Obituary Listings

George Herman Porter

April 3, 1933 February 24, 2019
George  Herman Porter
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Obituary for George Herman Porter

George Herman Porter, 85, died Sunday, February 24, 2019 at Wayne UNC Healthcare surrounded by family.

Born April 3, 1933, he began life as a farm boy in Grantham, NC. An honor student and athlete at Grantham High School and natural leader, he was elected to serve as the North Carolina state FFA vice president. After graduating high School, he attended North Carolina State University (Class of 1955), graduating with a degree in Agricultural Education. He married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Flowers Porter in 1954, and began his long career as an educator at Nahunta High School teaching Vocational Agriculture Education. In 1956 he was drafted into the US Army. After serving two years in the Army, he returned to North Carolina State in 1958 to earn his master’s degree in Agricultural Education. This vocational agriculture experience led to his work on the start of the North Carolina Community College System.

In 1959, Dr. Gerald James, NCSU professor, asked Herman to go work with him and join Dr. I. E. Ready to assist them. From this work the start of the community college system was born. In 1973 he earned a Doctor of Education from NCSU. Later that year he went to Southeastern Community College as Acting President. In 1974 Dr. Porter came back to Raleigh as Associate Vice President of Student Services and Accreditation. He managed the Accreditation program during the 70’s. From 1980 to 1985 Dr. Porter was the Director of Planning for the Community College System. He continued coordinating accreditation with the SACS Commission on Colleges, in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1985 Dr. Porter represented community colleges on a five-person committee to recommend changes in the Standards for the Commission on Colleges and Universities, covering eleven southern states.

In 1985 Dr. Porter became the Interim President of Isothermal Community College until their new president was hired, and in 1986 Herman retired from the Department of Community Colleges. Within a few months Dr. Porter came out of retirement and returned to his home county as Interim President of Wayne Community College. In 1987 Dr. Porter was named President of Wayne Community College where he led in developing plans for a new campus and the construction of the first of several buildings. He retired the second time in 1992, but he did not stop working for education and the community colleges.

After the second retirement, he was appointed to the North Carolina Community College State Board by the North Carolina State Legislature. He served on this board from 1992 to 2003. Dr. Porter was Chair of the Board from 1999 to 2001. During that period he was instrumental in coordinating the community college effort for the passage of the 2000 Higher Education Bond Referendum.

In 2003 he received the I.E. Ready Award, which is the highest award bestowed by the State Board of Community Colleges. He was also recognized for being one of two longest employees of the Community College System. After years of service to the state of North Carolina on April 9, 2015, Dr. Porter was bestowed the honor of receiving the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Herman was an avid golfer and built many long and lasting friendships through the game. And he managed to spend time on other activities in retirement that included; Sunday school teacher at St. Paul United Methodist Church, member of the Golden Kiwanis and served on the board of directors. Through the Golden Kiwanis he volunteered as a math tutor at Spring Creek Elementary School in the Wayne County Public School System. His class of third graders achieved the highest math scores on the EOGs which made him especially proud! Herman worked mostly behind the scenes as the community college system began and grew. He was instrumental in getting a lot of the “leg work” done to help grow a quality North Carolina Community College System. Herman’s life has been dedicated to his family and to his lifelong work in education. He served honorably and with humility never seeking the limelight or personal recognition.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, February 28, 2019 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Seymour Funeral Home, 1300 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro. A service to celebrate Herman’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 1, 2019 at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 204 E. Chestnut Street, Goldsboro with Rev. Phyllis Vail presiding. Interment will follow in Ebenezer United Methodist Church Cemetery in Bentonville, NC.

Herman was preceded in death by his parents, Alvin and Sara Lee (Westbrook) Porter and sister, Abbie Jean (Porter) Poole. He is survived by his loving wife and high school sweetheart, Ruth (Flowers) Porter of Goldsboro, two daughters, Karen Porter Burnette (husband, Larry Burnette) of Wilson, Lisa Porter Dismore (husband, Mike Dismore) of Dudley, grandchildren, Karry Burnette Grady (husband, Buddy Grady) of Mt. Olive, Lawrence Burnette III of Wilson, Alexandria Freeman of Boone, and Jonathan Freeman of Garner. Great grandson, Jameson Grady of Mt. Olive. Brother, Ray Porter (wife, Sandy Woodard Porter) of Rosewood and Sister, Mary Ellen Porter McDonald (husband, Robert McDonald) of Goldsboro, and many loving nieces and nephews, as well as an “Army” of golfing buddies.

The family would like to thank the UNC Wayne Memorial Hospital Third Floor Unit nurses, doctors, nursing assistants, nutrition assistants, and housekeeping staff for their loving support for the last few weeks and our final day at the hospital.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his memory for Continuing Education to be mailed to The Foundation of Wayne Community College, PO Box 8002 Goldsboro NC 27533.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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Previous Events





6:00 PM 2/28/2019 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 2/28/2019 8:00:00 PM
Seymour Funeral Home and Cremation Service

1300 Wayne Memorial Drive
Goldsboro, NC 27534

Seymour Funeral Home and Cremation Service
1300 Wayne Memorial Drive Goldsboro 27534 NC
United States

Funeral Service




2:00 PM 3/1/2019 2:00:00 PM
St. Paul United Methodist Church

204 E. Chestnut Street
Goldsboro, NC 27530

St. Paul United Methodist Church
204 E. Chestnut Street Goldsboro 27530 NC
United States

Cemetery Details


Ebenezer United Methodist Church Cemetery Final Resting Place

3162 Harper House Road
Four Oaks, NC 27524

3162 Harper House Road Four Oaks 27524 NC
United States

Memorial Contribution

Wayne Community College Foundation

P.O. Box 8002
Goldsboro, NC 27533

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