Tahlequah Daily Press

March 3, 2014

Doris Alleene Herrin


COOKSON — Doris Alleene Herrin, 89, of Cookson, died peacefully on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in Tahlequah. She was born in Fairview on May 15, 1924 to Raymond L. and Lily Arnett.

The family moved to Wichita, Kan. where Doris grew up during the depression and the dust bowl. She recounted how she had to wear a handkerchief wrapped around her face as she walked to school each day to keep from inhaling the dirt. But she wasn’t bitter; it was just life in Kansas in the 1930s. She graduated from East High School in Wichita in 1942.

In 1944, Doris became an operator for Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. in Wichita. A lifelong friend and co-worker related how she and Doris regularly spent their two-week vacation traveling by car, visiting nearly every state in the U.S. – and always accompanied by Doris’s father, Raymond.

Over the years Doris graduated through the phone company ranks to become a supervisor and finally acting chief operator until her retirement in 1983.

Doris married a switchman for SWB Telephone Co., Douglas A. Herrin, in 1969. Their marriage lasted 28 years until Douglas’s death in 1997. After nearly forty years working at the phone company, Doris and Doug retired to Cookson. Doris enjoyed sewing and growing plants and flowers, and soon became a board member of the Cookson Hills Center, a post she held for more than two decades. But, she became particularly interested in saving and caring for the stray animals she encountered in her new neighborhood. She was a natural at loving and ministering to these forgotten animals.

She became a member of the Humane Society of Cherokee County just after its inception in 2000. HSCC and her pets became a second family to Doris and the last years of her life were filled with happiness with her beloved dogs and cats surrounding her.

In 2004, Doris purchased four acres of land west of Tahlequah and built HSCC’s original dog and cat shelter on this land. This shelter was a turning point in the history of the Humane Society of Cherokee County. Rescued animals now had a place to stay until they could be adopted. The shelter became a place for showing dogs and cats, and became a base of operation for the many functions of HSCC. Because of Doris Herrin’s vision and generosity, today thousands of formerly stray dogs and cats from Cherokee County are living in happy and loving homes across the U.S. Doris selflessly gave her time, energy and resources to provide security and happiness to these animals.

As her health grew tired, she would enjoy reading her Bible or watching a good western on TV, and was always in the company of her caregiver, Sherry Logan. She was a member of the Cookson Baptist Church and loved her church family. Her legacy lives on in all her friends and the creatures she worked so hard to save. None of us will forget her quick wit, modulated voice, and dogged determination to save abandoned animals. To Doris, all were God’s children.

Doris was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Raymond L. Arnett, Jr.; and her husband, Douglas A. Herrin.

Those left to cherish her memory include a cousin, James Keen of Oklahoma City; her caregiver, Sherry Logan of Cookson; her many close friends in the Humane Society of Cherokee County, the Cookson Baptist Church, and the Cookson Hills Center; Peggy Forbes and Connie Bradley both of Wichita; many co-workers, veterinarians, friends, neighbors, and her own beloved canine companions and cozy cats with whom she shared her home.

Memorial services for Doris Alleene Herrin will be held on Monday, March 3, at 2 p.m. at Cookson Baptist Church, with Pastor Bart Skipper officiating. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.reedculver.com.

Those wishing to send Doris a remembrance are asked to consider that which was most near and dear to her: The Humane Society of Cherokee County, P.O. Box 1354 Tahlequah, OK 74465.

Reed-Culver Funeral Home, 117 W. Delaware, (918) 456-2551.