Courageous, fierce: Sen. Jackie Winters remembered


SALEM, Ore. (OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU) — A memorial service was held Thursday for longtime state Sen. Jackie Winters at the Capitol.

Services began at 1 p.m. in Senate chambers to honor the Republican legislator, who died May 29. 

Winters, 82, a beloved and respected figure in state politics, was elected to represent the Salem area in the House in 1998, the first African American Republican in the Legislature. After two terms, she was elected to the state Senate.

It’s not clear how many people could attend Thursday’s ceremony, but the Capitol is preparing for a “crowd,” especially since Winters represented the capital city, said a spokeswoman for Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem.

Courtney, Gov. Kate Brown and former Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli spoke Thursday. Several other senators gave short remembrances. Staff members, family and friends also spoke, and there were musical performances. Chaplain Wendell Barnett gave a closing prayer.

During the Senate floor session Wednesday morning, Winters’ desk was still decorated with a single candle and a bouquet of white roses, as it has been since her passing two weeks ago.

Winters had been absent from the Capitol for about a month, announcing in April that she was taking some time away while dealing with side effects from what she called “proactive treatment” to keep her lung cancer in remission.

Winters was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017.

Winters’ family requested donations to the following charitable causes in lieu of flowers:

• The Oregon Capitol Foundation: P.O. Box 13472, Salem 97309

• Liberty House: 375 Taylor St. N.E., Salem 97301

• The Oregon Food Bank: 7900 N.E. 33rd Drive, Portland 97211

Cards and remembrances may be sent to Winters’ Capitol office: 900 Court St. N.E, S-301, Salem 97301.

The Oregon Capital Bureau is a KOIN 6 News media partner

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