February 9, 1932 – December 29, 2009
George Lyman White was born on February 9, 1932 in Moffat, Colorado. His parents were George Lester White and Ella Warton White. He had no surviving siblings. George was a cowboy, a rancher and one of the best horseman and muleman in Southwest Colorado. He also won grand champion and reserve champion on pens of his Hereford cattle at the Denver Stock Show. He was first and always a cowboy.
His mother Ella was a school teacher and Lyman grew up beside his father where he learned to be a cowboy, a cowman and a good judge of horses and cattle. He learned to pack mules and horses into the mountains and care for cows up to the tree line, sometimes spending weeks in the mountains. He was responsible for the teams of horses at an early age. He could hitch the teams and work them by age 9. He grew up on a Colorado ranch and established his practice with a rope and knowledge of how to handle cattle in open spaces.
In 1950, his mother, Ella, purchased a one-way train ticket to Ft. Collins where she enrolled him in college. With no money to get home he settled into the veterinary studies. He competed on his college rodeo team for 4 years. He graduated with a Veterinary Degree from Colorado State University and passed state boards in Colorado and Nebraska. He moved his wife, Betty, and daughter, Cheryl to Atkinson, NE in 1956. He then established the Atkinson Vet Clinic and practiced veterinary medicine for most of 50 years. His practice grew to include Holt, Rock, Brown, Keya Paha and Cherry counties in Nebraska and several counties in South Dakota. He owned veterinary and tack stores in Atkinson, Valentine, O’Neill and Bassett and was the first to have an over-the-road salesman business providing supplies to ranchers in remote places.
Starting in the mid-60’s he always had a herd of steers or cows. He enjoyed every aspect of ranching with the exception of fencing, which he was good at but just never enjoyed. By the 2000’s he had retired from veterinary work and ranched in Brown County. He ranched in Long Pine at the Pettijohn Ranch for most of 40 years. It was during this time that he was married to Sherry Sklenar.
Doc White was known far and wide for his stories and jokes. He loved to share them and everyone thought it made the cattle work go a whole lot faster. In his 60’s he published a series of books which were sold in many locations in Nebraska and South Dakota.
Lyman grew up in a rodeo family and loved to compete. He taught countless kids to rope calves, steers and bulldog. He helped establish a rodeo in O’Neill, NE and helped build the Atkinson Rodeo Grounds. He donated to every kid rodeo out there.
In the mid 1970’s he testified on behalf of RCA (PRCA) on animal abuse issues. He worked with the PRCA to write the policies and much of his work is still part of the PRCA by-laws today.
He competed in rodeo, primarily the PRCA and then the Old Timers Rodeo Association and Senior Pro-Rodeo Association. He was a proud PRCA Gold Card Member. He was a winning calf roper and team roper and was a mentor to many.
Doc White trained countless horses for calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping and barrel racing. Several of his trainees were ridden at the National Finals Rodeo as well as college, high school, Little Britches and amateur rodeos. Lyman loved a good horse. He owned and rode sons of Three Bars, Lighting Bars, Croton Oil, Easy Jet, Doc Bar and others.
Doc rented pasture and took in cattle, with his sidekicks Joe Schrader and Corey Palmer, teaching them his tricks of gathering and caring for cattle.
George Lyman White was a successful businessman, rancher, a great father, a good man and a true exceptional cowboy.