Published 11:51 am Thursday, December 12, 2019

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Mrs. Marilyn Terry Portemont, 95, of Andalusia, passed away Sunday, December 8, 2019, at her residence.

Because of the war effort, Marilyn relocated to Detroit, MI and lived with Johnny Portemont’s parents and was employed with Allison Division of General Motors making war parts for Aircraft Engines.  The main parts she helped build were the parts for the famous P-51 fighter plane that was so important to the victory in Europe and the Pacific.

Johnny served in the Marine Corps from early January 1943 until January 1946.

Johnny and Marilyn married shortly after he returned from his service in the Marines on April 13, 1946.  They traveled with Wallace Brothers shows in June 1946 and J.F. Sparks Shows.  After Sparks Shows sold later in 1946, Johnny and Marilyn purchased rides and started their own show that the named, Johnny’s United Shows.

Johnny’s United Shows generated a successful route from Georgia and Indiana.  Later the route increased adding Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana.  Featured locations were July 4 celebration in Brazil, IN, North Georgia State Fair Marietta, GA, Peanut Festival in Dothan, AL.  Each season would start in early Spring and last until late October.  The Portemont’s were dedicated to the Show Business for the duration of show ownership and beyond.  They were involved in many show Organizations including Showmen’s League of America, Ladies Auxiliary of America in Chicago (served as president in 1968), Showmen’s League of St. Louis, Miami Showmen Association, Greater Tampa Showmen’s Association, Showmen’s League of America Chicago Ladies Auxiliary, World Wide Past President’s Club, The Turtle Club (through her fund-raising efforts in the Turtle Club, Marilyn was known as the “Imperial Turtle”.

Johnny and Marilyn were instrumental in fundraising efforts and were staunch supporters of many of the showmens’ organizations.  Marilyn was co-chairman of the Miami Showmen’s Association Golden 100 in 1997.  She was honored as the first woman to be inducted into the Club’s “Man of the Year” Golden 100.  Also, in 1997 she was presented as “Woman of the Year” by the Ladies Auxiliary Showmen’s League of America in Chicago.   Mrs. Portemont received the first and only Lifetime Achievement Award from the OABA in February 2017 in Tampa, FL.

Funeral services will be at 11 AM Saturday, December 14th from Foreman Funeral Home Chapel with Brother Wayne Sharpe officiating the service.  The interment will follow in Andalusia Memorial Cemetery.  Visitation will begin at 9 AM on Saturday at Foreman Funeral Home.

She is survived by four children, Suzette P. Hooper and husband Scotty, Kathy P. Ammons and husband Anthony, Terry Portemont, and Tammy Portemont; her grandchildren, Yvette Hooper (Roger) Ramirez, Rhett (Shana) Hooper, Heath Hooper, Heather Ammons (Mike) Pate, Cam (Hayley) Ammons, J.T. Portemont, Zach Portemont, Amber Evers (Mike) O’Neal; great-grandchildren, Cole and Clint Hooper, Stokes, Brax, Addie Pate, Gracelynn Pruitt, Camryn Ammons, Everhette O’Ferrell, Lakelynn O’Neal; and a special friend, Polly Knight.

She is preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Johnny Portemont and a brother Maurice Terry.

Pallbearers will be Rhett Hooper, J.T. Portemont, Zach Portemont, Cam Ammons, Mike O’Neal, and Tony Harper.