April 23, 1922 to January 7, 2021
Doris Blanton Valle of Cortez left this life on January 7th at the age of 98. Doris came from tiny Egan, Texas – a town so small it has disappeared – but had her share of adventures throughout her life. She spent the WWII years in Washington DC, doing her part for the war effort, then moved to San Diego, California where she met and married Howard Valle shortly after the war. Family was the most important thing in Doris’s life. She and her husband Howard raised four children, Donna, Cheri, Cynda and Paul, then lost Donna to cancer in the early 1990’s. The family lived in San Diego and in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. After their last child left for college, Doris and Howard traveled through the Four Corners and began their grandest adventure: they purchased a trading post in Mexican Hat, Utah. Doris ran the trading post for 25 years, combining hard-headed business sense with a genuine love of this area and its people to make the endeavor a success.
Doris is remembered for her newspaper column, Around the Hat, where she wrote with humor and grace about Mexican Hat doings for the San Juan Record newspaper. She drove her friends and sometimes local law enforcement crazy by periodically getting lost up on Cedar Mesa while hiking, well into her 80s. Her hiking buddies still remember those long rambling trips all over the cedar-covered landscape. This beautiful country was her source of peace and inspiration.
After her retirement, Doris tried leaving the area but was drawn back and returned to Cortez. She spent her last years here. Memorial contributions can be made in Doris memory to Friends of Cedar Mesa, PO Box 338, Bluff, UT 84512.