Cards and flowers piled up in Winters' office shortly after her death was announced. (Claire Withycombe/East Oregonian Media Group)

SALEM — A memorial service for longtime state Sen. Jackie Winters will be held Thursday at the Capitol.

Services are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in Senate chambers to honor the Republican legislator, who died May 29. There will be a public reception afterward.

Winters, 82, a beloved and respected figure in state politics, was elected to represent the Salem area in the House in 1998, the first African American Republican in the Legislature.

After two terms, she was elected to the state Senate.

It’s not clear how many people could attend Thursday’s ceremony, but the Capitol is preparing for a “crowd,” especially since Winters represented the capital city, said a spokeswoman for Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem.

Courtney, Gov. Kate Brown and former Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli are expected to speak Thursday.

Several other senators will give short remembrances.

Staff members, family and friends will speak as well, and there will be musical performances. Chaplain Wendell Barnett will give a closing prayer.

During the Senate floor session Wednesday morning, Winters’ desk was still decorated with a single candle and a bouquet of white roses, as it has been since her passing two weeks ago.

Winters had been absent from the Capitol for about a month, announcing in April that she was taking some time away while dealing with side effects from what she called “proactive treatment” to keep her lung cancer in remission.

Winters was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017.

Winters’ family is requesting donations to the following charitable causes in lieu of flowers:

·        The Oregon Capitol Foundation: P.O. Box 13472, Salem, OR 97309

·        Liberty House: 375 Taylor Street NE, Salem, OR 97301

·        The Oregon Food Bank: 7900 NE 33rd Drive, Portland, OR 97211

Cards and remembrances may be sent to Winters’ Capitol office: 900 Court St. N.E, S-301, Salem, OR 97301.

Oregon Capital Bureau Reporter Claire Withycombe: cwithycombe@eomediagroup.com or 971-304-4148.