Thomas John Porta, age 70, of Cambridge while at his home surrounded by his loved ones, went to meet his Lord and Savior on Saturday, April 15th. His faith was turned to sight. A Memorial Service will be held at 10:30 A.M. Saturday, April 22nd at North Isanti Baptist Church in Cambridge with a visitation one hour prior. A luncheon and time for visiting will be held immediately after the service also at the church.
His legacy lives on through his wife Cindy Porta, his children Rachel (Paul) Maurer, son in law Brian Dee, Michael (Andrea) Porta, Philip (Karley) Porta, Mary (James) Klimek, Esther (Joe) Samsa, Sarah (Kyle) Hunt, Lily (Jason) Kragt, Marsha (Quinn) Richmond, his siblings Charles (Kitty) Porta, Marsha (Bruce) Torretti, nieces and nephews, and his 29 grandchildren, who he dearly loved.
Tom was born the youngest of three to his parents, Robert and Linnea (Seelund) Porta on December 24th, 1952. He was their Christmas gift. Tom grew up along with his brother, Charles, and sister, Marsha, in Iron Mountain, Michigan. To his hot blooded Italian family, he was lovingly known as “Tommy”, but the childlike nick name often didn’t fit the grit and toughness he displayed growing up. He graduated from Iron Mountain High School and later attended Michigan State University, the home of his Spartans.
After college, the Lord led Tom into a 42 year career in ministry where he served as a mentor, pastor and friend to the body of Christ. This would have come as a surprise to those who knew Tom as the “wild child” he was as a young man, but Tom always viewed these early years as part of his testimony; one that clearly pictured the power of God’s saving grace. His last gift of service was pastoring Grace Gospel Church congregation that he started in 2007.
Second only to the Lord, the great love of Tom’s life was his wife Cindy. He often referred to her as “his bride” and for 43 years looked at her with the same love and adoration as he did when they married on April 26th, 1980. He was and always will be her “knight in shining armor”. Together Tom and Cindy built a life and cherished home for their nine children. A home filled with joy, laughter and the presence of the Lord. Tom was a devoted husband and father. He led his home with grace and humility, creating for each of his children an earthly picture of what our heavenly Father’s love looks like. He loved all nine of them in such a way that they all claim they were his favorite! Over the years as Tom’s family grew and in-laws and grandchildren were added, he played a significant role in each of their lives as well. Everyone in his family and those who knew him were changed by his wisdom for the better. This wisdom will forever live in their hearts as an undying gift from their precious Thomas.
The old saying goes “to know him was to love him”, but when it comes to Tom one could change this sentiment to read, “to know him was to be loved by him”. He often preached about the Grace of God and the love of the Father; Tom daily exemplified both to his family, congregation, and friends. When he turned his eyes to the Lord, he never looked back. One could say he had an unshakable faith. This faith allowed Tom to counsel and lead many into the kingdom of Heaven.
This much is known, Tom Porta’s days were not cut short by cancer, sickness or even death. He lived a completed life and when his time came he was called home by his savior and friend Jesus. With a warm and welcoming embrace Tom heard the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant”.
We will miss you until morning, when we too cross the river and meet you our beloved husband, father and friend.
Tom is preceded in death and now reunited in Christ with his father Robert, mother Linnea and sweet daughter Anna. What a joyous reunion it must have been.