Rev. John ‘Jack’ Nesler Porter
Rev. John “Jack” Nesler Porter, 86, of Dubuque, passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 7, 2020, at Luther Manor.
Jack was born March 1, 1934 in Manning, Iowa, the son of Clarence and Myrtle (Nesler) Porter. In the fourth grade, Jack and his family moved to Dubuque, and he completed his schooling at Lincoln Elementary, Washington Junior High, and Senior High School, graduating in 1952. Jack enrolled at the University of Dubuque that fall, graduating with a BS in Business Administration in 1956. After graduation, he joined the 82nd Airborne (paratrooper) Division of the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1958.
After the army, Jack worked for four years at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Having felt a calling, in 1962 Jack shifted from a career in business to the ministry. He attended the Dubuque Theological Seminary over four years and served internships at two churches in Oklahoma, graduating with a Master of Divinity in 1967. On June 8, 1968, he married Gladys Ellen Howard at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dubuque. He served pastorates in Monroe, Iowa (1967-72), Delavan, Illinois (1972-91), and Hoopeston, Illinois (1991-98) while being a loving and supportive husband to Glady and father to their son, David.
Jack and Glady retired back in Dubuque and enjoyed a variety of activities: square and ballroom dancing; tutoring children from Irving School through a Westminster program; patient advocacy at Bethany Home; playing in a summer tennis league; attending musical events and plays at the local colleges; and meeting with cronies for lunch. Jack and Glady also enjoyed traveling around the US — especially to San Francisco to visit their son and grandchildren — and the UK. Jack was an active member of Westminster, where he sang in the choir, and sat on the board of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra. Jack loved music (especially jazz) — which he learned to play on his Amazon Echo in recent years — and proudly promoted his son’s streaming music startup (8tracks) to captive audiences at restaurants and retailers alike.
While Jack endured challenges from prostate cancer and, in recent years, Parkinson’s Disease, he maintained his kind nature and sense of humor. When he and Glady moved to Oak Park Place in 2017 and Luther Manor last year, Jack made new friends with the residents, nurses, and staff and enjoyed meals out (especially pizza) and Quiddler and Rummikub with Glady, family and friends.
Jack is survived by his wife, Gladys; their son David (Dorothy Kaslow) Porter; his grandchildren Asher Porter Hassan and Alia Kiran Hassan; their mother, Naureen; his brother Bill (Janet) Porter and their children Steve, Suzanne Taylor, Doug, and their families, including special great niece Melissa Taylor; his brother Paul (Carole) Porter and their children, Gretchen, Bryan, Kara, and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Memorial Services will be held at a later date at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dubuque. Egelhof, Siegert & Casper Funeral Home and Crematory is entrusted with arrangements.