Michael Porter – Potomac, Maryland

Michael Porter Denker, 66, co-owner of Hopkins & Porter Construction, a residential design/build firm based in Potomac, MD, died May 22, 2013, at Casey House in Gaithersburg, MD. The son of Jane Denker of Shelburne, Vt. and Dr. David Denker, deceased, who met working at the New York Times in 1941. Michael was born in 1946 in New Haven, Conn., moving later to Somerset, N.J. As a teenager, Michael’s summers were spent as a camper at The Prairie Trek, Cottonwood Gulch, in Thoreau, N.M. Drawn to the land, animals, plants, archaeological past, and native peoples of the southwestern U.S., he returned as a counselor, cook, and group leader for the better part of a decade. At Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, where he graduated in 1970, with a BA in art, Michael married Ellen Gray in 1971. A co-op job led them to a four-year commitment teaching adult education for Frontier College on the island of Igloolik, Canada. While in Canada, they purchased 220 acres in Gilmer County, W. Va. After moving to Potomac, Mr. Denker co-founded Hopkins & Porter Construction in 1977, along with his brother-in-law, Guy Hopkins Semmes. Having celebrated 36 years of business, they were recognized for seven years by the DC Metro Chapter of National Association of the Remodeling Industry for creative design. Michael gained a reputation for his love of letterpress printing and extensive knowledge of nineteenth-century wood type. Michael volunteered as Quartermaster for the C&O Canal Trust, serving two years as President of Montgomery County Builders Association and Secretary for West Montgomery County Citizens Association, and writing for the Potomac Almanac Newspaper. With his company, Hopkins & Porter, he made recognized contributions to the Bethesda Big Train and Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County. Michael was the only man to win the John Brawner Memorial “Builder of the Year” Award twice from MCBA. Among many others, survivors include his mother, Jane Gurley Denker, of Shelburne, Vt. Contributions can be made to Cottonwood Gulch Foundation, P.O. Box 25106, Albuquerque, N.M. 87125. A celebration of his life is planned for early fall 2013.

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