Jesse Merl Porter was born February 9, 1940, in Crowell, Texas, to the home of Alford P. Porter and Nonnie O’Dell Porter and died October 4, 2021, at the age of 81. As he grew up, his family frequently moved to different locations in eastern New Mexico and west Texas. In 1953, they settled north of Clovis, and he began attending the Clovis schools. Jesse’s father died when he was sixteen, and from then, Jesse supported his mother and younger brother and sister by farming and raising hogs, while still attending Clovis High School. He graduated from Clovis High School in 1959 and began attending ENMU, where he graduated with a major in biology and a minor in math.
In 1964, he married Mildred Lasater, and they farmed and raised cattle on their land southwest of Portales. The couple had three children: Christopher, Kristi, and Alan. In 1972, he was elected to the office of Roosevelt District Magistrate Judge. He served in this office for twenty-eight years, from January, 1973, until his retirement at the end of 1999. Always referred to as Judge Porter, Jesse was respected for his integrity and his willingness to give those who appeared before him a second chance. It was also widely known that there were no chances after the second one. Many people later told him that his sentencing them to jail was the best thing that ever happened to them and prompted them to straighten out their lives. Jesse loved his family above all. He loved the land, his cattle, his friends, solving problems, and helping others. He always worked hard, but he also enjoyed going to the mountains and spending countless hours on the water at Ute Lake.
He is survived by his wife, Mildred, his daughter, Kristi Cacy (Norm) of Portales, and his son Alan Porter (Paula) of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Jessica (James) Southard, Sheena Cacy, and Bess Nieto; his great grandchildren: Lexi Thomas, Julia Cacy, and Jesse LeRoy Southard; a sister, Carolyn Harris of Muleshoe, Texas, and by numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives. He was preceded in death by one son, Christopher Porter, his parents, two brothers Henry Porter and Ray Porter, and a sister Maydeen Golden.
Cremation has taken place and a private family service has been held.
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