John Portis: A Celebration of Life

A Lasting Legacy

During the month of October, we have focused on the aging process for many of our members and their families. Staying active and connected to community is so critical, especially when a life ends too soon. 

In September, it took us by surprise when LIFEPlan member from the Capital Region John Portis passed away at the young age of 30 years old. John lived a wonderful life by teaching others kindness. He touched many lives with his warm smile and positive attitude. John was an advocate who “stuck up” for others who were vulnerable. He never wanted to see anyone get hurt.  

John was an active member at Liberty ARC in Amsterdam, NY for many years where he enjoyed their recreation programs. When Catherine Mowrey, Courtney Ball, Karissa Fitzgerald, Stacey Antos, Dan Rhodes, Jen Nichols, Jessica Bortell, Keisha Carter, Jessica Romano, Samantha Anthony, Sandra Quinion, and Rosemary Rajter learned of John’s passing, they continued his acts of kindness by hosting his celebration of his life.  

On September 29th, staff from Liberty ARC hosted a celebration of John’s life with 35 of his friends and family to honor his memory. His mother, Shirley, shared that she, 

was blessed to have John, as he brought peace and people together.

Kalesha Niles, John’s Care Manager for the last two years, shared that,

John loved Christmas, wrestling, and his mom. Many others loved him too. John has made an everlasting impact on my life in a short period of time. His kindness connected me to his wonderful community of friends and family who supported each other during this difficult time.

The Liberty Foundation helped to fund John’s urn and the celebration of his life. John loved his family and his Liberty ARC family equally. His mother, Shirley, is grateful for the Liberty Foundation’s assistance and hopes to keep his memory alive by asking others to, “be positive and kind to each other, just like John.”