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About Leland "Doc" and Gloria Piersall

Leland "Doc" Piersall earned his nickname as a 4-year-old growing up on the family farm in Oklahoma. When the veterinarian came by one day to check on the family's horses, the youngster watched in fascination as the Doc opened each horse's mouth to check its teeth. For days afterward, young Leland tried everything he could think of to get the horses to open their mouths so that he could check their teeth, just like Doc. Soon family and friends were calling the precocious youngster "Doc," and the nickname stuck. Doc grew up during the Dust Bowl and in his teens served in the Civilian Conservation Corps. He joined the Army and served during WWII reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant. He and his wife Gloria met at a USO dance in Boston Massachusetts.

Gloria Piersall, who was teaching in Massachusetts at the time, shares that she did not want to go to the dance. It wasn’t proper, and it was a rainy, dreary day. One of the other teachers told her that she would be serving her country by going to the dance to cheer up the soldiers. Little did she know when she agreed to go to the dance that she would meet her future husband that night. Doc and Gloria were married one year and 4 days later on February 2, 1945, and almost reached their 62nd anniversary before Doc passed away. Doc was the city maintenance worker in Hardtner, Kansas for 35 years and also served as deputy sheriff for 17 years. He loved the people and children of Hardtner. On Saturday mornings, kids would wait for him by the curb and, with the parents’ permission, he would give them a ride in the road grader, sometimes even stopping at the restaurant for a Pepsi.

The Leland "Doc" Piersall scholarship is awarded to the valedictorian of South Barber High School.

The Gloria Piersall scholarship is awarded to the salutatorian of South Barber High School.

These scholarships are awarded automatically without application.