WestEd Remembers Frederick Porter

Fred Porter

Fred Porter, Executive Assistant to the CEO, died January 21, 2016, in San Francisco, after a short illness. He was a beloved member of the WestEd organizational family.

An expert in management, organization, problem solving, and interpersonal relations — Fred was a true professional. He carried out job responsibilities with humanity, humor, and grace, juggling multiple tasks in an efficient and seemingly effortless manner.

He joined WestEd in 1998, starting as a program administrative assistant. Fred’s skills and interpersonal competencies were apparent from the start, and, within a short period of time, he became assistant to the Chief Program Officer, and, later in 2008, the CEO’s Executive Assistant. Fred had a 40-year office management career.

“Fred’s passing is a deep loss to WestEd,” CEO Glen Harvey wrote in a message to the entire WestEd community. “He was an extraordinary person — a friend to almost everyone he met and worked with. He was a physically strong man and, as a person, a pillar of strength, optimism, compassion, and positive energy. He connected easily with every person with whom he interacted.”

Fred leaves behind a close family, including his mother and two sisters, and an almost endless number of friends.

He will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by his colleagues at WestEd.

Leave a Comment


  1. Jen Cogliandro says:

    So sorry to hear of Fred’s passing! He was always very cheerful and willing to help anyone who needed it. Condolences to his family and friends and WestEd family.

    • Danny Torres says:

      Thank you, Jen. The WestEd family really appreciates your kind words about Fred. We all miss him a great deal.

  2. Aden Bliss says:

    I’m so saddened to hear of Fred’s passing. My condolences and thoughts go to my WestEd friends who knew and loved Fred, especially Glen and others with whom he worked most closely. Fred was big-hearted, collaborative, supportive and exuding of enthusiasm for his life and work. Thiugh I left WestEd’s ranks several years ago, I still think of Fred often…that’s how memorable he was and how infectious his personality was. If God needs someone to organize a meeting of Heaven’s Board of Directors she now has the best person I know for that job. Rest in peace, Fred.

  3. Jordan Horowitz says:

    I am deeply saddened to hear of Fred’s death. He was always ready to help. He respected everyone and this earned him respect in return. His presence in that corner of WestEd always will hold his spirit for me. My condolences to his family at home and at WestEd.

  4. naida tushnet says:

    So sorry to read this! Fred was always upbeat, hard working, organized, and wonderful to be with. He will be missed.

  5. LaTanya Porter-Tomlinson says:

    Thank you for your kind words towards my Uncle Fred. He was a kind, loving and giving uncle. My life will never be the same, but he lives on forever in my heart!!!
    most grateful,

    LaTanya Tomlinson

    • Colleen Montoya says:

      Thank you, LaTanya, for sharing how much your Uncle Fred meant to you. Your note is very touching. Fred will be deeply missed by so many.

  6. Tony Green says:

    So sorry to hear of Fred’s passing. I grew up in Merced,Ca & knew Fred & his family since I was a kid. Fred always was a great guy, caring, non-judgemental, lots of fun. My deepest condolences go out to all of fred’s family, friends & co workers. RIP buddy, you will be missed. Tony Green, Dallas.TX

  7. T. M. says:

    Fred was my supervisor years and years ago when he lived / worked in Seattle. Best boss ever. Great guy. Very generous and kind. Can’t say enough nice things about him.

    • Colleen Montoya says:

      Thank you, T.M., for your thoughtful note. Fred was indeed a great guy and will always be fondly remembered.

  8. Alfred & Sunshine says:

    RIP our dearest friend, Fred. You’ll be forever be in our hearts.

  9. Celine Polintan says:

    Rest in peace Uncle Fred. My family and I will miss you so much but your mind, heart, and spirit will live on forever!

    To all his friends & family my deepest condolences.

  10. Athena says:

    You were the best, Uncle Fred!

    You always had a smile on your face everytime I would see you.
    Thank you for all the love, kindness, great conversations, hugs, jokes, and good company you have shown all of us.
    Thank you for always making me like family.

    We are all lucky to have known you.
    RIP, Uncle Fred.

    • Colleen Montoya says:

      Thank you, Athena, for sharing your kind words about Fred. Indeed, we were all lucky to have known such a wonderful person.

  11. Enrique Polintan says:

    The news about Uncle Fred’s passing came as a complete shock to my family and I. He was full of love, humor and positive energy. He left us with so many good memories that will never be forgotten.
    Thank you for everything Uncle Fred and we all love you very much!

    • Colleen Montoya says:

      Thank you, Enrique, for your thoughtful note about Fred. We, too, at WestEd cherish the memories we have of Fred.

  12. Maria Liza Polintan says:

    First of all, our deepest sympathy and condolences to Fred’s family. I’m so heartbroken because one of the most sincere person I’ve ever met left us already. The last trip we had, in Tahoe and Cancun were the most memorable ones because we got to spend lots of good memories with him. My husband (Manuel) and I are so thankful for having the privilege of having Fred as a roommate on our trips and I won’t forget the very last long conversation I had with him in Cancun. His positive attitude is so contagious and everyone in our family adores him so much! We will miss Fred! We will miss him more on every family get together and trips ahead! We love Fred so much, not just a friend but a brother to us!!

    • Colleen Montoya says:

      Maria, thank you for sharing your kind words and wonderful memories of Fred. His positive attitude was indeed contagious. We, too, miss Fred greatly.

  13. Rosarito and Raymond Jahn says:

    Fred brought many happy moments into our lives and so, he left us with a precious gift; a lifetime full of memories. We shared a lot of good and bad times with him; vacations, anniversaries, birthdays, losses, engagement, holidays and our routine family get togethers. As part of the family, Fred was always there encouraging us to laugh and smile.

    We all have happy memories of Fred. He may be gone but he will not be forgotten.

    • Colleen Montoya says:

      Thank you, Rosarito and Raymond. We really appreciate your kind words about Fred. He was such a huge part of the WestEd family and we couldn’t agree more with you — Fred will never be forgotten.

      • Michele Perreault says:

        Fred had been part of my life since the late 60’s. He was the kindest, most generous, intelligent, positive person I’ve ever known. His charming smile will always be in my heart.
        Spinnaker in Sausalito was our favorite place to meet for a chance to catch up. His last text to me was Happy New Year with an array of emojis.
        I can’t believe he has left us so early, so suddenly….
        I’m still so sad we didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. ?

        • Colleen Montoya says:

          Thank you, Michele, for sharing your kind words and memories of Fred. We at WestEd, and so many others, miss Fred greatly.