Mary Elizabeth Louise (Mearns) Porterfield, 88 years old, passed away on March 30, 2018 at Delhi Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, Delhi, N.Y., surrounded by family.
Calling hours will be at Palmisano-Mull Funeral Home, 28 Genesee St., Geneva, N.Y. on Friday (April 6, 2018) from 5 to 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Stephen’s Church, 48 Pulteney St, Geneva, NY on Saturday (April 7, 2018) at 10 a.m. Burial services will be immediately following at St. Mary’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Betty wants you to make a donation to: Eternal Word Television Network, 5817 Old Leeds Road, Irondale, AL, 35210.
Betty was born on November 12, 1929. She had a beautiful, infectious smile and a great laugh! Her favorite nickname was “Betty”, and most recently “Betty-Boop”. As a teenager, she worked as a waitress in the restaurant that her mother built and ran, Twin Oaks of Geneva, N.Y. She won Miss Labor Day 1947 and did some modeling for Montgomery Wards. She graduated from DeSales High School Class of 1948, and Freeman Business School in 1950. In 1952 she married the late Paul L. Porterfield. She moved back to Geneva in 1965. While raising four children by herself, she took refresher courses at Freeman Business School then worked as a secretary for 27 years at The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (Cornell University) Geneva, NY until her retirement in 1992.
Betty loved her faith and was a devout Catholic. Her strong faith in God was a testament and influence in the lives of many, including her children. She was very involved in her church, St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church, where she received all of her sacraments. She never forgot her confirmation day, December 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. Once retired, she was especially involved in the Dove Program. Betty was an avid reader, especially christian romance novels. Her favorite colors were blue and lilac. Her favorite music was Mario Lanza & The Weston Prior Monks. She loved gardening, especially flowers and loved singing, albeit off tune. Her favorite TV channels were Hallmark and EWTN. Her favorite food group was ice-cream and chocolate. Her favorite restaurants were Denny’s and Connie’s Diner, where she would gather frequently with her girlfriends. Her favorite saying was “Whatever!” and even said this with a chuckle a few days before she passed.
Betty taught us the power of humility. She loved to say, “Let go and let God,” and was very open about how hard it was for her to do this. She loved family and was always the happiest when she was together with her four children. She worked hard all her life to raise and support her four children. One of the very last things she said was “Don’t cry when I die.” She always helped others as best she could. The last three years of her life she finally had to concede and allow others to start helping her. Being such an incredibly independent woman, this was her greatest struggle of all.
She is survived by her four beloved children Craig (Alta) Porterfield of Camden Del., Duane Porterfield of Romulus N.Y., Paula Porterfield-Izzo of Fernandina Beach Fla., and Denise (Mike) Freeman of Walton N.Y. She has five beautiful grandchildren Aleine (Matt) Cohen of Wallingford Pa., Brian Porterfield of Camden Del., Samantha Irizarry of Henderson N.C., Michael Freeman of Durham N.C. and Emmaline Freeman of Walton N.Y.; she has three precious great-grandchildren Katelyn and Skyler Irizarry of Henderson N.C. and Porter Cohen of Wallingford Pa.; she is survived by her wonderful brother, Richard (Barbara) Mearns of Dothan Ala.; many incredible nieces and nephews; and her very special best friend, Joyce Arthur of Geneva N.Y. She is also survived by many of her special “Grouping Girls”.
She is pre-deceased by her parents Arthur G. and Pauline A. Mearns; her brother, Arthur J. Mearns of Fairport N.Y.; her son-in-law, Gary F. Izzo of Fernandina Beach Fla.; and her sweet cat, Tiger.
She will be greatly missed by all.