The roofing industry is saddened at the loss of one of its respected leaders. Robert “Bob” L. Porter, the Western States Roofing Contractors Association’s (WSRCA) 19th president, succumbed to MDS (Myelodysplastic Syndrome) on May 29 after a 20-month battle with the disorder.
Born on Jan. 24, 1949, in Greeley, Colo., Porter graduated from Greeley Central High School, class of 1967. Following graduation, he attended the University of Northern Colorado and earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts. While attending college, he married his high school sweetheart, Sharon, in 1968.
Porter, 71, was considered a legend and an icon to the western roofing community. After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado, he worked at Douglass Roofing in Greeley, Colo. In 1987, he and Mark Gustafson successfully opened Front Range Roofing Systems Inc.
He became a member of the WSRCA, serving on the board of directors starting in 1979, and later served as the association president from 1990-1991.
Porter and Gustafson sold Front Range Roofing on July 24, 2001 to Michael Trotter. Trotter said he worked with Porter for just over a year, but was forever impacted by him.
“Selling the company to us, he and Gus carried the majority of the note and it allowed us to build what we have today,” Trotter said. “Most importantly his willingness to give back to industry, struck me in a way that I still carry today.”
After retiring in 2001, Porter and his wife, Sharon, moved to The Villages in Florida. It is there where he pursued his passion for golf and enjoyed the benefits of retirement. They returned to Colorado in 2012 to be closer to family.
For his contributions to the industry, Porter was inducted into the WSRCA Hall of Fame, the association’s highest honor, in 2007. He continued his love for the roofing community after his retirement by becoming chairman of the trustees for the Davis Memorial Foundation from 2010 to 2014.
“I had the great pleasure of working with and getting to know Bob while he was the chairman of Davis Foundation,” said Chuck Chapman of Tecta America Arizona and WSRCA president from 2008-2010. “He was kind enough to ask me to follow him as the chairman after he retired. I learned a lot from Bob during that time and I am proud to carry on his legacy. Without Bob’s years at the helm of the Foundation it would not have become what it is today.”
In 2014, he was awarded the WSRCA Outstanding Service Award for his dedication and service to the Davis Memorial Foundation.
“I am better for having known Bob the past 25 years,” said Keith Sanders, GAF, and a Davis Memorial Foundation former trustee. “He was a very straightforward and professional customer, an industry friend, a fellow Davis Trustee and most importantly a valued personal friend with whom I have many joyous memories.”
Porter is survived by his wife, two daughters, two grandchildren, two brothers, two nephews, and one niece. In lieu of flowers, funeral donations may be sent to St. Jude's Hospital for Children in Robert L. Porter's name.