Stephen Port

Date of Death: 8/14/2019

Stephen Port

 

Feb. 24, 1936 – August 14, 2019

 

Stephen Port, Altoona, passed away on Wednesday, August 14th, 2019, surrounded by loving family. 

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis (Lieberman)Port, the love of his life for nearly sixty years of marriage; his children: Joshua and Leeanne (Olicker) Port, Moses and Joanna (Reinis) Port, Joseph and Tessa (Harnetiaux) Port; eight grandchildren: Arielle, Carly, Jacob and Adam Port, and Zoe, Levi, Ruby and Rae Port; brothers Neil Port and wife Mickey, and Marty Port and wife Barbara; and so many special family members. 

He was predeceased by his parents Samuel and Rose (Sky) Port, and his son, Adam Port. 

Steve graduated from Altoona Area High School in 1954 and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in 1958. While at Penn, he met his soulmate and life partner, Phyllis, on her first night at school. They were married in 1959 in Philadelphia, and upon Phyllis’ graduation from Penn in 1960, they settled in Altoona, PA.  The two would remain proud and active members of the Penn community for many years, sending all four of their sons to the institution as well as two of their grandchildren. 

At Penn, Steve joined R.O.T.C. and after graduation, he served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.  

Steve and Phyllis returned to his childhood home of Altoona, where Steve went to work with his father, Sam, at Specialty Food Sales Co., a family-run food brokerage company. While building that business, Steve was also a part owner of another family business, Sky Bros. Inc. Food Distributor, along with his brother Neil and cousins Phil and Asher Sky. At its height, Sky Bros. employed over 250 local workers and was eventually sold to Sara Lee Corp in the mid-1980s.  Additionally, Steve was a founding member of Low Temp Trucking and Delta Computers, which eventually evolved into Delta Health Systems.  

From a young age, Steve was influenced by the idea of tikkun olam - the concept that everyone can make a difference.  As a child he witnessed this first hand as his parents, Sam and Rose Port. Throughout his life, Steve sought to follow in their footsteps, and he passed that legacy of commitment to his children. He gave selflessly of himself, both financially and through service on all levels: internationally, locally, and one-to-one.  Steve was an active leader in both the Blair County Jewish community and the greater community at large.  He served as president of Altoona’s Agudath Achim Congregation, as well as president of the Greater Altoona Jewish Federation. He was co-chair of the local Israel Bonds drive, raising money for the State of Israel.  He maintained his parents’ legacy by supporting and contributing his time and money to the local chapter of Big Brothers. He served as alumni representative for the University of Pennsylvania in Central PA for close to 30 years.  He did this alongside his wife, Phyllis, both sharing a passion for the school and a desire to help others. Even after the devastating loss of his second son, Adam, Steve channeled his sorrow and energies into creating scholarships in Adam’s name.  The Adam Port Scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania offers financial an annual aid to a Penn undergraduate who wants to study abroad, a specific passion of Steve’s and his son.  He also established a scholarship in Adam’s name to underwrite the cost of attending Camp Ramah in the Poconos, where Steve’s sons and grandchildren spent their summers.  He also raised money to build a new basketball court, The Adam Port Basketball Court, his son’s favorite activity while attending. 

In later years, as his declining health began to limit the ways in which he could be of service, he still made time to help new businesses through financial investments and personal counselling, often spending hours with anyone soliciting his advice.  This guidance always came gratis and with infinite patience and understanding.  

Steve and Phyllis spent most of his later years travelling between Altoona, Philadelphia, NYC, California and Ventnor, NJ, where they owned a second home, to stay connected with their ever-growing family.

It is impossible to measure the void in the Port family and with the vast network of family and friends (new and old) whom Steve Port impacted. No one made friends more easily or connected with others more sincerely than Steve. He will be sorely missed, and remembered fondly and often.

Visitation will take place Friday, August 16t, 2019 at 10:30 am at Agudath Achim Congregation, 1306 17th Street, Altoona, immediately followed by the service at 12 noon.

Those wishing to make a donation may give to the Agudath Achim Congregation (1306 17th Street, Altoona) or the Greater Altoona Jewish Federation (1308 17th Street, Altoona).

Condolences

Steve's passing by Harold Marcus
Condolences by John L. Risoldi Sr.
Wonderful people to work by george holland
Condolences for Stephen Port Family by Jim and Carole Steiner
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