Obituary: Joan Atwater Porter |

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.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User