Cover photo for Lela Hawkins Porché's Obituary
Lela Hawkins Porché Profile Photo

Lela Hawkins Porché

April 22, 1926 — December 27, 2023


Lela Hawkins Porché

Lela Mae Hawkins Porché, a beloved member of the community, passed away on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, at Jefferson Park at Dandridge in Jefferson County, Tennessee. She was born on April 22, 1926, in Buncombe County, North Carolina to the late Mark and Jennieve Henson Hawkins. Lela lived a life full of love, dedication, and meaningful work.

Lela's career spanned various fields and demonstrated her strong work ethic and commitment. She began her employment at Efird's Department Store of Asheville and later moved on to Kellwood Clothing Manufacturing. In the later years of her career, she served as an Administrative Assistant at St. Jospeh’s Hospital. Through her diligence and dedication, Lela made lasting contributions in all the roles she undertook.

Education held great importance to Lela, and she was a proud graduate of Leicester High School and Blanton’s Business College. The knowledge she gained during her schooling served as a foundation for her success in both her personal and professional life.

Lela's impact was felt not only through her successful career but also through her warm presence in the lives of her family and friends. She leaves behind cherished memories that will be forever treasured by those who had the privilege to know her.

In addition to leaving an enduring legacy behind, In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Mitchell John Porché, who died in 1977. Their love for one another was evident throughout their lives.

Lela is survived by her loving daughter Francine Barker and her husband, David, from Dandridge, TN; her son Frank Porché and his wife, Monica, from Asheville, NC; two grandchildren, Kyara Porché Rice and Caleb Suddreth; as well as two great-grandchildren Skyler Suddreth and Myles Rice. Lela's influence will continue to resonate and inspire her family, knowing that she touched their lives profoundly.

The funeral service will be held at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, January 3, 2024, in the Canton Chapel of Wells Funeral Home with the Reverend Tracy Smith officiating.  Burial will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.  The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. at the funeral home. 

Lela Hawkins Porché was a woman of strength, determination, and unwavering love for her family and community and belief in God. Her kind heart and compassionate nature touched the lives of all those around her. Her memory will forever hold a special place in our hearts as we remember the remarkable person she was.


The care of Mrs. Porché  has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Canton and an online memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lela Hawkins Porché, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

11:00 - 11:45 am (Eastern time)

Wells Funeral Home - Canton

3715 Asheville Highway, Canton, NC 28716

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Canton Chapel of Wells Funeral Home

3715 Asheville Hwy, Canton, NC 28716

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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