Susan Marie Oliver Porter passed away peacefully with her children and husband at her bedside on Friday, December 5th, 2014. Susan was known to many in the Tuckerton - Little Egg Harbor, NJ area as a 3rd grade teacher in the Little Egg Harbor School District. She moved here from her native Florida in 1965 to marry David H. Mathis of Tuckerton. Together they had two children: Don Mathis and Kim Mathis (Andersson). In 1983 she married George A. Porter of Boston, Massachusetts. George brought three children to the marriage: Jackie Porter (Kaari), Steven Porter, and Mari Porter (Considine). Susan always said she wanted ""his,"" ""hers,"" and ""ours,"" when it came to the children so together they had two more: Amanda Porter and Alison Porter. She is survived by all 7 children, 9 grandchildren, and her loving husband of 31 years, George. Susan attended and graduated from Georgian Court College in Lakewood NJ in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She began her teaching career as a 4th grade teacher at what was then called Little Egg Harbor Elementary School. She retired as a 3rd grade teacher at the L.E.H. Intermediate School in 2007. She was a nurturing and loving educator, dedicated to her craft and the children and families she served. Over the years she touched the lives of hundreds of children and their families. She considered this a great responsibility, an honor, and a gift.
Susan was the first born child of Colonel Walker Bayless (W.B.) Oliver and Betty Jane (Moores) Oliver, born in 1944 in Pensacola, Florida. The family grew to include her brothers Gerald Oliver and Donald Oliver (predeceased) and sister Kathy Oliver (Wick). W.B. served the majority of his career in the Florida Highway Patrol after serving in the U.S. Army in Europe in WWII. Moving often all over the sunshine state, Susan attended a number of schools but considered Stuart High School (currently known as Martin County High School) in Florida to be her Alma Mater. It was in Stuart that she made many lifelong friends.
Susan was known as different things to different people: daughter, sister, cousin, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, teacher, friend. In all those roles she was ever gracious and polite. She had a sharp and dry sense of humor, though it never came at anyone's expense; she very much enjoyed music, dancing, laughing, books, and being with friends and family. She lived each day with grace. Most of all, she believed in the common good and the value every individual can share. She helped people believe in themselves; it was her special gift. Susan was beautiful inside and out and she spread that beauty everywhere she went with a kind word, an understanding ear, and a gentle smile.
Susan cared deeply about education overall, and had an especially tender place in her heart for the Bancroft School. Bancroft is a leading provider of educational programs and support for children and adults with autism, acquired brain injuries, and other intellectual or developmental disabilities.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a memorial contribution to the Bancroft School on Susan's behalf. You can mail a donation to the Bancroft Development Office, 800 Kings Highway North Suite 305, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034 (with checks made out to Bancroft). Please make any donations ""in memoriam of Susan Porter"".
Two Memorial Services will be planned for 2015: one after the holidays at the Maxwell Funeral Home in Little Egg Harbor, NJ, and another on Florida's Gulf Coast in early spring. Exact locations, dates, and times will be announced early in the new year.