Obituary: Joan Atwater Porter | SierraSun.com
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Obituary: Joan Atwater Porter

Joan Atwater Porter died on Dec. 11 in La Jolla, Calif., after a long illness. She is survived by her two sons; Robert (Tiger) Atwater of Truth and Consequences, N.M., and Montgomery (Chipper) Atwater of Truckee.

Born Joan Hamil in 1930 in New York N.Y., she lived the glamorous city life, graduating from Miss Porter’s School. On a ski vacation to Alta, Utah, she met Monty Atwater. He was employed by the U.S. Forest Service to study modern avalanche control techniques for skier safety at resorts built on public lands. They married, and when Monty was tapped to coordinate the avalanche protection plans for the Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, he moved the family to Squaw and both boys attended the local schools. For many years, the adventuresome Joan braved early morning storms to follow Monty and the Ski Patrol, while getting first crack at the fresh powder. She also became the “tail-end Charlie” with the Mighty Mite coaches, keeping the children happy with her pockets full of energy bars and chocolate.

Later in her life, Joan married Robert Porter from Southern California, and traded in her skis for a life on the beach, buying a house in La Jolla where she spent her final days.


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