Lewis E. Porter, civil engineer

Lewis E. Porter, a retired civil engineer who during his more than four-decade career designed roads and highways for the Baltimore County Department of Public Works, died May 18 from mesothelioma at his Wiltondale home. He was 75.

The son of an accountant and an artist, Lewis Emil Porter was born in Baltimore and raised in Howard Park. After graduating from the Polytechnic Institute in 1955, he served in the Army.


Mr. Porter earned a degree in civil engineering in 1964 from the Johns Hopkins University and worked as a surveyor for Sutcliff Surveying Co.

In 1967, he began his career with the Baltimore County Department of Public Works, where he designed roads and highways until retiring in 2000.


Mr. Porter was "passionate" about flying, said his wife of 46 years, the former Lily Wahbe, who said her husband had held a private pilot's license since 1966.

He was a member of the Harford Flying Club and from 1989 to 2012 was an active member of the Short Wing Piper Club.

Mr. Porter — who was still flying his Piper Colt this year — had restored his own short-wing Piper airplane.

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He was a member of the National Rifle Association and volunteered with the Red Cross.

Mr. Porter was an avid gardener, birder, photographer and reader. He also enjoyed listening to music, and his interests ranged from opera to bluegrass. He also played the guitar, harmonica and dobro guitar.

He rode his bike to his Towson office daily, "no matter what the weather," his wife said,.

He was an active communicant of Ascension Lutheran Church, where he served on the property committee, taught Sunday school, and was an offertory and Communion leader.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at his church, 7601 York Road, Towson.


In addition to his wife, Mr. Porter is survived by three sons, Steven Porter of Hampton, and Scott Porter and Andrew Porter, both of Wiltondale; a daughter, Suzie Porter Kinney of Atlanta; his mother, Marie Porter of Baltimore; and seven grandchildren.