Lana Jean Porter, 78, longtime Balsam Township resident, died Sunday, October 9,
2022, at Diamond Willow Assisted Living, Grand Rapids.
Born August 9, 1944, in Bigfork, she was the daughter of Roy “Gene” and Dorothy
(Helleckson) Wilson. Her family moved from Northern Itasca County to Grand Rapids in
1953. Lana was a graduate of Grand Rapids High School and St. Cloud State University
with a bachelor’s degree in education. Her teaching career spanned over 30 years, starting
in Southern California then returning to Minnesota in ~1969 to teach in Anoka.
On July 10, 1971, Lana married Robert “Bob” Porter and shortly after, they moved to
Balsam Township, where they ran the Sand Lake Store. Lana taught at the Balsam School
for many years prior to moving around between Effie, Forest Lake and Southwest schools.
Her classroom was filled with creativity, humor, and tons of hugs. Lana loved teaching
and delighted in seeing her former students and colleagues through the years. She was also
an avid quilter – making hundreds of quilts that family and friends still cherish.
Lana was preceded in death by her parents and sisters, Linda Wilson and Kathy
Survivors include her husband of 51 years, Bob; daughter, Amy (Bobbie Dunn) Porter
and their children Ethan and Banks of Taipei, Taiwan; sisters, Susan (Tim) Johnson of
Richfield, MN, and Wendy (Denny) Roy of Grand Rapids. Her many nieces and nephews
affectionately referred to her as “Auntie Pal”. All will cherish and miss her humor and
infectious laugh, tasty lefse and buns (yeast rolls), raspberry jam, handmade quilts,
generous spirit, and so much more.
There will be a celebration of life for Lana during the summer of 2023.
Arrangements are with the Peterson Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services of Coleraine.
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