Walking On -- Marilyn Gail Portwood

02.06.2019 Dean Rhodes Walking On
Marilyn Gail Portwood

Marilyn Gail Portwood

Dec. 16, 1936 – Jan. 28, 2019

Tribal Elder Marilyn (Walker) Portwood, 82, walked on peacefully, surrounded by her loving family on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.

Marilyn was born in Portland on Dec. 16, 1936, to Nevilles “Jim” Walker and Dora (Williams) Walker. Marilyn went to public school in Portland, including Fernwood and Beaumont grade schools and Grant High School. She attended the University of Oregon and was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Portland State University.

Marilyn married her husband, Richard “Dick” Portwood, in June 1957. She had a career as a middle school teacher in various school districts in Oregon, including Willamina, where she taught numerous Tribal members.

Marilyn descended from Chief Tumulth, a Cascade/Watlala Tribal leader and signatory on the 1855 Treaty of the Willamette Valley. She was a proud and active member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

Marilyn lived a remarkable life, full of purpose, determination and grace. She was kind to all who she met and treated everyone with great respect. She and Richard loved to travel, ski and play tennis, and she was an accomplished dominoes player. She loved spending time in central Oregon in the peace and quiet of their Black Butte Ranch vacation home, usually in the company of friends and family.

Marilyn was a beloved member of the Ascension Episcopal Parish family for 35 years.

She is survived by her loving husband of 62 years, Richard; her sisters, Joan (Walker) Anderson and Valerie (Walker) Alexander; her daughter, Nina Portwood Shields and husband, Tim; her daughter, Lee Ann Huffman and husband, Eric; her son, Michael; and grandchildren, Hannah, Abigail, Nicholas, Richard “Ricky,” Lucy and Dominic.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. At her request, memorials should be sent to Ascension Episcopal Parish or the Oregon Food Bank.