Richard Baxter Port ’47

Richard Baxter Port ’47, of Winston-Salem, N.C., passed away peacefully on Aug. 29 following a brief illness. Dick was a resident of the Arbor Acres United Methodist Community in Winston-Salem, N.C. He was born in Winston-Salem on May 23, 1923, the son of Arthur C. Port and Helen E. Port. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 50 years, Nancy Bennett Port, and daughter, Helen Port James. Dick was a member of the charter class of Summit School where in 1936 he submitted the winning design for city seal of Winston-Salem. It remains the current seal of the city. He was a graduate of Woodberry Forest School and Davidson, where he was magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, president of student government, and captain of the track team. Dick was also in Who’s Who in American Colleges. Dick served in the U.S. Army Infantry during WWII achieving the rank of first lieutenant and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Heroic Achievement in the Battle of the Bulge, Germany. His business career began with the Hanes Corporation. Dick was president of P.H. Hanes Knitting Co. at the time he began his entrepreneurial career co-founding Turnpike Properties, a commercial real estate company that built, owned, and operated 33 motels and built 500 residential homes in N.C. He retired in 1989 as chairman, president, and CEO. Active in civic affairs, he was president of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, president of the Winston-Salem Rotary Club, and chairman of numerous annual/capital drives including the United Way, Arts Council, School of the Arts, and the Stevens Center. Dick served on the Board of Visitors of Davidson and the Wake Forest M.B.A. School of Business, as well as a member of the board of directors of various social organizations and churches. In retirement he loved golf, tennis, and writing, and was a world-class raconteur. He was the author of a memoir, Why Didn’t You Knock, Sir? He is survived by his daughter, Pamela Port Wylly (Thomas Cook Wylly II), 304 Walnut Dr., Nashville, TN 37205-2916; three grandchildren, Thomas Cook Wylly III, Virginia Barclay Wylly, and Richard Port James; and several nieces and nephews. He was a fine, humble man; a devoted husband and father. All who knew him had great respect for his wisdom, wit, and judgment and the manner in which he dispensed each. Memorials may be sent to Davidson College, Box 7174, Davidson, NC 28035-7174.