Denis James Walker

Denis James Walker

Denis James Walker

1939 - 2010

Denis died on March 19, 2010, at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., after almost five years of battling multiple myeloma cancer.

A celebration of life gathering will be held at Michelbook Country Club on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, at 3:00 p.m. All friends and acquaintances are welcome.

Denis James Walker, son of Russell LeRoy McAnally and Blanche Enita Tucker McAnally, was born on March 27, 1939, in Orange, Calif. Denis took his stepfather's last name after his mother remarried Edward J. Walker.

He was raised and schooled in Medford, Ore., graduating from Medford High in 1956, and on to Southern Oregon University. Denis was a wrestler at Medford High and Southern Oregon University. While attending college, he got a part-time job working in a Medford insurance agency. Later that year he married Judi E. Taylor and moved to Portland, to begin working for Oregon Automobile Insurance Company.

Denis remarried Jeri Marie Leland on April 30, 1966, in Beaverton, Ore. He began his career at Oregon Mutual Insurance Company in 1968 as assistant casualty underwriting manager. After holding a number of positions, he was elected assistant vice president in 1978 and president and chief executive officer in 1989. Once retired in 2000, he served as chairman of the board of directors until his passing.

In addition to his duties at Oregon Mutual, Denis was quite involved in insurance industry organizations both regionally and nationally. He rose to the position of chairman of the board of directors in three of those organizations.

Active in the community with several organizations, Denis was named McMinnville's junior first citizen in 1974. He went on to become a member of the Linfield College board of trustees, the board of directors of McMinnville Industrial Promotions, MIP charitable fund, and First Federal Savings and Loan.

Denis was a dory fisherman and enjoyed fly fishing, fly tying, snow skiing, playing golf and working on his restored 73 Mustang. He also was a great fan of Harry Chapin music.

Denis is preceded in death by his father; mother; stepfather; and brother, Dave L. McAnally. Denis is survived by wife, Jeri, of McMinnville; son, Denis Jon Walker, of Erie, Colo.; daughter, Kimberly M. Hatfield, of Rhododendron, Ore.; brother, Edward Robert Walker, of Medford, Ore.; sister, Donna Casey, of Myrtle Creek, Ore; and grandsons, Grant and Dylan.

Contributions may be made to Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation or Linfield College, care of Macy & Son Funeral Directors, 135 N.E., McMinnville, OR 97128. To leave online condolences, please visit

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