Doris (Carlon) White, DVM, died Dec.19 following a short illness.
Doris was born in Summer Lake on May 8, 1931, to Homer and Austa Carlon. She was educated through the 5th grade in a one-room school. As a youngster, she spent winters in Summer Lake and trailed Carlon Bros. cattle to Wagontire for the summer. In 1944, the Silver Creek Ranch was purchased, and she became a full-time Harney County resident.
After graduating from Burns Union High School in 1949, Doris enrolled at Oregon State College in pre-veterinary medicine then transferred to Washington State School of Veterinary Medicine from which she graduated in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science degree in science and a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She was one of the first of three women in the U.S. to enter what was then considered a man’s profession.
Her first job as a veterinarian was at the Blue Cross Animal Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, for 14 months.
She had to sell her saddle to get back to the states to take a job in San Diego, Calif., where she worked until her father’s death in 1957. She then returned home to Burns and worked for Dr. Minor for two years, before establishing her own practice.
Doris married Dr. Frank G. White on Aug. 18, 1959. From that day on, the doctors led busy, enriched and interesting lives.
Doris stayed deeply involved in her sorority, ESA, for years, eventually becoming state president. She pioneered the ESA “Million Dollar Bike Ride” in Burns, earning thousands of dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She was also very politically motivated and spent hours helping out with campaigns for her favorite candidate, lifelong friend Congressman Bob Smith. By the 1970s, she racked up a long list of accomplishments: 1951 Harney County Fair Court Queen, 1966 Outstanding Young Woman of America, 1967 Harney County Woman of the Year, 1970 nominated by Harney County Business & Professional Women’s Club for Golden Torch Award. She was the 1993 president of the Oregon, Washington and Northern Idaho Hereford Association and the 2002 Harney County Grand Marshal.
She raised three children, practiced veterinary medicine and participated in any other worthy philanthropic event she could get involved with up until the early 80s. Then she decided it was time to get serious about her purebred cows.
Doris had a dream of having the best herd of registered Herefords in America, and during the 90s and early 2000s, her cattle were a household name among industry greats. In 1989, she had her first of many national champion females. In 1990, she showed a champion in Denver at the National Western Stock Show. She showed at least six national champion bulls. Her favorite was a bull named Ima Republican who claimed three titles for himself and show bull of the year. Because of his name, Doris convinced Senator Gordon Smith to do a photo opportunity with the bull. White Hereford Ranch was named Premier Breeder of the year five times. Doris was especially proud of her Herefords. As late as 2011, she sold a heifer, WH MS Sara Lee 005, to a young man in Texas that was crowned the winningest junior-owned heifer in the state of Texas, thus earning a prestigious award along with $5,000 at the Fort Worth Stock Show in 2012.
Being progressive minded, she continually changed with the times and incorporated black cattle into her ranching plans. By 2004, she was raising three breeds of registered cattle. She stayed personally involved in the day-to-day operations, including veterinary medicine and riding her trusty mount “Smoky” right up to the end.
Doris dedicated her life to helping people, saving animals, her family and raising genetically superior cattle. She was a true pioneer, giving young women inspiration that, despite gender, “one can do whatever you want and still be a lady.”
Doris is survived by her children, son Jon and wife Margarita, daughter Mary Lee White and Sam Glerup and son Tom White and wife Rene; grandchildren, Carissa White, Evan White and wife Pria, Charlie White and Jake White; sister and brother -in-law, Betty and Mike Morgan; brother and sister-in-law, Larry and Wanda Carlon; and nephews, Bill, Mike and Terry Carlon.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Frank White.
A celebration of life will be held Jan. 2 at the Burns Elks Lodge #1680 at 11 a.m.
Contributions in her memory can be made to the Harney County Senior and Community Services Center.