John ‘Buz’ Walker III, October 18, 1932 – July 15, 2020

John 'Buz' Walker III
John ‘Buz’ Walker III

Walker Garbage Service has served Cedar Mill businesses and residents since 1948. Buz Walker’s parents were in the dairy business with his mother’s Egger family. John Walker Jr., a German immigrant from the Volga River region in Russia, entered the garbage hauling business and bought what would later become Walker Garbage and Recycling, Inc. Many early garbage haulers in Portland were “Volga Germans.”

One of the first articles in Cedar Mill News profiled the business and the family. The business was first run from the family home on Leahy Road. Greg Walker recalls several family members sitting around the kitchen table doing the billing! Around 1989, they moved into a space that began as the Wolf Creek Water District headquarters, just in front of the former Bales store. They moved the operation to Hillsboro in January 2005 so that they could keep their trucks and the business office in the same location.

Buz very much enjoyed sharing stories of his childhood with his children. He remembered being unable to reach his parents at the onset of the Vanport Flood in 1948. At age 16, Buz drove a garbage truck to the scene to aid in the evacuation. Saving cows standing on the greens of Broadmoor Golf Course and rowing a boat through the streets of N.E. Portland with his friends and cousins were among his often-recalled memories. Buz took great pride in knowing his customers and providing service above and beyond what was expected.

He married Patricia Ann Pillman in 1954. After serving in the U.S. Army, Buz assumed ownership of Walker Garbage Service in 1960. Pat was his business partner in the company. Later, sons Jeff and Greg joined him in operating the company, and they still do today.

Pat was a board member of the Cedar Mill Library, and was a founder of Cedar Mill Business Association, which was originally formed to support the library and other community projects.

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Together he and Pat raised five children and were married for 49 years until her death in 2003. Buz was an alumnus and avid fan of Oregon State University sports, particularly football. All the Walker kids and their friends spent many happy game days with Buz at his football tailgate.

Buz married high school friend Gloria Shaw in October of 2005. They enjoyed many cherished adventures traveling, dancing, and golfing.

He is survived by his wife Gloria, sons Jeff, Steve, and Greg, daughters Kari and Melissa, 11 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held on July 29, followed by a private graveside service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Serenity Hospice Music Program, 11481 S.W. Hall Blvd., Suite 200, Tigard, OR 97223. Visit Dignity Memorial’s page to view photos and leave a memory or condolence.