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Diane Purkey adds antiques to tax services business

Antiques and collectibles will be for sale after tax season is over


by: BARBARA SHERMAN - QUITE A STASH - Diane Purkey stands in the lower level of the Purkey Tax Services building in the former conference room that now houses several collections, including liquor bottles, cookie jars), toys, prints, furniture, telephones and more.Purkey's Tax Service, which was owned by licensed tax consultants Denny and Diane Purkey for decades, is one of the oldest businesses in King City.

And Diane has not only kept it running successfully since Denny's death in 2010, but she is starting up a whole new venture, selling many of the antiques and collectibles that she and Denny acquired as they traveled over the decades they were together.

Part of the collection includes Western paraphernalia and décor items because that was one of Denny's biggest interests.

"Denny was from Central Oregon," Diane said. "He was a rancher and raised his four kids out of Redmond. After he and his wife divorced, he came here in the late 1970s to open a business. He bought this building and started this business."

Meanwhile, Diane grew up in the Metzger area, where her grandparents originally settled, graduated from Tigard High School, got married and raised seven kids, adopting her two oldest and two youngest. When the youngest was in junior high school, she decided to go to work.

Her godmother was Margaret Sills, a licensed tax consultant in Metzger, and "I started working there with my mom and Margaret," Diane said. "Margaret passed away, and I stayed for one more year. I had heard about Denny opening a tax service in King City, and I started working here. After seven or eight years, we got married."

In 1992, when Denny was 60 and Diane was 50, her niece who had been using drugs gave birth to a daughter, Amy, who was put up for adoption.

"We adopted her," Diane said. "Her legs were twisted, she was in a wheelchair, and she had many surgeries at the Shriners' hospital. We enjoyed raising her together. Amy is 21 now and walks pretty well.

"Denny was very involved in Rotary. He was district governor, and we traveled a lot. We went to China and Australia, and Amy went everywhere with us. Denny was a great dad to his family and mine."

by: BARBARA SHERMAN - A LIFETIME OF COLLECTIBLES FOR SALE - In the lower level of the Purkey's Tax Service building, a real kitchen has been transfirmed into a display kitchen featuring antique kitchen utensils and knickknacks.The Purkeys also traveled a lot domestically, due in part to their grown children living around the country.

"We had kids scattered all over, so we got a motor home to be able to visit them," Diane said. "Denny would stop at any antiques shop he saw. He was originally from Texas, and we brought home tubs and tubs of stuff. We towed a pickup and even filled the cab with cowboy stuff.

"And Denny's clients were always giving him things. I've been living with cowboys and Indians forever. And he loved John Wayne. He was always going to open an antiques shop, but then he got sick."

Denny, who was diabetic, started suffering serious health problems in 2007, including cancer.

"In late 2008, we learned it had come back, but we made it through the 2009 tax season," Diane said.

"When Denny had to stop working, the business was scaled back, and I dropped out to take care of him."

She returned to the business following his death in January 2010, noting, "I never thought I would make it through the first year after I came back. But we had so many people who expected us to be here. We are doing well.

"We have five people all year long and do bookkeeping, payroll, estates and trusts. I was able to bring back some of my old employees. We're a happy group. We are all ladies during the year and bring in the men for tax season."

Also, there were 20-plus years' worth of collectibles waiting in storage, and last summer Diane decided to bring them to the large, two-story building that houses Purkeys' Tax Service.

"My sons and daughters-in-law helped me all summer with moving everything here and setting up shelving," Diane said. "I was amazed. I never knew we had so much stuff."

She still needs to get a business license, although with City Hall right next door, that shouldn't be a problem. In the meantime, Diane held a Christmas bazaar and sold most of the Christmas décor. "People were amazed," she said, adding, "Now we are working on inventorying and pricing everything - it will be a slow process, especially now that we are in the middle of tax season. But at least everything is out of the boxes and crates."

Most of the upstairs offices, hallways and conference room all have some of Denny's memorabilia, including rows of old adding machines and typewriters. "Denny never turned anything down," Diane said.

A room next to the front door is called the Rose Room and honors Denny's time as a Royal Rosarian with programs, photos, lots of Rose Festival memorabilia, and of course, roses in every shape and form everywhere.

"Downstairs, we started with the old kitchen," said Diane of the basement level, and indeed, a large functional kitchen is filled with old kitchen appliances and products from bygone eras.

The walls of the giant conference room next door are filled with shelves laden with collections of every kind. "We put in as many shelves as we could find," said Diane, pointing out dozens of Jim Beam bottles that the couple collected for years.

And another room features a collection of Avon product containers.

One hallway is lined with numbered fish prints, and the downstairs also includes a "men's club" room ready for men to sit down and bond.

"It's been a struggle to get all this done," Diane said. "And there's still a lot to do."

When will the antiques shop open? "Definitely after tax season!" said Diane, adding that "people are welcome to come by and look around. We always have someone here available to show them around."

Purkey’s is located at 15350 S.W. 116th Ave., King City. For more informaiton, call 503-620-3061.