"A Kind Man,

A Big Heart"

Our sweet and loving father, husband, grandfather, brother and Uncle Delbert Julio Del Porto, 68, passed away Saturday, September 18th. He went quietly and peacefully at home, surrounded by loved ones, after a courageous 20-year battle with the cruel effects of Parkinson's Disease. He fought the good fight each and every day of his life. His gentle, kind spirit and passion for helping others will be dearly missed.

"To better the lives of others is one of life's greatest rewards." <! >

Delbert was born Nov. 6, 1935 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Julio "Dutch" and Mary Del Porto. He married Valerie Misell on Dec. 23, 1955 and they began what would be close to a 50-year union. Delbert's life was defined by hard work, determination and perseverance. Following his graduation from Cyprus High School in 1953 he worked many odd jobs while continuing to pursue a college degree on a full-time basis. Delbert was also a very talented artist and had he chosen this direction in life he most certainly would have succeeded. He later graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's Degree in psychology in 1965 and a Master's Degree in Social Work in 1973. Following completion of his MSW he began a nearly 20-year professional career as a counselor and therapist in private practice as well as adjunct work at various psychiatric hospitals around the valley, most notably Pioneer Valley and Charter Summit Hospitals. Delbert was also one of the founding, managing partners of Psychiatric Associates, a mental health clinic that began in West Valley and housed his own private practice. During this time he garnered the respect of everyone in the profession who knew him. He retired prematurely in 1993. Throughout his career he was a skilled social worker and counselor who genuinely cared for the people he helped. His ability to empathize with others was one of his greatest gifts and was a direct reflection of his tenacious spirit in overcoming many of his own lifelong challenges.

He will also be remembered for his ability to find humor in the sometimes outrageous vicissitudes of life. This quality was especially evident in his willingness to laugh at himself as he struggled with the inescapable mental and physical pratfalls of Parkinson's Disease. No matter how many times he lost his balance or his train of thought he remained upbeat and hopeful.

Delbert was a people person in the truest sense of the word. He loved his wife Valerie very much and was proud and thankful that she was his wife and the loving mother of his children. Delbert lived his life with integrity and was passionate about his children. He was so proud of the people he helped them to become. His easy smile and hearty laugh are enduring memories for all who knew him. Delbert's ability to connect with others was another of his greatest gifts and served him well his entire life. His attendance at Judge Memorial boy's basketball games over the years gave him much enjoyment and his presence in the bulldog gymnasium will be sorely missed this season. Because of his social nature, he gained a new friend most every game he went to.

Delbert is survived by his loving wife of 49 years Valerie, who stood by his side throughout their life together; sons Brett and Dan; daughter Caryn Hunt (Richard); daughter in-law Vicki Varela; five grandchildren, Christopher, Matthew, Cathryn, (who loved her "Popsy") Sarah and John, all of Salt Lake City. He is also survived by two sisters, Verlene, Salt Lake and Elaine, Magna as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents. Lastly, he is survived by is devoted and faithful dog of 11 years, Missy, who is as distraught as anybody that Del is no longer with us.

The list of people who extended a helping hand and enriched Delbert's life with their kindness is long. The family would like to thank the wonderful people of Caresource for their genuine love and care for him and the tremendous support they have shown our entire family. Specifically we would like to thank Social Worker Amy Hopkins, Doctors Greg Miller and Carol Baraldi, and Nurses Stephanie Workman, Karen Turner, Evan Green, and Gayle Wilson as well as Massage Therapist Deborah Thompson. You all made Delbert's life better and provided invaluable emotional support for his wife Valerie. We would also like to extend special thanks to his Aides, Mary Williams and, in particular, Jenny Pederson and Erika Argueta. Your daily presence enriched his life in innumerable and indescribable ways. He loved you girls.

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