Sylvia Belle Porter

NORTH YARMOUTH – Our family mourns the loss of Sylvia Belle Parks Porter, 75, longtime resident of North Yarmouth, who left us unexpectedly on Sept. 29, 2020. She was born in Portland on May 21, 1945, the daughter of Ruth (Small) and Henry Franklin Parks.

For the coming days and beyond, know that there is so much to remember her by. We remember her tales of growing up on Munjoy Hill. We remember her fondness for her brother, Frank, and time spent with her sister, Elizabeth “Betsy”, both of whom helped raise her when their mom died so very young.

We remember her as the “most witty” member of Portland High School’s class of 1963, as office manager at AL Stewart and Sons where she would meet her future husband of 47 years, Dr. Joseph A. Porter, who had his dental practice across the hall. We remember their lives together in North Yarmouth, turning their antique farmhouse and country acres into a home and estate. We remember her growing things big on the farm as she liked to say, both her flowers and her two sons. We remember her many friendships formed as a member of the Ladies’ Dental Auxiliary, the Victoria Society, and the Walnut Hill Garden Club, where she also served a term as president.

We remember her voice, from cheering for her boys from the stands at every one of their ballgames, to singing spontaneous renditions of near forgotten oldies (Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay!) to witty remarks from her catalog of colorful quips for nearly any occasion. We remember her hands that in their prime could move, build and turn anything into something better, whether it was her perennial gardens, wool socks and sweaters, or tole paintings. We remember her heart, facing some of life’s toughest times with laughter, which she would always say was much preferred to crying.

We remember sunny, happy days full of the best silly nothingness with her dearest friend, Bonnie. And you may remember her too. People move in and out of your life like the tide. But, if Sylvia shopped in your store or ate in your restaurant or was near you at a gathering, you knew her. She just had that way about her.

She leaves us with her love and memories, funny stories and songs, and holes in our hearts until we see her again.

Sylvia is loved by her husband, Joe; son, Joseph Jr., and his wife Cathy of Freeport and their children Will, Jacoby, Anna and Emma; son, Henry Porter of Cumberland and his son Reilly; her friend of many years, Bonnie Atwell of Falmouth; and her extended family.

May you rest in sweet peace Sylvia, Nanny, Mom.

The family will be having a private graveside service in her memory.

Please visit to sign Sylvia’s online guest book.

Guest Book