Lanita Porterfield

Lanita Jean Porterfield (Sherman)

Sunday, July 22nd, 1934 - Monday, January 6th, 2020
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Lanita Jean Porterfield was born July 22, 1934, in Kansas City, Missouri. She was the third child of Harry and Lela Sherman, and she grew up in a musical household. Harry played the drums, and Lela sang to her children. Lanita loved reminiscing about parties held at her parents’ house where her dad’s musician friends entertained and the rug was rolled up and tucked aside so guests could dance.

At the La Fiesta Ballroom, seventeen-year-old Lanita met the love of her life. During her first dance with Otis (Corky) Porterfield, she knew he was the man she would marry. Within a year, they married and were together for over sixty years.

Lanita loved to cook for her family. And she cooked the old-fashioned way, using her hands to ensure the texture and consistency of her food -- meatballs, pie dough, turkey dressing -- felt just right to her touch. She taught her daughters the joy of making and sharing food with loved ones. Every year she made dozens of Christmas cookies and many batches of candy – fudge, peanut brittle, divinity -- to share with friends and family.

Holidays were a favorite time for Lanita. Besides sharing her hand-decorated Christmas cookies, she’d amuse the gang at her mother-in-law’s house on Christmas eve by strutting in singing Johnny Mercer’s “Strip Polka,” as she tossed her hat and gloves on a chair. She was also good at getting sing-a-longs started at family gatherings.

In addition to music and cooking, Lanita loved to travel. Although her favorite vacation spot was Las Vegas, she and Corky enjoyed their trips throughout the western U.S., meeting up with Corky’s sisters and brothers and their kids at various destinations. She anticipated – and saved for – those vacations all year.

After losing her beloved Corky nearly seven years ago, she kept her feisty spirit up by spending time with her family and her dear neighbor Regina McNamara singing, watching classic movies and going to her favorite casino.

Surrounded by her family at St. Luke’s Hospice House, Lanita died January 6, 2020. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her son Timothy Porterfield and her brothers Ernie, Harry and Denny Sherman. She is survived by her daughters, Janet Day, Shelly Porterfield and Lisa Porterfield; her grandsons, Ben Brannian and Tom Brannian; Janet’s husband Kevin Day and Shelly’s partner Janna Haston; her sisters Jacqueline Fuller and Wilma Hutsell; her brothers Rick Sherman and Gary Sherman; long-time friend and sister-in-law Lois Howard who stuck with Lanita through thick and thin and dozens of nieces, nephews and sisters- and brothers-in-law.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to St. Luke’s Hospice House.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, January 10th, 2020 | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Friday, January 10th, 2020 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Speaks Suburban Chapel
    18020 E. 39th Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Memorial visitation
  • Service

    No services are planned at this time
  • Interment


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