Aquilla W. Portis, 93, affectionately known as "Buddy", passed away peacefully on Friday, May 28, 2021. He was born September 27, 1927 to Dorothy (Ballard) and Aldophus W. Portis Sr. He was the third child of five children. He attended Springfield City Schools where he graduated from Springfield High School. He married Maybelle (Hardnick) Portis in May 1950 and to this union, they had six children. They were happily married 37 years until her death in 1987. Buddy served his country in the United States Navy Reserves in 1951 and was honorably discharged in 1955. He dedicated his life to Christ in the early 1950s and was a lifelong member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church where he served as Chairman of the Usher Board, Chairman of the Trustee Board and was on the Finance Board.
Aquilla was coronated a 33rd Degree Mason on May 25, 1987 and his other Masonic affiliations include; Past Master, Champion Lodge #15, Past High Priest, Mt. Olive Chapter # 4, R.A.M., Past Commander-in-Chief , Miami Consistory #26, A.A.S.R, Past Potentate, Akbar Temple #41, A.E.O.N.M.S., Past Patron, Golden Star Chapter 1 O.E.S. (PHA) and Past Grand Junior Deacon, M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio.
Aquilla retired from Credit Life Insurance Companies of Springfield after 36 years of faithful employment where he helped many young African American men obtain employment.
While on one of many church trips in 1993 he shared a newspaper with his future wife, Betty Portis whom he married in April 1994. Throughout their 27 years of marriage they traveled throughout the United States and abroad. They shared many years of laughter and love.
He was an avid gardener, loved to cook, was a loving husband, amazing father and even better grandfather.
Aquilla is survived by his devoted wife, Betty A. Portis; his six children, Aquilla L. Portis, Patricia (Larry) Ham, Donald (Susan) Portis, Vanessa Portis-Reed, Keith Portis, Sharon (Chester) Cole and three bonus children, Michael (Kim) Logan, Anita Davis and Virginia (Andre') Blackmon; an adored sister, Estella Lewis, 37 grandchildren, 83 great grandchildren, 21 great-great grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends. He was reunited in death with his parents, first wife, Maybelle (Hardnick) Portis; siblings, Adolphus Portis, Dorothy Walls, Greenwood D. Portis, Ester Portis; grandchildren, Truman Portis, Donnie Alexander, Tyjuan Young and great grandchildren, Lionel Gaines, Amare Smith and Chris Florence.
Visitation is Friday, June 4, 2021 from 11 a.m. with the family present until the time of service at 12 noon in Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1171 S. Yellow Springs St. Springfield, Ohio 45506. The eulogy will be given by Rev. Dr. Olie Burton. Burial will follow in Ferncliff Cemetery.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Aquilla "Buddy" W. Portis, please visit our floral store.