Cover photo for Doris Platts's Obituary
Doris Platts Profile Photo
1928 Doris 2015

Doris Platts

March 22, 1928 — August 31, 2015

Doris B. Platts, 87, of Wilson, Wyoming, passed away on August 31, 2015, surrounded by some of the people she loved, in the log cabin she loved.  Doris was born in Newark, NJ on March 22, 1928, the younger daughter of Bertha and Frank S. Platts.  She was predeceased by her older sister, Muriel Platts Whallon, as well as her beloved parents, for whom she was prime care-giver in their later years.  Doris graduated from Montclair State College in 1949, with a math major and chemistry minor, gained teacher certification, and eventually received a Masters in Education Administration and Supervision.  For 25 years she taught inner city children in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades in East Orange, NJ, while spending summers serving in various Dennis Memorial Camps of New Jersey.  Upon discovering Wyoming, she spent the next twenty summers working initially at Half Moon Ranch for teenage girls, and later at Trail Creek Ranch, taking guests out riding and on wilderness pack trips, her special delight.

After the death of her parents in 1972, she took early retirement, and in her own words: “bought a pickup truck, sold the family house, and moved permanently to Wilson,” which allowed her to continue as a wrangler at Trail Creek during the summers and do some cowboying, tutoring, and historical research during the off-season—even some dish-washing and house cleaning to augment her teacher’s pension.  After renting a cabin for several years, it became possible for her to buy three acres in Wilson and have a one-room log cabin built in 1980, where she kept as many as four horses.

As a result of her curiosity, ingenuity, and clear thinking, she eventually self-published 10 books, about the local history, heroes and villains of the Jackson area, and the rugged life on the cattle range.  One of her first stories was published in Western Horseman.

Doris’s love for the land was framed by her deep affection for a broad range of people, whose lives were touched by hers.  Her rugged individualism was matched by her appreciation of friends, neighbors, and co-workers, for whom she had a joyful smile, cheerful greeting, and earnest interest. She had genuine compassion for those who were not as fortunate. Doris was generous in word, deed, and attitude.  Perhaps she’ll be best known by the clarity of her life phrases: “Each day is a gift – that’s why it’s called ‘the present’” and the sign on her door: “Oh God, for another day, for another morning, for another hour, for another minute, for another chance to live, I am truly grateful.”  In recent years, in her eighties, handicapped in so many ways with arthritis, Doris fought back against back pain and other physical limitations with an unbreakable will and deep Christian faith.  She was a living reflection of the 100th Psalm.

Doris is survived by her niece, Janie Whallon Muir (Easton, CT), and her nephews, Douglas Whallon (Bedford, MA) and Peter Whallon (Lancaster, PA), as well as the loving children of her cousin Fred Geiger (Lancaster, PA):  David Geiger (Alamosa, CO), Marianne Lewis (Stowe, VT), John Geiger (Ketchum, ID); and her deceased cousin Bob Geiger: Stephen Geiger (Chatham, NJ), Kristin Becker (Sussex, NJ), and Kevin Geiger (Telluride, CO).

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, September 10 at First Baptist Church at 11:00am.  A light luncheon will be provided afterwards at the church.

Charitable donations may be made to:

Sommers Homestead Living History Museum
PO Box 909, Pinedale WY 82941

First Baptist Church
PO Box 1167, Jackson WY 83001

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Doris Platts, please visit our flower store.


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