SALEM — The Oregon House of Representatives took a moment of silence on Feb. 18 to honor the service of late Dallas resident Evelyn May Woods.
Woods, the wife of former Dallas mayor Ken Woods Sr. and mother of Dallas City Councilor Ken Woods Jr., volunteered or worked for the Oregon Legislature since 1985.
“She was recognized in the legislature yesterday (Feb. 18) as the longest serving volunteer in the history of Oregon,” said Dallas City Manager Greg Ellis at the Dallas City Council’s Feb. 18 meeting.
Evelyn Woods died on Feb. 14, also the state of Oregon’s birthday. She was 94.
Former Dallas city councilor LaVonne Wilson said Evelyn Woods’ service at the legislature will be remembered.
“She did a wonderful job and they truly loved her there,” Wilson said. “She was there for many, many years.”
Before the moment of silence, Rep. Courtney Neron talked about Evelyn’s accomplishments.
“Evie served as the House Chamber receptionist from 1989 to 2017. She also served as a volunteer in visitor services from 1985 to 2019, making her the longest serving volunteer the Capitol has ever known. She served right up until her passing,” Neron said. “Evie was so connected to the heart of the Capitol that it is almost serendipitous that she passed on Oregon’s 160 birthday. Her presence will be greatly missed.”
At the Feb. 19 council meeting, Ken Woods Jr. told a story of something he witnessed when visiting her at the legislature that illustrated his mother’s dedication to even the smallest details of her job.
“I was over there one day, and her desk was just outside the chambers. She was in charge of the pages going in and out,” he recalled.
She was reprimanding the page because she didn’t think the page was dressed appropriately for the job.
“I said, ‘Mom, you can’t do that,’” Woods said.
“Somebody has to,” he said.
Woods said his mom continued to volunteer after being hired as the House receptionist.
“On her off days she volunteered,” he said. “When they were not in session she volunteered.”