Softball Player Profile: Stephen “Doc” Dockter

Larry Wolfe

A native and long-time resident of North Dakota, Stephen “Doc” Dockter claims Streeter as his hometown. Streeter’s current population is less than 200, but when Doc was attending Streeter High in the late ‘60s, it was a thriving metropolis of around 500! Doc played baseball, softball and basketball for the Bobcats.

Doc then graduated from Valley City State University with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Geography. His choice of majors turned out to be a good one since he would spend his entire business career with the United States Postal Service. Those guys have to know every street in town and where everybody lives! Doc spent 34 years with the USPS in Fargo rising through the ranks from Mail Carrier to Supervisor to Plant Manager and finally to Postmaster. A career highlight was his being named North Dakota’s Federal Employee of the Year in 1986. He retired in 2005 and began coming south to Sun Lakes four years ago as a snowbird. He’s still a snowbird, but his stays become a little longer each year.

Softball has been a big part of Doc’s life for 50 plus years. In addition to playing, he managed teams back in Fargo for over 20 years. Doc was a member of three state championship teams in North Dakota. He started in our recreational program three years ago and is now in his first year as a league player.

In addition to softball, Doc’s other Sun Lakes activities include pickleball, table tennis, hiking, biking and fly fishing. His wife Tammy also plays pickleball and takes yoga classes.

The Dockters recently purchased a lakeside summer home in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, about 45 miles east of Fargo. Detroit Lakes is noted for its beautiful lakes and is a recreational destination with lots of fishing and hunting opportunities for Doc. That fits well with his personal passion for both of those sports. He’s recently focused on hunting the “Big Six” game animals, having bagged a black bear, elk, mule deer, white tail and moose. He’s missing only the caribou. Doc’s also an avid gun collector; his extensive collection includes every U.S. military rifle and pistol from the 1780s to the present!

There’s also a softer side to Doc. In Fargo, he was an active member of the Big Brother program for over 20 years and was in the Adopted Grandparent program for six years. Doc and Tammy have four children, two sons who are in the military, a daughter in college and a daughter who is deceased.

Tammy and Doc’s future plans include celebrating their 25th anniversary touring the northeast to see New England’s beautiful fall foliage, a bucket list trip for them. They had previously traveled through 12 different European countries and spent a month in Japan when one of their sons was stationed there, so this trip will be the icing on the cake! Or maybe, given the time of year, the frost on the pumpkin.