In Loving Memory of

Amy Von der Porten


Amy M. Von der Porten of Gainesville, FL went to her final rest, Christmas morning, Dec 25, 2017. She is survived by her husband of almost 71 years, Arnold P. Von der Porten of Gainesville, sister Kathleen Tarney and husband Thom Tarney of Alberta CAN, brother Alan Barry of Ottawa CAN, son Richard A. Von der Porten and wife Linda S. Von der Porten of Burlington, KY., daughter Marguerite K. Orf and husband Timothy C. Orf of Winter Springs, FL, son Christopher P. Von der Porten of Dacula, GA. And daughter Arlene E. Von der Porten-Jacobs and husband Mark W. Jacobs of Valrico, FL., grandchildren: Misty and Brandon Steinebronn, Tiffany & Eric Weider, Paul & Kyleen Von der Porten, David & Meagan Von der Porten, Stephen Orf, Virginia Von der Porten, Matthew Von der Porten, Jeffrey Jacobs, Mark Von der Porten and Jessica Jacobs, great-grandchildren: Jillian Brinko, Addison Steinebronn, Cate Steinebronn, Tyler Weider, Melanie Weider, Elliot Von der Porten and Mullana Von der Porten.

Amy was well-known in the Gainesville community, having resided for over 23 years. She was a member of the New Comers Club, Founder of the Faith Presbyterian Church Library as well as an active member of the church. She moved to Gainesville from Old Bridge, NJ, where she had founded 14 libraries, including several school and the Old Bridge Public Library. For most of her career she was the Head Librarian at Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, NJ. She was the President of the New Jersey Private and Parochial School Library Board. She received a masters in Early Childhood Development from Trenton State University and a bachelors from Cambridge University.

Amy was born in Kingston, Jamaica, BWI, Oct 1, 1923, the daughter of the Administrative General, Herbert F. Barry and his wife Olga Eva Barry. She founded the botanical science library of Kingston shortly after WWII and created many of the botanical collections in Jamaica. She moved to the US in 1952 and became a naturalized US Citizen in 1964.

Arrangements are under the care of Forest Meadows Funeral Home. A visitation will be held Friday, December 29, 2017 at Forest Meadows Funeral Home, 725 NW 23rd Avenue Gainesville, Florida, from 5 PM to 7 PM. Services will be held Saturday, December 30, 2017 at Faith Presbyterian Church, 5916 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville, Florida, and will begin at 11 AM, followed by a reception.


Online Condolences

7 Responses

  1. Arlene Jacobs at · Reply

    You will always be in my heart.

  2. John Keeth at · Reply

    Arlene – although I didn’t know your mother personally I am truly awed by her background. And knowing you I know she was a loving and wonderful person. You and your family are in my prayers.

  3. Kathy Crocker at · Reply

    Blessings to your family during this hard time.

  4. Helen Atteck at · Reply

    With great sadness I’ve received the notice of the passing of my dear Aunt Amy.
    I have many fond memories of my special aunt who was more like a sister to me.
    I send condolences to Uncle Arnold, my cousins, and the rest of the extended family.
    Love, Helen

  5. Michael Von der Porten at · Reply

    We are sorry to have Amy leave us.

    Amy & Arnold have been wonderful relatives — my father’s father’s brother and wife.

    Their many adventures and tribulations are an inspiration to so many.

    Their visits to California and our few visits to Gainesville have all been wonderful chances to get together and to get to know each other.

    A number of years ago, Amy showed us how to work Skype!

    And, as many relatives and friends know, birthdays were never forgotten by Amy & Arnold.

    To all of the Amy & Arnold family & friends, look us up when you get to northern California.

  6. Sue Pease at · Reply

    Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who loved and knew Amy! Her contributions throughout her lifetime is amazing and will be remembered always! Our sincere sympathy and hugs to Arnold,their children and everyone she touched!

    Randy and Sue Pease,
    Ashley and Bryan Mitchell,
    Tarra Pease and Joe Grossi

  7. Christopher Von der Porten at · Reply

    As I wrote these words Christmas morning I was listening to Silver Bells, on the radio. One of mom’s favorite Christmas songs.

    Today as we celebrate my mother’s 94 years, pop’s wife of nearly 71 years, and Grandma to most here, let’s recall the best of times in her memory, and let’s celebrate Christmas in her Honor every year going forward.

    Mom was a fighter and a high achiever. She was a successful career woman at a time when most women were not in the workforce. Mom’s lifelong profession was that of librarian. Many may not know was how many libraries she started. She has an audio recording she gave me at Christmas four years ago that best describe her professional successes.

    Mom fought the good fight and proved her doctors wrong for over 20 years.

    A mother and a son have a very special relationship. Looking back I have to say I would not be the man I am today if not for my mother.

    Some of my earliest memories are that of Mom, Arlene and I sitting on the couch in Old Bridge reading Sam and The Fire Fly, Robert the Rose Horse or the Cat in the Hat.

    Mom, always understood me and my moods. As most of you know I am dyslexic. What you may not know is that Mom helped me overcome my learning disability, and helped me through school, by typing my term papers.

    Mom was the Cubs Scout den leader. She insisted that we attended bible study as children.

    Mom helped me develop a love of the arts. She made me discover music, by taking me to NY to see Operas, the Metropolitan Symphony, Plays on Broadway and Shakespeare in the park.

    Later after I could drive I became mom’s chauffer, driving her to Canada, Florida, Vermont, Washington, DC and to her Master’s classes at night in Trenton NJ.

    My most of my humorous memories of my Mom revolve around her driving. Mom was an interesting driver, she never quite learned to back a car out of a Garage. Indeed after accidently driving through her parent’s garage on Lady Musgrave Rd in Kingston Jamaica, she had her brother – John – back her dad’s car out.

    In 1976 Pop had a garage added to the house in Old Bridge NJ. Mom took out the center post with her 75 Impala multiple times. Pop was never the wiser until he came home early one day, while I was rebuilding it. When pop said I hope you do a good job I assured him he would not notice the difference after I was done. He asked how could I be so sure, and I told him he had not noticed the last few times I rebuilt it.

    Mom had a lead foot, as kids we nicked name her Mario Mommy, after she got pulled over for doing 72 in a 25. Rather than taking mom to jail the cop took pity on mom and knocked the ticket down to 40 in a 25.

    Mom was rock solid in her faith. She revealed her faith to me when I was facing the darkest days of my life. She would quote appropriate scripture lessons, and asked me to read books that were Christian based.

    I am certain that heaven has gained an extraordinary angel. God loves Mom as he gave the present of no more suffering by bringing her home on her favorite day of the year. She join’s her Dad (Herbert F Barry) who passed away on his favorite day – Christmas day 1992. Her mother Olga Eva Barry, three of her brothers Frank, John, Robert, and William. She also gets to see my brother Michael, and her grandson Kevin.

    I believe if mom could she would quote the following for each of us today.

    Timothy 7-9 NLT
    “7 – I fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
    8 – Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me… – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 9 – Do your best and keep the faith in God…” I love you all.

    I will dearly miss my mother until I see her again.

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