Clifford A. Porter, 97, a resident of Jefferson Street and longtime Bear Hill Market owner, died Jan. 30, 2010, at the Anderson Inn at Quarry Hill in Camden after a period of failing health.

Cliff was born Dec. 6, 1912, in Massachusetts, the son of James and Crystal Thurston Porter. As a youth, his family traveled the world; he attended schools where he was living at the time, until age 10 when his family returned to Union. Though he left school early to work in support of his family, he read every book he could lay his hands on to increase his knowledge, often using the books he read and trial and error to teach himself a trade, such as outboard motor repair, which he used to open a motor repair shop in Waldoboro.

Always seeking improvement in himself, he began work with Park and Pollard Stores in Rhode Island. By age 19 he was managing a store for them, always holding on to his dream of returning to this area. He did so in his 20s by purchasing a property on Jefferson Street and starting his chicken farm, clearing land by the river and setting up trailers to create a camping park and making a small golf course for locals to play on near the river. In the late 40s he opened a small grocery store called Bear Hill Market, as he shot a large bear getting into his chickens on top of the hill. The market expanded over the years, encompassing a sandwich shop and a well-regarded meat counter, which Cliff took great pride in.

Active in the community, he used the store to support all the local churches equally, supplying food and treats for different functions. He, along with other businessmen in town, purchased a piece of property, donating it to the town to create the Little League ball fields. Cliff was a 50-year member of King Solomon’s Lodge 61 AF & AM in Waldoboro. He was a member of the grange and was known for his great cooking abilities. He was an avid fisherman, often tying his own flies. In retirement he enjoyed traveling to Florida for the winter.

Cliff was predeceased by his wife, Madelyn Brown Porter.

He is survived by a daughter-in-law, Barbara Kane of Waldoboro; a grandson, Robert Kane Jr. of California, Pa.; and a granddaughter, Terri J. Kane of Las Vegas, Nev.

Friends are invited to visit with the family Tuesday, Feb. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hall Funeral Home, 979 Main St. in Waldoboro. A celebration of Cliff’s life will be held Wednesday, Feb. 3 at noon with Pastor Tom Rawley officiating. Interment will be in the Shuman Cemetery.

Should friends desire, memorial donations may be made to a local animal shelter in Cliff’s memory.

Arrangements are with the Hall Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Waldoboro. Condolences to the family may be sent to hallfh@myfairpoint.net.