Powell Butte booster Mary Walker passes away

We say goodbye to a tireless outer East Portland volunteer …

At his last East Precinct community meeting as he was transferred to the Portland Police Bureau Transit Division, Commander Michael Crebs presents a Commendation of Service to retiring volunteer “Trunk” Lady” Mary Walker – in November of 2009. East Portland New archive photo

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Mary Jeanne Walker, 75, passed away on November 22.

With the sadness of her passing come memories of all she did to support public safety – and a place she loved, Powell Butte.

Mary worked at Danner Boots and Sanderson Safety & Supply before “retiring” from her work life ten years ago – only to serve her community in many ways for the past decade.

It didn’t matter the occasion: an East Precinct Citizens’ Advisory meeting, Powell Butte Open House or outer East Portland transportation charrette, Mary would come up to East Portland News and ask, “When are you going to take a tour of the Bull Run Watershed with us?”

In this 2008 photo, Mary stops for a moment with then Portland Police Bureau Chief Rosie Sizer at a summer barbecue outside East Precinct. East Portland New archive photo

Her friend, Carol Pernar, sent along this information about Mary Walker.

“Mary was Treasurer of the Friends of Powell Butte Nature Park and the longest-serving Friends member.  She attended the Powell Butte Nature Park opening ceremony in 1990 riding her horse Ebony.

In 2009, Mary Walker gets a “tour” of the Powell Butte Reservoir #2 Project from Lynn Barlow, natural area supervisor for City Nature East, Portland Parks & Recreation, and Kathleen Murrin, PP&R’s City Nature East zone manager. East Portland New archive photo

“Mary was passionate about helping East Portland get more attention. She attended and testified at Portland City Council meetings. She was a member of  the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association and the Portland Parks Coalition. She helped fight the proposed Water Treatment plant that was to be built on Powell Butte.

“She attended the East Portland Involved Citizens and East Portland Precinct meetings.  She volunteered at East Precinct, cleaning and restocking the patrol cars. She helped patrol the shopping malls at Christmas time, educating shoppers about car break-ins.”

At this “East Portland in Motion” open house, Mary learns more about proposed changes in the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood. East Portland New archive photo

“Mary was on the Springwater Trail Committee to establish an Equestrian trail. She worked on the Off Leash Committee to create city off-leash dog parks. Mary collected signatures to install a four-way stop at 136th and Holgate.

“She particularly enjoyed hiking the trails on Powell Butte. She always had a bag to collect garbage and cans, and was a champion recycler. She was a Powell Butte Project Advisory Committee member, contributing input to the Conditional Use Master Plan for the park center and trails.

“She was a member of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church. She loved horses, cats, and her 1989 Plymouth Reliant, which she fondly called ‘Christine’.

“The highlight of each summer was her tour of the Bull Run Watershed.  She was an active community member, a good neighbor, and a good friend.”

At the 2012 “Party in Parklane Park”, Friends of Powell Butte volunteers Carol Pernar, Dave Specht, stand with Mary Walker as they show an antique Meadowland Dairy household delivery box. East Portland New archive photo

Mary is survived by her brothers, Jim and Jerry Walker. Any donations may be made to the Oregon Humane Society.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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