Jean McGlothlin Doerge (born June 4, 1937) is a retired school teacher and a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Minden, who has represented District 10 (Webster Parish) since the death in 1998 of her husband Everett Doerge (born 1935). In 2007, her colleagues named her to the House Appropriations Committee, a key panel that approves state spending. Doerge (pronounced DURR GHEE) is also a member of the Hurricane Katrina Memorial Commission and the Legislative Democratic Caucus.
She was born to Thomas McGlothlin (1903-1966) and the former Cora Vercher (1904-1975) in tiny Galbraith in Natchitoches Parish in central Louisiana. She was the middle child in a family of seven daughters. She graduated from Cloutierville High School in Natchitoches Parish. Thereafter, she attended Northwestern State University (then College) in Natchitoches, where she met Everett, a native of Minden. They married in August 1957, and both graduated in 1958. Later, she received her master's degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and thirty additional hours of credits in education from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.
Mrs. Doerge first taught at Minden High School when it was ranked among the ten best schools in the state. For several years, the Doerges moved around, having been teachers for two years in Arp in Smith County in east Texas. When Everett went to Northwestern as an assistant coach, Jean worked in an office in Natchitoches. Later, she resumed teaching in the town of Cotton Valley in Webster Parish.
In March 1965, the Doerges adopted their daughter, Sherie, now a Minden High School teacher who is married to Kevin Lester. Sherie and Kevin have two sons. In 1966, Mrs. Doerge returned to Minden High School to work in the business education department along with Dorothy Campbell, the wife of the parish school superintendent Harry M. Campbell (1916-1995). There she stayed until 1992, when both she and her husband retired from the school district.
Doerge was a big reelection winner in 1995, when he defeated two Republican women. He died near the end of his second term. Jean, widowed at the age of sixty-one, ran in the special election to succeed him and was an easy winner. She polled 3,048 votes (67 percent) to defeat the Democrat-turned-Republican Mack Garrett, who obtained 1,481 ballots (33 percent). She was subsequently elected to full terms in both 1999 and 2003 without opposition. She is seeking her third full term in the jungle primary set for October 20, 2007.
In 2001, Mrs. Doerge worked to establish a special district to authorize the creation of a fire and emergency training service district, only the second created in Louisiana. She helped various residents in the Dubberly community in south Webster Parish obtain water service when their wells went dry. She also helped to secure a grant for the Cotton Valley water system.
She has worked to obtain services for Springhill. In 2002, she helped the Springhill Medical Center obtain placement in the Rural Hospital Coalition, a move which enabled the facility to obtain additional funds. She pushed for the designation of a tourism center in Springhill, with appropriate directional signs to the new facility. She also worked for a jogging trail in Frank Anthony Park and for the funding to renovate the Spring Theater.
She pushed for funding to relocate the Northwest Technical College (formerly the Northwest Vocational Technical School) in Minden into a new building.
Doerge pulled strings to obtain special surgery in St. Louis, Missouri, for a cerebral palsy patient, 5-year-old Jeremy Logan Curtis. Had she not acted, the child would have been a permanent invalid. The surgery was successful, and the child was thereafter able to walk and play and faces a bright future.
Doerge's alma mater, NSU, inducted her into the College of Business Hall of Distinction. Her name is engraved on a plaque located in the foyer of Russell Hall. The Louisiana Police Jury [equivalent of county commission in other states] Association presented her with the "Friends of the Parishes" award.
Doerge is also a breast cancer survivor. In an interview with the Minden journalist Juanita Agan, Doerge, a Methodist, attributed her recovery to the will and love of God and His answer to her prayers for strength and endurance, the care of her physicians, the love of her family, and the concern of friends. Late in 2004, she was declared cancer-free.
Louisiana State Representative from District 10 (Webster Parish)
Jean M. Doerge
Incumbent; a candidate for reelection on October 20, 2007