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Phillip J. Walker

September 29, 1953 - April 6, 2018

Phillip “Phil” Walker passed away Friday April 6, 2018.    Phil was born September 29, 1953 and grew up in Independence and later Salem.  After graduating from the University of Oregon in 1975, Phil returned to Salem to work for Walkdale Farms, a commercial orchard farm established by his father Gordon Walker that grows cherries, plums and hazelnuts.  Phil took over management of Walkdale Farms in the mid-1980’s and remained in charge of the business until his recent passing.
A leader in the community, Phil served as Polk County Commissioner in 1998 and again from 2003-2005.  He also served as a board member of the Polk County Budget Committee, the Agricultural Research Foundation, the Oregon Hazelnut Commission, the Spring Valley Fire Department, Rickreall Farm Supply, West Salem Little League and the Polk County Citizens Advisory Committee for Correction Facilities.
Phil also had a passion for youth sports and music.  For several years he coached youth football, basketball and baseball in the Salem area.  As a musician he was a talented guitar player adept at country, blues and rock n’ roll.
Phil is survived by his wife of 38 years, Rebecca; his sons Marcus, William and Joseph; his stepmother Nancy Walker, his sisters Rachel Walker, Karen Walker and Susan Glaze; and his grandchildren Payten Walker and Rocco Walker.
A memorial service for Phil will be held at Zenith Vineyard  5657 Zena Rd. NW Salem, OR 97304 Friday May 4, 2018 at 2:00 PM with a reception to follow.  The family is asking that donations in Phil’s memory be made to the Agricultural Research Foundation Oregon State University 1600 SW Western Blvd., Suite 320 Corvallis, Oregon 97333 or to the Boys and Girls Club of Salem 1395 Summer St NE, Salem, OR 97301.  Assisting the family is Virgil T Golden Funeral Service.

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For 40 years, Barb & Josh Reese have lived 2.5 miles north of the Walkers. We considered them neighbors because of our  children were involved in the Spring Valley Riders at the Walker arena, took piano lessons with son Mark at Margaret Smart's home, and socialized with Rebecca, Rachel and others at Spring Valley activities..  We knew Phil through his work at his farm and his Polk Co. service to the community. RIP. We offer our sincere condolences to the Walker family. Respectfully, the Reese family.