Harold M. Portch, 103, passed away peacefully at his home in Spokane February 1, 2013. He was born October 18, 1909, in Wilbur, Wash., to pioneer families, William A. and Katherine (Kunz) Portch. He graduated from Almira High School in 1927 and attended Gonzaga University in 1929. He returned to Almira and went to work for the Almira Market Co. He was later manager then owner of the market retiring in 1977.
Harold was a charter member of the Almira Lions Club. He was Chief of the Almira Fire Department for many years, and active in community affairs serving on the City Council, Chamber of Commerce, School Board, Boy Scout leader, and the Big Bend Historical Society. At his death, he was a member of St. Augustine Parish in Spokane and a lifetime member of the Sacred Heart Parish in Wilbur.
He married Thelma B. Estby on April 22, 1935. When he and Thelma retired, they enjoyed traveling, gardening and photography. They moved to Spokane and he was caregiver for Thelma several years before her death in 1992. He was also preceded in death by his sister, Kathleen (Portch) McPhee, great-grandson Timothy Portch, son-in-law John Irwin, and daughter-in-law Sheryl Portch.
He is survived by his children: Dorothy (Daryll) Bahr, of Wilbur, Mary K. Irwin of Ontario, Ore., Stephen M. (Sharon) Portch of San Diego, Calif., Rodney W. (Debra) Portch of Valley Ford, and David A. (Peggy) Portch of Grand Coulee; 18 grandchildren and 51-great grandchildren and 7 great-great- grandchildren.
A special thanks to his caregiver of many years, Alex Shreffler, to Hospice of Spokane, and all of his excellent caregivers.
Vigil service was held Thursday, February 7, at 7 p.m., at St. Augustine Church, 19 and Bernard in Spokane, with Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, February 8, at 10 a.m., officiated by St. Augustine Pastor, Fr. Robert McNeese and Harold’s grandson, Fr. Robert Irwin. Luncheon at the Parish Center followed. Internment was at the Sherman Cemetery in Wilbur at 3 p.m., on Friday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Almira Lions Club, St Augustine Parish, Hospice of Spokane, or the Charity of your choice. Please sign our online guestbook at www.stratefuneralhome.com. Strate Funeral Home, Wilbur, WA is caring for the family.