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Pastor Donald Dean Potter

Donald Dean Potter was the firstborn twin delivered naturally at home on June 11, 1950 in Sweden, MO to James Orvil and Effie (Porter) Potter. Donald was born a whole 15 minutes earlier than his twin, Ronald Gene, and proudly professed this accomplishment throughout his life. As one of eleven children born and raised in “Potter Holler,” Donald developed his rascally ways amongst this brood while he simultaneously established his concrete, unwavering view of the significance and impact of family which he carried throughout his life.

In September of 1971, Donald met Portia Gaye Hinote while working at the Spalding Factory. Donald could not help but ask such a pretty girl out and their first date was to be at the fair; however, Donald was a no-show that night. Portia– tired of waiting for Donald and still very much wanting to go to the fair, decided to instead attend the fair with a friend – and there she came face-to-face with her would-be date. The look of complete shock upon Donald’s face will forever be remembered. Donald, impressed and completely smitten with the feisty, independent Portia, worked tirelessly to get another chance at winning her heart. Donald finally succeeded and blissfully joined Portia in marriage on May 26, 1972 at the Girdner Church – the very church where so many Potter salvations, marriages, and legacies began. 

And, together, they grew their family…

Firstborn son to Donald and Portia: Scotty Potter

Grandchildren and family joyfully gained from Scotty:

Dakota Potter, his wife Shaela, and their sons Bryson, Bryler, and Bryxton.

Twin daughters, Cheyenne and Breanne

Their mother, and forever daughter-in-law, Miranda Ross and husband, Mark

Tessa (Lindberg) Ebert, her husband Logan, and their daughter, Rylee

Zoë Lindberg

Their mother, and forever daughter-in-law, Jo Lindberg

Second born child to Donald and Portia: Gayela (Potter) and Scott Linton

Grandchildren and family joyfully gained from this union:

Bailey Linton, fiancé Karley Carpenter, and their daughter, Brinleigh

Taylor Linton and fiancé, Sean McLear

Gabe Linton

Third child born to Donald and Portia: Crystal (Potter) and Jeremy Emery

Grandchildren joyfully gained from this union:

Anthony Emery

Nathan Emery

Alicia Emery

Natalie Emery

Fourth born to Donald and Portia: Gena (Potter) and Homero Flores

Fifth born to Donald and Portia: Rusty and MaryAnn (Dake) Potter

Grandchildren joyfully gained from this union:

Hunter Potter

Ellie Potter

Kylie Potter

Sixth and final child born to Donald and Portia: Emily (Potter) and Anthony Thornhill

Grandchild joyfully gained from this union:

Hannah Riley

And over the years— through these children, relationships, and friendships – more family was joyfully added.

The lines of family and friend are blurred within the Potter household. The words “Dad loves you.” and “Well it’s about time you came home, sis. Where ya been?” or “There’s my boy!” echo through the minds and hearts of many as we reminisce. Time away was irrelevant – days, weeks, or even years – the instant one of Donald and Portia’s honorary children walked through their door, they were welcomed home by the man who unconditionally accepted everyone into the unyielding comfort and love of the Potter home with vigor.

Donald worked for Douglas county road department for over 30 years and served as Presiding Commissioner for eight. You could always count on him to lend a helping hand. 

Donald immensely enjoyed fishing and hunting; he loved and treasured his family; cherished his wife and adored helping her find seashells on the beach; delighted in loudly singing his off-key version of “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” to the love of his life every moment he could; boldly preached the gospel and love of Jesus; unapologetically lead people to Christ; and had a deep passion for prison ministry. Donald loved with his whole heart and did not hesitate in showing this love. 

His first sermon was a mere 5 minutes long over the content of John 15:5 – “I am the vine, you are the branches” … and once he got that taste of spreading the true gospel, he swiftly began preaching the boisterous 1+ hour sermons he became so known for.

 “May they all make heaven their home without a loss of one” became his prayer and hominy. Donald pastored several churches in the area and evangelized and held revivals no matter where God led him, including Haiti.

Donald is survived by his wife, Portia, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren; his siblings: Ed Potter, Robert and Kathy (Stierlen) Potter, Leon and Jane (Call) Potter Ronald and Brenda (Lakey) Potter, Paul and Pam (Paul) Potter, James and Tina (Waters) Potter, Doris (Potter-Pinckney) and Steven Baten, Margie (Potter) and Ray Dobbs, Pearl (Potter) and Lonnie Atchison, and Lannie Hinote; nieces, nephews, cousins and friends; and all the honorary children and grandchildren accumulated over the years.

Donald is preceded in death by his parents James Orvil and Effie (Porter) Potter; in-laws James and Violet (Pierson) Hinote; siblings Leonard and Dee (Hensley) Potter, Wilda (Moore) Potter, Minnie (King) Potter, and Ronnie Pinckney; nephews Shannon Dobbs, Jamie Potter, Jeff Potter; great-nephew Tyler Dobbs; and the precious grandbabies we did not get to hold on earth but who we now know are being held in papa’s loving arms. 

Funeral services were Monday, December 21, 2020 at 2:00PM in the Clinkingbeard Chapel located in Ava, MO with burial following in the Oak Forest Cemetery, Norwood, MO. A Visitation was Monday from 1:00 PM to service time in the funeral home.  Officiating were Scott Linton and Bub Coonce. Memorials may be made to: CareCenter Ministries Missouri #LoveLikeDonald  PO Box 1318 Ava, MO 65608

Due to the spread of Covid-19, we requested that everyone please wear a mask if attending. 

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