Rex Porter, 30 is too young to die.

Yesterday we said goodbye to a wonderful young soul whose dash was much too short.

Rex Porter was killed on Sunday, August 23rd, in a tragic vehicle accident. After enjoying the company of friends on a Sunday afternoon, the weekend of his 30th birthday, he went home to check on his dog before his shift at the Windjammer. While driving to work, too fast for this narrow 2 lane road, he lost control of his vehicle on one of the curves and struck a tree, ending his too-short life and leaving a wake of broken-hearted friends and family.

Rex Stephen Porter was born on August 20, 1985 in Canton, Ohio. A Clemson graduate and fan, he has been working at the Windjammer for 8 years, which is where we met him. To know Rex was to love him, and there were so many lives and hearts he touched.

My heart always aches the most for the families, especially the mothers, who are left behind when a young person dies. In this case, my heart aches just as much for his precious dog, Joanna, who will never understand why her person hasn’t come home to her. She is a special dog and they had a special bond. We got to know her because she would often come to work with him in the slow winter season. She would just hang out behind the bar and follow him around. She will never know why she has been abandoned.

After the memorial service at the mortuary, friends and family gathered at the Windjammer to share stories and celebrate Rex’s life. There were so many people who came from near and far to share funny tales of this unforgettable young man. My words could never do justice to the character of this guy, but anyone who met him and spent any time with him came away with at least one memorable story. I don’t think anyone could ever say anything bag about Rex. He was that kind of incredible and positive guy.

I will share here our little story of Rex that Ben told on stage at the wake. One of the first summers we knew Rex was a summer Ben worked with him at the Windjammer. Rex drank too much at the end of his day shift and needed a place to sleep it off, so we took him to our place just 4 blocks away. After making sure he was comfortable on the living room futon with a pillow, blanket and bottle of water nearby, we returned to the Windjammer to enjoy the rest of our evening. When we returned home later that night Rex was gone! We thought maybe he woke up and had someone come get him and didn’t worry too much. But when I went into the bathroom I got a big laugh… he was curled up in the fetal position, just as cute as could be, sleeping in our bathtub! Oh, Rex. One day I will find the photo I snapped and post it here for the rest of the world to adore.

Rest in peace, my sweet friend. We love you and will miss you.

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