January 25, 1940 ~ January 17, 2014
Jack Walker passed away peacefully, January 17, 2014, in his Phoenix home with loving wife Andrea and son Mike by his side, one week before his 74th birthday. Jack fought a life-long battle with Crohn's disease but didn't let his illness keep him from living life to the fullest.
Jack was born in Antigo, Wisconsin, on January 25, 1940, to parents Lester C. Walker and Adeline Marie (Conrad). The family moved to Talent, Oregon when Jack was two years old. Jack graduated from Talent High School in 1958. After graduation, Jack worked for Talent Irrigation District and in a mill as a sawyer until 1965; then as a rates clerk, dispatcher and terminal manager for a West coast trucking firm until 1969 when he purchased his father's auto parts business in Talent. In 1970 he started Walker Driveline Service.
Jack married Anna (Weaver) in 1960 and they had three children. They were divorced in 1969. Shortly after, Jack met the love of his life, Andrea Lewandowski, and they were married on Thanksgiving, November 25,1970, in Las Vegas, NV. Together they raised two children from Andrea's previous marriage.
The family built a home in Phoenix in 1976 in which Jack lived until his passing.
Jack served on the Phoenix City Council from 1983 to 1986. This was the beginning of his political aspirations and desire to make a difference in his community. Laying in his hospital bed in 1994 recovering from surgery related to Crohn's complications, Jack won his first primary election. He went on to win the general election that same year and was sworn into the office of Jackson County Commissioner, position #1, in January 1995. He had found his calling. Friends and constituents recall his drive, passion for the issues, and ability to lead from the heart. Jack was steadfast in his beliefs earning the respect of many; whether you agreed with him or not, you had to appreciate his honesty. He faithfully served the citizens of Jackson County for 16 years.
A son of the Rogue Valley, many said that Jack was a larger than life figure in the community. Wife Andrea joked that a simple trip to the grocery store with Jack would take three hours because everyone knew him and he was very happy to hear their concerns and hopes for the County.
Jack never liked to sit still for long. When he was a young man, he had a passion for racing which continued throughout his life. Jack never missed a NASCAR race and some of his happiest days were spent behind the wheel of anything that would go fast. Throughout his life he had many entrepreneurial ideas and inventions. If there was a problem, Jack wouldn't rest until he came up with a solution.
Raising five boys in a blended family was difficult at times but Jack was a devoted family man and kept his family close. He enjoyed a standing weekly breakfast meeting with his own mother and brothers for nearly 20 years after his father passed. They would discuss family issues and provide love and support to each other.
Jack is survived by his wife of 43 years, Andrea, his five sons James (Novato, CA), John (Medford), Mark (Loomis, CA), Michael (Central Point) and Joseph Joey (Portland), sisters, Sharon Lee (Richard) of Talent, Shirley Zeitler (Tom) (Central Point), and brothers, Les (Medford), and Jim (Diana) of Talent, and six grandchildren.
Andrea Walker would like to thank Jack's wonderful doctors, Dr. Andrew Kim, Dr. Craig Chow, OHSU Liver Transplant Clinic, loving nurse Michelle and Providence Hospice.
A funeral mass will be held on Friday, January 31, 2014 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 517 W. 10th St., Medford, at 1:00 p.m. with a reception to follow. In addition, there will be an 8 a.m. mass including a rosary in Jack's name at the church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation in Jack's name at: www.ccfa.org or Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, 386 Park Avenue South, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10016.