Robert A. Porthouse
Plainfield, N.H. — Robert A. Porthouse, a loving husband and stepfather, generous friend, and adventurous spirit died on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. at Mount Ascutney Hospital in Windsor, Vt., as a result of complications from Lymphoma. He was 61. His wife, Ida Burroughs, and stepson Seth Burroughs were at his side when he died.
Robert (Bob) Porthouse was an active and energetic man throughout his life. When not designing industrial chimneys as one of the pre-eminent chimney engineers in the country, he could be found running, biking, kayaking, or sledding with his wife Ida. Some of Bob’s favorite places to play were Grafton Pond, Crystal Lake, Mount Ascutney, French’s Ledges, Isle Au Haut, Newfoundland, and the Virgin Islands. But above all, Bob loved being home in Plainfield, where he could be found working on projects around the house with his wife and golden retriever. He designed and built a post-and-beam barn, built a sugarhouse where he and Ida made maple syrup, and spent time cooking homemade bread, pizza, and other amazing food. On summer evenings, you could find him at Saint Gaudens playing his bagpipes while the sun set over Ascutney.
Bob was also incredibly generous. While he loved to cook, he rarely ate desserts so he would make cakes, ice cream, and crème brulee to give to the neighbors. Bob helped a neighbor build a barn and demolish their kitchen with gusto. And if anybody needed help plowing or moving rocks, Bob would show up with his trusty tractor. But more than generous with time, Bob was always there to talk to his family and friends with a sense of humor and sincerity. His presence in our lives and in the town will be missed.
Bob was born in Boston, Mass., on Nov. 25, 1951, as the son of Robert J. Porthouse and Margarite Porthouse. He graduated from Bethlehem High in Albany, N.Y., and pursued a career in civil engineering after receiving his degree from Northeastern University. He began his career at Pullman Kellogg Company in Williamsport, Pa., later moving with the company to Kansas City, Mo. where he took up running and mountain climbing and started his own firm called Chimney Consultants with some former associates.
In 1986, on a climbing trip in Peru, Bob met Ida Burroughs and they quickly struck up a friendship while in the mountains. Over the next few years, they corresponded via letters and Bob met Ida’s children Seth and Serena on a two-week backpacking trip in Wyoming. They all survived, and Bob and Ida married in 1989 and moved to Plainfield.
In addition to his wife and stepchildren, he is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Janice and Jack Emmott, their sons Josh and Evan, and by his brother and his wife, Paul and Michele Porthouse, and their sons Paul and Sean. And by his dog Ramea, who along with his previous dog Fremont, forever held a place in his heart and a lick in his face.
While his death was sudden, his infectious energy and spirit will continue to provide warmth and happy memories for his family, friends and neighbors.
There will be a celebration of Bob’s life at the Plainfield Town Hall on December 7, 2013. For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and please consider donating to the Prouty in his memory.