Tribute to My Hero-My Father: Sentimental Sunday

My Father Walter Porter was born Sept 11, 1927 and died August 7, 2001. I had the opportunity to read my tribute to him about 6 months before he had his stroke in 2000. I also read this at his Celebration of Life. My father’s reaction, “He cried, which in turn made me cry.”
             As you sit and I read the title of this paper, you may be pondering, “Why on earth would I title this paper as such?”  Well, to be quite honest with you dad, I was driving down the street a few days ago, and the thought of writing my father a tribute was dropped into my spirit.  So many people give living tributes after their loved and admired one’s are in the comforting arms of our Lord.  Your failing heart woke something up in me, and I felt pressed to give you the contents of mine, so that you may know how I feel about you and how your life has touched mine.  I don’t want to wait for the day that I won’t be able to see your face.  I want my tribute to be given to you while you are here, so that I can see the expression on your face.  I would write a tribute, and read it on that blessed day to a congregation of folks, but why?  I don’t think I could live with myself knowing that I didn’t say all I wanted to the one whom I cherish.
               Daddy, all my life I wanted you to be proud of me.  I craved to hear the words, “I am proud of you.”  Well you told me the other day with heartfelt tears that you were proud of me.  I felt at peace to know that I am on track.  I want to let you know that I am proud of you too.  I have never once, not been proud of you, even when you would walk down the hallways of my Jr. High wearing your 70’s style plaid suit. I was proud of you when you earned your doctorate degree.  I was proud of you when you retired with honorable mentions.  I was proud of you when you celebrated your 25th and now 44th wedding anniversary.  I was proud of you every time you were in a position of leadership and on the different organization advisory boards.  I am proud of you now for just being my daddy.

Dad was w/Salvation Army Advisory Board for 24 years

                I admire you with all your tenacity for living and your admirable life.  I admire your strength, the love you have for life, and how you share your experiences with others so that they may learn from them.  I have never seen you once, not wanting and not able to help someone in need.  You always go the extra mile to touch a life; while improving it.  My life you have touched.  I could live 100 years and could never fill the shoes that you have set before me to walk, but you have given me a great example to live by.

               I know I was slow in pursuing my education, but because of you, I knew I had time.  I always kept it in mind that you completed your bachelors at 39.  I learned from you, that there is no obstacle that can’t be overcome.
               In writing this tribute, I need to say, “thank you.”  Thank you for all the memories we have shared.  Thank you for the more than half-eaten McDonald hamburgers you shared with me for lunch.  Thank you for the outing to Lake Murray when I was little.  Catching those polliwogs was fun, but why couldn’t we take them home?  Thank you for your encouragement when I ran the 440, and I actually won the race.  Thank you for your discipline of love, even though you thought it went through one ear and out the other.  Thank you for the tires you replaced on my car, and the old tapes that play in my head about having jumper cables, a blanket, and flashlight in the trunk.  Thank you for the NAACP meeting you dragged me to, (I actually enjoyed the attention, and the candy store down the street.)  Thank you for the trips to the Salvation Army thrift shop to by my clothes for school, (You always were looking for a deal.)  Thank you for scaring me with Jodie, the dummy, I shall never forget.  Thank you for entertaining my elementary school with Jodie, and playing your bongo drums, (It made me feel special.)  

               Thank you for my first job at the Starlight Opera, I learned every show tune.  Thank you for the Bon-Bons at the movies; (Why did I only get one?)  Thank you for your never-ending love you have for me, no matter where I’ve been in my life.  Thank you for standing by me during my times of struggle, (you didn’t even run.)  Thank you for your sense of humor, and the joy you seem to give.  Thank you for the times you would wash my hair; (I just couldn’t stand the twisting to get the water out.)  Thank you for your patience when I would sing two hours in the car to Los Angeles; (and it was always the same old song.)  Thank you for the time you carried me into the house after a long trip, (I really was not asleep), but who wouldn’t want their daddy to carry them in while feeling secure.  Thank you for the outfits you have adorned me with, just like mom.  (You know I couldn’t wait till I was old enough where you would buy me some.)  Thank you for being a wonderful grandfather to my children and the quarters you’ve handed out.  But most of all thank you for being the most wonderful dad; a daughter could have, and wouldn’t want to be without.

