In Loving Memory, Jessie L. Walston

Jessie L. Walston, age 97, passed away peacefully at her youngest daughter’s home in Portland, Ore. April 8, 2024.

Jessie was born March 5, 1927, to Joseph Miller Sr. and Lottie Beal Miller in Klamath County, Oregon. She was an enrolled Klamath Tribal Member.

Jessie was the sixth of eight children born to Joseph and Lottie Miller. Jessie loved playing and working on the Miller Ranch. Growing up, she loved taking care of all the animals on the ranch with her sisters, brothers, and cousins. She told many stories of her adventures on the ranch. One of them rode bareback to the barn; she would milk the cows, then she would hold the bucket of milk and ride bareback to the house without spilling a drop. At a very young age, Jessie was stricken with Polio. She did get to go to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland to have an operation to treat her condition as best as they could at that time. After staying in Portland for quite a while, she was finally able to come home and continue her adventures on the ranch with her family.

Jessie attended and graduated from the Chemawa Indian Boarding School in Salem, Oregon. After returning home, she married Oscar T. Anderson Jr., and they resided in Beatty, Oregon, with their three daughters. They then moved to Bly, Ore., where they owned and operated the infamous Logger’s Club. During that time, Jessie and Oscar divorced, and later, Jessie met the love of her life, Jack E. Walston. Soon, Jessie and Jack moved to Lakeview with their son, and while living in Lakeview, they had their daughter.

Jessie and Jack moved to John Day, Oregon, with their son and daughter in 1972. They called John Day their home for many years. While in John Day, even though she was not on a ranch, she still had a love for animals. Evidenced by the many animals that she would feed and nurture back to care. She took care of two magpies that were injured, but by the time Jessie was done taking care of them, one of the Magpies (Maggie) learned to talk and laugh just like her. She was able to release them back to the wild. And let’s not forget about the 300 pigeons she had, the baby duck she saved, the chicken (Myrtle), and the rooster (Henry) she adored. Her love for animals and the care she gave them was all learned from her younger years on the Miller Ranch.

After Jack retired the second time, they headed to Portland, Ore., to meet their youngest grandson. Jessie and Jack soon moved in with their youngest daughter and her husband to help care for their grandson.

Jessie had a laugh that was so contagious you couldn’t help but join her. Combined with her charismatic personality, her wit, and charm, she was always the life of the party. She was caring, strong, and beautiful inside and out. She fiercely supported her children at every step of their lives.

Jessie loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also loved to watch Judge Judy and all the court shows and relax with her husband, Jack.

Survivors include her husband, Jack Walston, and her five children: Cynthia Miller Gonzales (Darrell “Speedy”), Jodean Bryant, Oskie Yasana (Rick), Muff Jolean Walston Peterson (Jeff), and her son Garry Walston.

 Jessie has six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

 Jessie is also survived by her sister Karen Ray (William Ray Sr.) and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Jessie was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph Miller Sr. and Lottie Beal Miller, and her siblings: Clarence Miller, Lyda Miller Reese, Ivy Miller Anderson, Ida Miller Wright Hoppe, Joseph Miller Jr. “Sandy,” and Ethyl Miller Walker “Cookie.”

A viewing/wake will take place Friday, April 19, starting at 6 P.M., at the Klamath Tribes goos Olgi gowa Community Center, 35601 Choke Cherry Way, Chiloquin, Oregon 97624 (intersection of Highway 62 and South Chiloquin Road).

Services will be held on Saturday, April 20, at 11 a.m. Sharp, at the Klamath Tribes goos Olgi gowa Community Center. Rachel Whitaker-Chavez will officiate. Following the Funeral service, the Burial service will be at the Hill Indian Cemetery. After burial services, there will be a feed at the Klamath Tribes goos Olgi gowa Community Center.