There's so much to tell so here is the abbreviated version of someone who was not in any way abbreviated. In his own words, "I'm always the star of the show!"
Bobby Porell grew up in a family that had close family values. His father John and his mother Bernadette (Bernie), through hard work and care, provided Bobby and his sisters Jackie and Carol with a lifestyle that not all were blessed to have. John came from a large family of brothers and sisters that stayed close all while Bobby was growing up. They all participated in family events as well as financial ventures together. The Porell brothers built a boat together and named it after their mother Amanda. John also had a camp that he built near White's Bridge on Big Sebago where little Bobby and his family spent many happy occasions together. They also built a wall from concrete and lake stones that can still be seen there today. They were always into the newest technology as was Bobby throughout his life. Because of this a lot of Bobby's family life is documented on film by various methods as far back as the 1940's.
Bobby spent a lot of time on the water from the time he was very small. He built his own little raft that he paddled around on. When he was older he was taking the boat out on the lake. There was a day in 1948 when bobby was 13 years old when he was out on his boat and he witnessed a potential tragedy befall another family and their friends on the lake. The boat caught fire and the family and friends, some that could not swim, ended up in the lake. Bobby raced to their rescue and pulled several members of the family out of the lake including the mom and a 4 year old boy. That four year old boy is the only surviving member of that family today. He saw the obituary for Bobby and took it upon himself to attend his memorial services. I'll be forever grateful for his unexpected attendance and speaking at the services.
Bobby was always a joker and all that knew him enjoyed his company. He was always the life of the party. When he was 24 he met Patricia Winn. They dated and were married within a year. One year later they had their first child, Sheryl and soon to follow were Nicole and Karin. Robert worked hard to provide a good life for the family. He was a fun Daddy and a great Dad. He brought the same family values that his parents had given to him. Many special family events were spent at the Porell homestead with all gathering for the holidays. It was a family unit that did things together from the weekend trips to the lake on the boat, weekends at the Chalet skiing or road trips across country.
When the girls were grown with families of their own and their lives took them to distant cities Bobby was close with them and visited them and the grandchildren regularly. He never missed a graduation of his grand kids. He was always there and ready to listen and give his encouragement and support.
Robert (Bob) Jean Paul Porell was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in February of 2017. He was told he had only 2 to 6 weeks to live. He did not want to be a burden on his family or to drag the end out. He wanted to go with dignity. He spent the last few weeks of his life at the home of his long time friend and travel companion Sue Wescott. He decided to go to the hospital emergency on Sunday, February 26th. His daughter Niki took him to emergency and was joined shortly after by his sister Carol.
On Monday, February 27th Bobby was placed in Gosnell Hospice. Sheryl arrived from Texas at 11pm that same day followed closely by Karin on Tuesday morning. Bobby woke from his medication around lunchtime to find himself surrounded by his girls. Karin had a picture from the albums she had reproduced to give to him. It was a picture of the three girls dressed as nurses when they were little girls and Bobby had surgery on a hernia. He saw the picture and it made him very happy. He said it was one of his favorite pictures. Bobby enjoyed some water and visits and conversation with family members Terry and Sammy Serappa before he went to sleep again for the last time. While he slept, we held his hand, combed his hair put lotion on his arms to make him comfortable in any way we could. We talked to him the entire time he was sleeping. He was never alone and was always being touched. We played the videos of him and his family in the background so he could hear his sister and family members. He passed peacefully in his sleep on Friday, March 3 at 9am.
There is so much more I could write about this man, my father, my Dad and my Daddy but there really are no words that I could sufficiently put here that express how much he meant to me and my sisters. Of course!! I take solace in the fact that while I was holding his hand he spoke in his sleep and the last words I heard him say were, "I always wanted to know everything." and "I was a good boy." That showed me he was not afraid. I won't be either Dad. I'll remember everything you always told me. Love you forever!! See you on the flip side. Schmwah!!