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Obituary: Jeanie King

At 18, she was crowned Albany Timber Carnival Queen.

Published on May 9, 2018 9:35AM


Jeanie King

May 10, 1950 –– April 27, 2018

Jeanie King was born Rae Jean Henshaw in Albany, Ore., to Billy and Babe Henshaw. She grew up with sisters Julie and Joey.

Jeanie was very accomplished, having a well-known knack for doing things her own way and on her own terms from a young age. At 18, she was crowned Albany Timber Carnival Queen. Without the knowledge of her parents, she successfully changed her name from Rae Jean to Jeanie.

After the birth of her son, Grady, Jeanie chose a career in law enforcement and was hired by Multnomah County as a corrections officer in 1978. From that day on she never looked back.

Jeanie broke through multiple barriers in the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. At the time, it was the standard that female officers would only care for female inmates.

Known as “a gutsy person who happens to be a lady,” Jeanie became the first female officer to supervise male inmates. Overcoming a vote attempting to keep Jeanie out of the men’s jail, she worked her way up and was promoted to sergeant in 1981.

Jeanie was assigned to the Rocky Butte Jail where she loved the work and her ability to supervise (especially those who tried to keep her on the women’s side). In 1989, Jeanie was promoted to lieutenant, made captain in 1995, commander in 1997 and chief deputy in 1999.

Jeanie was also an instructor at the Oregon Police Academy, worked with the U.S. Marshall’s Office and was an active member on multiple correctional boards throughout the country. Jeanie retired from Multnomah County in 2001 at the age of 50 and moved to Joseph with her husband Jerry.

Jeanie spent her retired life waking up to the beautiful views of Wallowa Lake and the Wallowa mountains and entertaining beloved friends and family at her and Jerry’s Wallowa Lake home.

Though retired, her law enforcement blood still flowed. Jeanie assisted and advised the Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office during the construction of their new holding facility. In her free time she observed the “Tourons” who visited Joseph, ensuring they behaved and didn’t disrupt their lovely little town.

Jeanie is survived by her husband of 29 years, Jerry King; her children, Grady Nelson (Suzanne) and Bret King; sisters, Julie Silver and Joey Doran; grandchildren, Eli Nelson, Karlee Churchill, Jordan Lemons, Nigel Benshoof and great grandchildren, Mya and McKinley Churchill and Dutch and Jack Benshoof.

Jeanie was deeply loved and highly respected by her family and friends. She will be sadly missed.

A celebration of life will be held this summer in Albany.



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