John Lyons Porritt Obituary

John Lyons “Jack” Porritt, 88, of St. Joseph, MI passed away October 27, 2021 at his home amongst his family. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, November 1, 2021, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 609 Court Street, St. Joseph, with Rev. Michael Roth will officiating. A private burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery. Friends may call on the family from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, October 31, 2021, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. Those wishing to share a memory or sign the guest book online may do so at

Jack was born on February 16, 1933 to Dr. Homer and Pauline (White) Porritt, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jack received his pre-dental education at the University of Michigan between 1951 and 1954 and then attended the University of Michigan Dental School from 1954 to 1958. He took his graduate specialty training, a three-year residency in oral surgery, at University Hospital, Ann Arbor, receiving a Master of Science degree in 1961. He then joined his father’s oral surgery practice in Pittsburgh for two and a half years. Having spent many summers as a youth in Glencoe, his desire was to return to the midwest to establish his practice. On June 25, 1955 he married Arlene Brant, his high school sweetheart. Their dream of opening a practice on Lake Michigan came true when they moved their family here. He was one of the first American Board-Certified Oral Surgeons in the area and practiced for almost 40 years. Jack realized the value of raising his family in a small, close-knit community. He was a proud member and a volunteer of many organizations in the local community including SJ-BH Rotary Club, Trinity Lutheran Church, Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores, St. Joseph-Lincoln Senior Center, and served on the St. Joseph Public Schools Board of Education for 20 years. Jack had two passions, family and everything Michigan. If he was not at a Michigan football game he would be on the road traveling to see his kids and grandkids. He and Arlene were always of the belief that “other things may change but you start and end with family”.

Jack is survived by his five children: Jeff (Lynn) Porritt of Chanhassen, MN, Susan (Scott) Nelson of Hinsdale, IL, Lori (Jeff) Linforth of Northbrook, IL, Amy (Mike) Peirce of St. Joseph, MI, and John (Kris) Porritt of Brookfield, WI; fifteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Arlene, of 50 years, his parents Dr. Homer and Pauline Porritt, and his brother Dr. Thomas Porritt. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to; The Berrien Community Foundation, a scholarship program that supports youth volunteerism with the Curious Kids Museum (designate your donation to the Porritt Scholarship Fund, 2900 South State Street Suite 2E, St. Joseph, MI 49085), or the St. Joseph Public Schools Foundation (2580 S. Cleveland Ave., St. Joseph, MI


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