Elizabeth Porter lived in Stamford, CT for 23 years, and it is where she raised her two daughters Jane Porter and Maria Porter alongside her husband Michael Porter. Elizabeth was born in Leningrad, Russia on June 21, 1953, an only child to her parents Abram and Tsiva Brikker. She died on March 12, 2020 at 12:25 am in Albany, NY, after a hard-fought battle with breast cancer. Her husband of 46 years - Michael Porter - was beside her every step of the way, including when she took her last breath.
In 1975, Elizabeth received a master’s degree in political economy and computer science from the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, known as the “MIT” of Russia. She graduated at the top of her class.
In 1979, at the age of 26, Elizabeth, then Yelizaveta, along with her husband and two-year-old daughter Maria, left everything and everyone they knew in Leningrad to start life anew in the United States. She moved to New York City with the singular hope of a better life for herself and her daughter compared to the one she had while growing up as a Jew in the Soviet Union.
Arriving in Brooklyn, NY with little else besides her young daughter and husband, she built a long and successful career as a computer programmer and then project manager in information technology. Elizabeth retired from General Electric in Albany, NY in 2017, having worked at GE Capital in Stamford, CT and later at GE for a total of 22 years.
Elizabeth and her husband raised their two daughters, living in Stamford, CT for 23 years. She took great pride in her daughters and their accomplishments.
Elizabeth was well-known amongst her friends and colleagues for her shining smile, feisty personality, and boundless generosity. She will be remembered for her strength, perseverance, boundless joy for life, and kindness to all whom she met. She was always available for her friends and family whenever they needed a lending hand, a shoulder to cry on, or a good hearty laugh. She provided support to her extended family in Russia and Israel. She welcomed new Russian immigrants to the community, helping ensure they received more support than she ever had when she herself arrived to the U.S. Her friends always appreciated her wonderful, home-made jars of fruit jam.
Elizabeth was a lover of cultural beauty — music, ballet, opera, theater, and travel. She saw much of the world, both as part of her career, and as a voracious lover of travel. Prior to learning of her metastasized breast cancer in November 2019, Elizabeth was eagerly preparing for a month-long trip to Tahiti at the end of 2019, to celebrate her 45-year wedding anniversary. Although she was never able to take this vacation, she spent her last months with her husband and children.
Summer was Elizabeth’s favorite season, and she loved her water aerobics classes and swimming in the lake behind her home in Athens, New York, particularly with her children, grandchildren, other family, and friends.
Above all else, she loved — no, she adored — her babies: her daughters and grandsons, and the unborn to come, for whom her love was so boundless that she simply could not contain it. Faced with a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Elizabeth refused to give up her fight to live. Nothing brought her greater joy than time spent with her grandsons Oliver and Max Menchik, ages 8 and 3. She was determined to meet her third grandchild, who is expected to be born in June.
Elizabeth fought to live with every ounce of her strength, until the last moment. She is survived by her husband Michael Porter, daughters Maria and Jane Porter, grandsons Oliver and Max Menchik, and a grand-baby six-months in the making.
She is loved deeply. She is missed beyond measure. She remains forever and always in our hearts.
A graveside service will take place on Sunday, March 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm, at the Temple Beth El Cemetery, 350 Roxbury Rd, Stamford, CT.
To honor Elizabeth’s memory, we ask that donations be made to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, using the following website: bit.ly/InMemoryofElizabethPorter. Elizabeth died too young, with many trips abroad yet to be taken, hugs yet to be given and received, and many laughs yet to be shared with family and friends. We wish to contribute towards a cure for breast cancer, so that other women’s lives are not similarly curtailed so short by this disease.
Arrangements are under the directions of Thomas M. Gallagher Funeral Home, Stamford, CT (203) 359-9999. For more information or to send condolences please visit Gallagherfuneralhome.com