Wedding Wednesday: The Greene’s and the Porter’s

 Mr. and Mrs. William and Yvonne Greene
William Bradford Greene and Yvonne LaFargue
William Bradford Greene was my Godfather, and served as California State Senator for 17 years.  He represented South Central Los Angeles and the cities of South Gate, Cudahy, Compton and Bell.  The couple was probably married in the early 60’s.
 My Parents: Mr. and Mrs. Walter and Betty Porter
Parents Wedding announcement
Parents Wedding Certificate

Married August 18, 1957

Walter J. Porter and Betty Mae Peters

Historical Research Trip To Sugar Hill, Harlem, New York

 Life on Sugar Hill
I am writing my mother’s memoirs of “Sugar Hill” New York between 1926 and 1950. It is a story written from a daughter’s perspective.
Betty Peters-1929 Photo by D’Laigle

Currently I am researching the Sugar Hill neighborhood of Manhattan, and will raise-the-bar of my research by visiting New York this June 2010.  My daughter Vanessa will go with me, as she is my official photographer and will document our footprints.  We will be staying in a local Bed & Breakfast which is located two blocks from the actual Apartments my mother lived. This will allow me to walk the streets my mother walked and breathe in the culture of Harlem that my mother knew so well.

Betty Mae Peters, 16 yrs old

When I was a little girl, my mother recorded her life stories of New York and the background of her family history on tape.  She would tell me that she was writing a book, but never got around to finishing her project. This is why I feel the strong need to finish her book, even though there is so much that has been taken with her in death.  For this very reason, we should never put off what we can do today.

My mother, Betty Mae Peters Porter was born in New York City on November 17, 1926 to Agnes Cully and Charles I. Peters. She was an only child. Betty grew up in the “Sugar Hill” area of New York City where she attended George Washington High School.  Always an organizer and socialite, Betty and her life time friend, Marilyn “Mickey” Sullivan formed and belonged to a club during their childhood called the “149 Street Queens.”
Her mother, Agnes, was a well known seamstress and fashion designer. Her clients included Marian Anderson, Betty Davis, Barbara Rush, Joan Crawford and other celebrities. Betty often modeled in her mother’s fashion show in New York City.
Marian Anderson and My Grandmother Agnes Cully Peters.  My Grandmother was her personal fashion designer
Betty was always an excellent student. She received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from New York University in 1947. Her skills and clever talents in writing were evident in her unique holiday letters received by friends and relatives. Betty and her mother moved to Los Angeles, where her Aunt Zara Cully Brown was an actress, also known as “Mother Jefferson” in the television sitcom “The Jefferson’s” (staring Sherman Hensley, and Isabelle Sanford.)
My Great Aunt Zara Cully Brown

While in Los Angeles, Betty received her CA teaching credential from Los Angeles State College, and attended Pepperdine University, where she received her Master of Arts degree in Multicultural Education. Betty became very popular and active in the social and political circles of the Los Angeles Community. Betty taught at Rosewood Elementary School and later founded the Friendship Guild where she was president. This was an elite organization of women who remained as Betty’s dearest friends throughout her life.

In 1957, Betty met and married the late Dr. Walter J. Porter. They moved to San Diego, CA in 1969, and became very active in the field of education, musical and civic affairs. They also became the proud parents of two loving children. Betty taught classes for the Gifted and Talented Students at the elementary school level in San Diego City Schools for many years, retiring in 1992. She was an avid reader, and an excellent cook. A “gathering” at the Porter household was always a special treat. She was very supportive of “Wally’s” numerous activities as she shared forty-four memorable years with him until hes death in 2001. She also enjoyed spending time with her seven grandchildren.
Betty was a member of the San Diego -Tema Sister City Society, the African Arts Committee, The Chapel of Awareness in Encinitas and was an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Silver Star, (Epsilon Xi Omega Chapter). Betty was a breast cancer survivor who tried to impress on others the importance of yearly exams. She suffered a massive stroke on Christmas Eve, which took her life.

The material, both written and photographic on these pages is the copyright of Yvette Porter Moore unless stated. Material on this site may be used for personal reference only. If you wish to use any of the material on this site for other means, please seek the written permission of Yvette Porter Moore
© 2010-2011