August 10, 1917 – December 15, 2019
The Right Rev. Morgan Porteus, the 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, died peacefully on Sunday, December 15, 2019 at his home in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, MA surrounded by his loving family. He was 102 years old.
Son of the late Robert William and Ruth Morgan Porteus, he was born August 10, 1917 in Hartford, CT. His paternal grandfather was Robert Porteus, a well-known building contractor in Hartford with the Porteus-Walker Company. His maternal grandfather, Frederick Morgan, was a tobacco merchant in Windsor, CT, and a CT state representative. Morgan moved with his family to Windsor, CT in 1920 where his mother’s family, the Morgans, have lived since the early 1800s. He was predeceased by his sister, Martha Louise Porteus of Windsor, CT.
As a boy, Morgan attended public schools in Windsor and graduated in 1941 from Bates College in Lewiston, ME. He received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Having been accepted as a Postulant for Holy Order in the Episcopal Diocese of CT, he attended the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, MA, and graduated in 1943.
Morgan was ordained a deacon in 1943 and an Episcopal priest in 1944 at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford, CT, where as a boy he sang in the choir. He considered the Cathedral to be the heart of his life and ministry.
After serving as curate in 1943 at Trinity Church, Torrington, CT, he accepted a call to be rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Cheshire, CT in 1944, where he served for 27 years.
In 1971, he was elected as Bishop Suffragan in the Episcopal Diocese of CT. In 1976, he was elected Coadjutor Bishop, and in 1977 he was ordained the 11th Bishop of the Diocese at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford, CT.
In 1957, Morgan co-founded the Chapel of St. James the Fisherman in Wellfleet, MA, where he served as priest-in-charge for 18 years.
He served as a member of the Standing Liturgical Commission of the National Episcopal Church for eight years until the 1979 Prayer Book was compiled and approved by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.
He retired in 1981, moved to Cape Cod, MA, and became an assisting Bishop in the Massachusetts Episcopal Diocese; a position he held until 2009.
He was married in 1944 to Martha A. Walsh of Lowell, MA, the mother of his three sons. After the dissolution of this relationship, he married Rev. Joan Cottrel in 1988, and they have since been divorced.
Morgan is survived by his three sons and their families: Rev. Christopher Porteus and his wife Rev. Beverly Porteus of Elkton, MD, Jonathan Porteus and his wife Nancy of South Wellfleet, MA, Milton Porteus of Windsor, CT, and seven grandchildren: Emily, Kate, Benjamin, Andrew, Eric, Linsey, and Sarah.
Morgan was an avid fly-fisherman, gardener, and photographer with a deep love of Cape Cod and its natural beauty.
A memorial service and internment will be held in the summer of 2020 at St. James the Fisherman Episcopal Chapel in Wellfleet, MA. An additional graveside memorial and internment will be held at First Church Cemetery in Windsor, CT. Dates to be determined. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of one’s choice.
December 21, 2019
As a young man growing up at Christ Church Cathedral I admired Bishop Porteus. He was a dynamic speaker and a kind hearted man. He lived a full life and I will always remember him as a man of compassion and wisdom. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time of great loss.
December 20, 2019
Me Porteus was a minister & longtime friend of my parents, Jane & Wesley Harper as well as the whole family of four daughters. I will remember his sermons & special times at St Peter’s in Cheshire as well as the church in Wellfleet in the summer. I was baptized, confirmed & married by Mr Porteus. Love to his entire family & admiration for a long & wonderful life. He will be missed
December 20, 2019
I've know Mr. Porteus all my life and have loved him dearly. He was the pillar for my mom and family when my sister and father died. I have so many special memories of the wonderful man and will miss him. My thoughts and prayers go out to Chris, Jonathan and Milton.
Please keep me informed as to when you will have a service.
Love, Barbara Burrall Case
December 20, 2019
A truly wonderful man, Rev. Porteus was a great priest, wonderful Dad, and a terrific friend. His ability to relate to everyone and help them thru their challenging times was a blessing. I cherish my memories of him, and will forever. My prayers for my old friends "the Boys".