Gail Brunker Porritt left this life for the next. Born prematurely on July 18, 1928, in Boise, Idaho, to Thomas Orval Porritt and Florence Brunker, his story nearly ended there. Shortly after birth he stopped breathing and was pronounced dead. After receiving a blessing from his father, he began breathing again.
Gail grew up in the shadows of the Great Depression with few material belongings. He lived on a small farm and slept for years in a tent with his brother, Budge. He attended Boise High School and Boise Jr. College, where he was very active in athletics and social clubs.
In 1947 he married Donna Lou Heath in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. They had six children. He worked as a traffic control engineer for Idaho Department of Highways and later Utah Department of Highways. He also worked for Hercules Powder Company. In 1963, he and Donna divorced, but he maintained a strong relationship with his six children, visiting them often, even into his old age.
In 1968 he married Mary Kane in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They lived for a time in Boise before moving to California where he worked for the Gilsabind Company. Including Mary’s son from a previous marriage, they had four children. In 1970, they moved to Cedar City, Utah, to manage an asphalt plant. It was there that tragedy struck twice with a fire at the plant, in which Gail was badly burned, and just a few months later the death of their daughter, Linda.
They returned to California for a time before settling for good in St. George, Utah, in 1974. Gail traveled extensively with his work and saw many parts of the world. He served in many LDS Church positions throughout his life before becoming disaffected with the Church. He will be remembered not only as a hard worker and a self-made man but as a kind and loving grandpa and father whose jovial laugh and smile made everyone feel loved.
He is survived by his wife, Mary; sons: Gail and Larry; daughter, Kris (Kenny Law); sons: Curt (Judy) and Gary (Teresa), Jason Hauck (Nancy); and daughters: Vicki (Eric Raskus) and Jenny (Todd Condie). He is preceded in death by his daughter, Linda, and son, Ron. Gail has 26 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
- A family graveside service will be held Wednesday, May 17, at 10 a.m. in Tonaquint Cemetery, St. George, Utah.