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William "Billy" Gene Porter

William "Billy" Gene Porter
  • December 10, 1955 - October 28, 2019
  • McClellanville, South Carolina
  • The family requests memorials in Billy's name be sent to:
  • Roper Hospice Cottage
    676 Wando park Blvd.
    Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Pause Soaring to Heaven by Charles D. Denler, composer (ASCAP)
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“Billy and Charlie, my heart is so sad to hear this news. I am so very sorry that I was not present. Billy, you will always be my son and I love you...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Angela Brunson - Mount Pleasant, SC

“Billy was a long time friend. My husband Wray and Billy built the first houses out at Wild Dunes (formerly Isle of Palms Beach and Racquet Club) in...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Susanne&Wray Lemke - Mt. Pleasant, SC

“Condolences and prayers to all the family and friends. ”
3 of 3 | Posted by: Lisa Weaver - Mount Pleasant, SC

William Gene Porter, "Billy" to all who knew him, passed away after a lengthy stay at Roper St. Francis Mt. Pleasant Hospital on October 28, 2019. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in August and declined rapidly afterwards.
Billy was born in Charleston on December 10, 1955 the son of John H. Porter, Sr. and Helen Smith Porter of the Isle of Palms. He was always an "Island Boy" at heart and loved living on the beach. At that time the Isle of Palms was not the developed and desirable resort that exists today. As a child he and his young friends roamed through the swamps and jungle that existed at that time unconcerned about snakes and alligators in those dark spaces. His mother's only admonition was "be careful and be home by supper". As he grew older, he enjoyed surfing on the front beach, especially on the occasion of a storm tide. He was the typical rebellious child of the 1960's and 1970's. Not caring for the discipline of the classroom, he left school early for other pursuits. Regardless of where he might be, Billy was at heart always a son of the Carolina Low Country.
Billy was an artist with wood and became a talented cabinet maker and carpenter. What he lacked in formal education, he more than made up for with natural talent, hard work and perseverance. He was largely self-taught and had an amazing knowledge of his trade. He could design, bid and construct a house with custom woodwork throughout or accurately estimate costs and materials. He helped build many homes on the Isle of Palms and specialized in custom window design, especially large circular windows. He worked in the construction trades throughout his life in and around Charleston County and other locales.

Billy lived life on his own terms. He liked nothing better than to spend the day fishing, crabbing or shrimping on the many creeks and inlets among the many islands of the Carolina coast. When not working, he could be found on the water. He was a study in contrasts and had his faults but was a generous man with his friends. He enjoyed spending time with his best friend, Skipper Munn, who predeceased him, and his black lab, Toby. On occasion he worked with his nephew, Joel Munn, harvesting horseshoe crabs in and around Bulls Bay and liked to regale family members with stories of working on the crab boat. For many years he called Awendaw home and loved the open spaces and more traditional way of life there. He enjoyed cooking for a crowd over an open fire and entertaining his guests with song and story.

Unfortunately, the last years of his life were difficult for Billy despite the construction boom in the greater Charleston area. He found getting work and holding jobs increasingly difficult and fell on hard times. His once robust health began to decline, and eventually he was diagnosed in August with terminal cancer.

Billy is survived by his son, William C. Porter of Charleston, SC; his grandson, Charlie Porter of Charleston, SC; his brothers, John H. Porter, Jr. (Linda) of Paw Paw, MI and Robert A. Porter (DeAnn) of Yorktown, VA; his sister Kendra Seidle of Charlotte, NC and cousins, Emily McNeil Kouris of Tampa, FL; Susan Smith Fox of Charleston; Charles Smith of Charleston; Joseph Griffith of Isle of Palms, SC; Helena Griffith Bastian of Mt. Pleasant; Louis E. Griffith of Mt. Pleasant; Elizabeth Griffith Loy of Mt. Pleasant; Stephen A. Griffith, Sr. of Mt. Pleasant; his nephew and friend, Joel Munn, of Awendaw, SC (as well as many other nieces and nephews); and his long-time friend and companion, Teresa Hill of Charleston.

A memorial service will be held on the front beach of the Isle of Palms at 9th Avenue on Friday, November 15, 2019 at 9:30am.

The family requests that any contributions in Billy's memory be made to the Roper St. Francis Hospice Cottage, 676 Wando Park Blvd. Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464.