Dr. Carreon's 91 years were dedicated to providing an education to those less fortunate. His primary interest was to help Americans of Mexican heritage take advantage of educational opportunities so they could become second-to-none in leadership positions in their communities. Dr. Carreon's life was a prime example of the value of education, which made it possible for him to achieve leadership roles in the field of medicine, and in community and civic life. His outstanding lifetime achievements included becoming a physician and surgeon specializing in ophthalmology.
Dr. Carreon was born on November 24, 1900 in San Antonio, Texas. His mother passed away when he was six and his father took him out of school in the sixth grade because he needed him to work. When he was 11 years old, a teacher told him he could not have a professional job because he was Mexican. He used this as a motivation so he could move forward, finish his education and ended up devoting his life to helping others.
Documentary - Dr. Reynaldo J. Carreon Jr.: A Vision of Achievement
Dr. Carreon was a co-founder of Indio Community Hospital (now John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital), which was constructed on his property, at the corner of Dr. Carreon Boulevard and Monroe Street in Indio. He also donated land for a people's park in Indio (adjacent to his ranch) and for wells for Indio's city water supply. Wagon wheels surrounding his ranch house were his "Monument to the Pioneers" and highly recognized not only in the Coachella Valley but by press as far away as Los Angeles.
Dr. Carreon established four college or university endowments at College of the Desert, College of Osteopathic Medicine, California College of Medicine at University of California, Irvine and Southern California College of Osteopathy.
In 1980, Dr. Carreon helped create the Coachella Valley Mexican American Chamber of Commerce. In 1982, he was honored as the Coachella Valley's Mexican-American Citizen of the Year. It was in 1984 that the City of Indio dedicated Dr. Carreon Boulevard in his honor. Also in 1984, the International Fountain of Knowledge at College of the Desert was dedicated in his honor. He founded the Dr. Carreon Foundation prior to his death in 1991. In 2003, the Dr. Reynaldo J. Carreon Jr. Academy was named in his honor.
Reynaldo J. Carreon, Jr., O.D., D.O., M.D.,
1900 – 1991
November24, 1900: Born San Antonio, Texas
Product of three California colleges: Los Angeles College of Osteopathic Physicians, Surgeons; Los Angeles College of Optometry; University of California Irvine College of Medicine. Specialist in the field of Ophthalmology
Dr. of Optometry, Southern California College of Optometry, 1925
Dr. of Osteopathic Medicine/Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, (COMP), Pomona, 1936
Dr. of Medicine, California College of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, 1962
World War II: Due to a shortage of doctors, he established a clinic serving the disabled, needy and elderly
Starting in 1949: Acting Honorary Consul of Mexico in the Coachella Valley
1958: Awarded Spain's Honorary Citizen of Madrid for successful diplomatic activities between the City of Los Angeles and Cities of Spain (International Conference of City Mayors)
Late 1950's: Chosen by President Eisenhower, during his administration, to represent the United States in the “People to People” Program; Ambassador at Large to Central and South America (President Eisenhower's term 1953-1961)
Late 1960’s: Mexico's President Adolfo Lopez Mateos awarded Dr. Carreon membership in Mexico’s (Diplomatic) Order of the Aztec Eagle, with a medal and scroll in recognition of his many years devoted to improving relations and trade between the United States of America and Mexico
1966: Co-FoundedIndio Community Hospital, which was constructed on his property (now John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, corner of Dr. Carreon Blvd and Monroe Street in Indio). Dr. Carreon, three other doctors and a building contractor were the sole co-founders, co-owners and co-builders of the 112 bed original Indio Community Hospital,which was constructed on his property
1970: Established Police Celebrity Golf Tournament; directed for thirteen years
1980: Dr. Carreon inspires a group of Indio residents to establish the Coachella Valley Mexican American Chamber of Commerce (CVMACC) in 1980; Dr. Carreon recognized as Co-Founder and Honorary Life Member
1980’s: Dr. Carreon establishes four scholarship endowments: College of the Desert, University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine; Southern California College of Optometry, Fullerton July, 1983; and Western University of Health Sciences (formerly College of Osteopathic Physicians, Surgeons), Pomona
1982: Coachella Valley Mexican American Citizen of the Year
1984: Distinguished Achievement Award presented by Los Angeles Athletic Club, for Community Service
July 19, 1984: Dr. Carreon Boulevard named in his honor, Indio
October 12, 1984: International Fountain of Knowledge at College of the Desert named in honor of Dr. Carreon and his family for establishing the Dr. Carreon Scholarship Endowment at College of the Desert Foundation
October 16, 2003: Dr. Reynaldo J. Carreon Jr. Academy dedication, Indio