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1410 E Bowman Ave.
Las Cruces, NM 88001-3001
Phone: (575) 526-2419
Fax: (575) 526-7944
Laura Porter
In Memory of
Laura Beal
Porter (Underwood)
1936 - 2021
Memorial Candle Tribute From
Getz Funeral Home
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
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Obituary for Laura Beal Porter (Underwood)

Laura Beal  Porter (Underwood)
Laura Beal-Porter, 84, went with grace and dignity to be with her Lord on Saturday, February 20th, 2021. Laura was born Laura Underwood on December 5th, 1936 in Davilla, Texas; the only child of Frankie and Nell (Kerr). After moving to Las Cruces in 1961, she spent the rest of her life here as a dedicated educator, mother, wife, grandmother, and family matriarch. As a teacher, Laura leaves behind an enormous legacy of lives touched, molded, and deeply influenced. Yet this legacy pales in comparison to the deep love she so graciously and generously demonstrated to her extensive family and friends. To know Laura was to experience her giving spirit, kindness, and dignified manner of living life for and through the people she loved.
Laura graduated high school in 1955 from Bishop High School in Bishop, TX and began attending college at Texas A & I. Her education was sidelined temporarily as she began to raise a family and moved to New Mexico; but she managed to finish her degree while juggling the roles of working full-time as a teacher at Mrs. Black’s kindergarten, in addition to being a wonderful housewife. Her efforts were rewarded when she graduated with a degree in elementary education from New Mexico State University in 1974 with a perfect 4.0 GPA! She put her degree to work in what she always termed “her ministry”, becoming one of the original teachers at the inception of Mesilla Valley Christian School. In her long career at MVCS, Laura touched the lives of hundreds of students and their families. Her dedication to her profession and her skill as a teacher became renown. The calm order of her classroom was a testament to the respect and love her students had for her. One of Laura’s proudest accomplishments was to teach each of her grandchildren to read and write as their first-grade teacher. Long after she retired, it was impossible to go anywhere in town without former students, now grown adults, joyfully calling to her and stopping to chat. Inevitably they would share about her being their favorite teacher, and she always had some personal story she remembered about each child she taught.
This unique gift for making each of her students feel special became the legacy she has left to her family. Her later years were spent with one foremost purpose, to make each of her family members feel important and know that she loved them. Laura began Christmas soon after the previous one had passed; crafting special handmade gifts, ornaments, baby blankets and unique presents for every one of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great grandchildren. Each of these presents would then be carefully wrapped in the most exquisite paper to be found and adorned with a perfect hand-tied bow. Christmas Eve at her home was her favorite day of the year, an opportunity for her entire family to gather together under her roof and share gifts and a meal. Each family member left laden with gifts from their grammaw, but more importantly with a sense of belonging to family, being important, and being loved. Her heart was full of love and pride during these moments and no sooner were they passed than she began to plan the next one. Even as her health and vision declined she continued to make special gifts by hand and decorate down to the smallest detail. Whenever someone would tell her she had done too much or that the fine details were not important she would chastise them by making it clear how important it was to her. To say she was a perfectionist would be an understatement.
As an only child, Laura always wished for a large family. She received her wish many times over. She was preceded in death by both of her parents and previous husband, Graden “Sandy” Beal, and one granddaughter. She is survived by her husband Bob Porter, three sons Robert Pirtle and wife Denise, Scott Pirtle and wife Lesa, and Carl Pirtle and partner April Haywood. She leaves a legacy of 6 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, as well as 2 great-great grandchildren.
A memorial service to honor and celebrate Laura will be held on Saturday, March 20th, 2021 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, at 10:00 a.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in her name be made to Mesilla Valley Hospice.
Arrangements by Getz Funeral Home 1410 E. Bowman Ave. Las Cruces, NM 88001. Please visit to sign the local online guest book.

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