Christopher Patrick “Chris” Doyle believed in fighting all injustice while meeting and overcoming his own challenges to succeed in building a strong family, successful career and a loving circle of friends.
He died May 1 at home in Dunwoody, Ga.
Chris proudly served in the Army National Guard and his volunteerism in retirement included work as a bailiff for Dunwoody courts, where he enjoyed interacting with law enforcement and first responders. Not a “soft” liberal, Chris believed black lives matter and police lives matter and wanted to live in a country where neither statement was controversial.
Born one of nine children in Wilkes-Barre, Pa on Nov.19, 1943, and equipped with a high school degree, earned under tough German nuns at St. Nicholas. His mother, a teacher, felt they were best equipped to handle the active crew. He, like his mother, was an avid reader and lifelong learner.
Chris, like his father, a semi-pro baseball player, loved sports. He and his siblings, directed by their father, pulled wagons of dirt to build the baseball diamond at Miner Park, which is still used to this day. He was most proud, however, of winning the district championship in basketball at St. Leo’s in Ashley, Pa, where his father had coached. He would fondly recount, almost any time steak was served, that he enjoyed his first steak dinner, served as a victory reward.
Chris loved sports of all kinds and formed many friendships over the years, playing in adult softball, basketball and tennis leagues every where they lived, most notably on the Lettermen softball team in Missouri City, Texas. This love extended to coaching, including the newer sport of soccer, where he served as league president.
After graduation, Chris joined his two older sisters in the Washington DC area and was followed by the whole family. It was at Fisher Scientific in Silver Spring, MD where he met his co-worker and soon wife, Mary Lou O’Leary, of Mexico, ME. Their marriage lasted until his death only days after their 56 year anniversary. Mary Lou also came from a family of nine, and caring for and being cared for by their large families formed a foundation of their life together. This sense of family extended to friends in all the places they lived.
Fisher provided many opportunities for Chris, which started when he was made warehouse manager in Maryland and then operations manager in Houston, Texas. Mary Lou started her career in Real Estate. He liked that Houston was a place of many self-made people. He was promoted to Vice President of Operations for Fisher, based in Somerville, NJ, and then president of Guyon General Piping in Harrison, NJ. He then moved on to Allwaste/Philips Environmental in Houston, Delaware and Georgia. He ended his career with Saiia Construction in Birmingham, AL, while residing in Dunwoody.
He loved talking to people, and until the pandemic, he worked out almost daily at the JCC and shopped at Kroger, where he grew close to workers, getting to know about their lives and families as he did with his own employees over the years. He felt a strong sense of volunteerism including providing for meals at homeless shelters, providing rides for eye care, but his real love was working for the City of Dunwoody as a bailiff for the municipal court where his circle of friends included the hard-working police, judges and city staff.
In addition to Mary Lou, Chris is survived by sons Michael Doyle, spouse Mary O’Keefe Doyle, Houston; Christopher Doyle, Pittsburgh; and Douglas Doyle, Houston. Chris was a devoted “PopPop” to 10 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. While they loved to travel the world, they most loved to be at major events for their family, which included an “adopted” family of Dr. Ronnie Chu and spouse Lucy Chu, Demopolis, AL and their two sons
He spent his final weeks with cancer, on the phone fighting voter suppression.
He was unable to donate his body for research and will be cremated so his family may spread them at places he loved, including Ireland. Proud of his heritage, Chris wanted some of his ashes to join those of his brother buried at their ancestors’ former home. Apologies to the current owners who are unaware. His only request for his passing was the singing of Danny Boy. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cristo Rey Atlanta (School) or Assistance League of Atlanta.
Funeral Services to be scheduled.
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Assistance League of Atlanta
PO Box 920250 Norcross, Norcross GA 30010-0250
Christo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School
222 Piedmont Avenue NE, Atlanta GA 30308