Paul Richard Porter

Paul Porter

Paul Richard Porter of Friendswood, Texas passed away on July 20, 2018, after a short but courageous battle with cancer.

Paul was born on January 2, 1957 in Naples, Texas the son of Pauline (Polly) and Richard Porter. He grew up in Daingerfield, Texas and graduated from Daingerfield High School, class of 1975. In high school, Paul not only played football for the Daingerfield Tigers but he was on the Math Team and won first place in the state UIL Number Sense and third place in the UIL Slide Rule competition. As a young man and the oldest of five children, Paul worked alongside his father, Richard, as a volunteer fireman in Daingerfield and surrounding communities. Paul earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from Rice University in 1979. His first job out of college was at Vought Corporation in Dallas as an Industrial Engineer, improving quality and productivity for the Boeing 747/767 empennage assembly line. He then moved to Houston where he took responsibility for Western Geophysical’s seismic data processing, creation and enhancement of geophysical sections. His most notable career was at NASA where he first worked for Lockheed-Martin as a Software Engineer and then SAIC as a Systems Engineer. Paul met his wife Diane while working at NASA. And it was here that Paul led a team of flight software developers to double productivity while decreasing errors from 11 to 0.09 errors per thousand lines of code. Paul advanced to become a Systems Engineer at SAIC where he was unrelenting in his mission to improve safety, security and reliability for the Space Station and Orion programs. He applied his vast knowledge and expertise to affect real-world improvements where failure was not an option. Paul was a brilliant statistician who will always be remembered for his dedication and impassioned focus on quality. We are grateful for Paul’s contributions to the Space Program.

Paul was preceded in death by his grandparents, Madie (MaeMae) and William E. Porter, his father Richard Porter, his aunt Sara Porter Hicks, his cousin Susan Hicks, and his mother-in-law Charlotte G. Opfermann. Left to share his memory are his wife Diane Opfermann Porter, his mother Pauline Racette Porter, his sisters Jane McCoy (Steve) and Mary McKinney (Greg), his brothers Mark Porter and Gary Porter, his uncle, the Honorable William R. Porter (Susan), his uncle Clennis R. Hicks, his cousins Anne Cruseturner, Courtney Porter Harris and Paige Porter Embry, and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Paul’s life will be held on October 27, 2018. We will celebrate Paul’s lifelong love of learning, unparalleled knowledge and eclectic love of music, and his skills as an amateur chef and wine steward.


The family requests, in lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of Paul Richard Porter to the Veterans Association or the American Cancer Society or your favorite charity.