Memorial Service set for Olympian Pat Porter & son

(08-03-2012)

Legendary former Adams State University and Olympic distance runner Pat Porter and two children, including his 15-year old son, died July 26 in a tragic plane accident near the Sedona, Ariz., Airport. Porter earned a degree in business administration – marketing from Adams State University in 1982.

The memorial service, "A Celebration of Life for Connor and Pat Porter," will be held at 2:30 p.m. at Calvary of Albuquerque, 4001 Osuna Road NE in Albuquerque. A party will follow the service at Albuquerque Academy. The family asks the attendees to wear colors:Connor's favorite color was red, and Pat's was purple, or purple and green.

"This is just heartbreaking," said Damon Martin, head coach of Adams State's men's & women's cross country and track and field teams. "Pat was an icon for our program. People identified Adams State with him. Even recently, I'm so proud of his association with our current teams. He took time out of his schedule to cheer the runners on and spoke to them after their runs."

"Pat was one of our most noted alums. His athletic achievements are renowned," added Adams State Athletic Director, Larry Mortensen. "He was extremely loyal to Adams State, and we will miss him."

The twin-engine plane, registered in Porter's name, hit a boundary fence at the south end of the Sedona Airport runway according to eye-witnesses and then went down a steep mesa. The plane then burst into flames upon impact at the bottom of the hill, according to Ron Wheeler, the Field Operations Commander for the Sedona Police Department.

Porter, 53, was inducted into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame July 20 in Colorado Springs. His son, Connor, and Connor's friend were also killed. There were no survivors.

Porter, who lived in Albuquerque, N.M., was an avid pilot. He is survived by wife of 20-plus years, Trish, who was a 1988 Olympian in the high jump, and 11-year old daughter, Shannon.