Walking On -- Janis Amy Duddles

06.02.2020 Dean Rhodes Walking On
Janis Amy Duddles

Janis Amy Duddles

May 25, 1951 – May 24, 2020

Tribal Elder Janis Amy Duddles left her earthly body to join the Ancestors on May 24, 2020. She was a Tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

Janis was a longtime resident of Olympia, Wash., where she shared her life with her beloved husband, Jeffery Duddles. She is survived by her husband of 30 years; two children, Melissa Bynum-Pascal and Tony Bynum; two grandchildren, Avery and Jaida; sister, Tracie Meyer, and her children, Angie, Shayla and Jessica. Janis has many close aunties, cousins and beautiful friends that will miss her dearly.

Janis entered this world on May 25, 1951, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Walla Walla, Wash., to Irvin and Sally Myrick. She was a 1969 graduate of Walla Walla High School and graduated from Evergreen State College with a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in early childhood development.

She married David Bynum in 1970 and had two children, Melissa and Tony. She was a lifelong advocate for the disenfranchised and an avid land defender. She often took her children to marches defending against environmental and humanitarian issues in the Pacific Northwest. To maintain the family cool, she removed them from school for the day to join a rally to make “Louie, Louie” the Washington state song at the State Capitol. She also knew actor Adam West and famous grunge musician Kurt Cobain.

Her career in advocacy led her to stand with the forward political-minded thinkers in Olympia. She strongly supported the Equal Rights Amendment and attended the national convention of the National Organization for Women with her sister, Tracie.

Janis was a lobbyist for a consumer-oriented tax reform organization, People for Fair Taxes, with Gladys Burns and Joe Deer. She worked for U.S. Rep. Jolene Unsoeld for two terms, adding her voice on a national level.

She helped veterans and others bring their spouses and children from foreign countries to the United States. She made an impact that continues to last for many generations.

She continued her advocacy with e-mail campaigns, most recently preventing the coal trains from traveling through the Columbia River corridor.

Janis was an avid, devoted reader and learner. She studied political and religious philosophy, history and environmental justice. She read books beyond the average, but also loved Harry Potter and Dr. Seuss. Nothing was off limits for the incredible mind that Janis had. Janis tucked her grandson into “Dr. Doolittle” and shared books with all her family and friends knowing exactly what they would love.

Janis could debate any subject of substance, especially with her son and also share the latest fashion with her granddaughter. She loved art and architecture, and built the most outstanding Christmas village and traded ornaments with her daughter every year.

Janis, Jeff and their family always found themselves at the beach. The beach was her most favorite place to be. Like she said, “If you’re at the beach, everything is OK.”

Tuell-McKee Funeral Home in Tacoma, Wash., is assisting the family. A celebration of life will be held at a later date when it is safe to congregate.