Jim Doyle, 98, Led Catholic Press Association


Jim Doyle, who served as executive director of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada for 30 years, died Nov. 20 in Lake Mary, Fla., where he and his wife, Ethel, lived. He was 98.

The Doyles, college sweethearts who were married for 76 years, lived with their son Thomas More Patrick Doyle and his family.

Jim, who took over as CPA executive director in 1958, served until his retirement in 1988. That year he received a special St. Francis de Sales Award, the highest honor the CPA bestows.

In 1984, Pope John Paul II named him a Knight of St. Gregory the Great for his service to the CPA.

After his retirement, he wrote a column in Catholic New York for many years. Some of the columns are collected in “Tales from a Real Life,” published by Saint Mary’s Press. An earlier book, “Two Voices,” by Jim and son Brian, was published by Liguori Publications.

Born in Pittsburgh, he shared his name, James Aloysius Doyle, with his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, but preferred to be called Jim. His father was an accountant, who changed jobs often in the Depression before the family settled on Long Island, where the CPA was headquartered for many years.

Jim attended Queens College of the City University of New York. He was elected president of his class of 1943 and Ethel Miriam Clancey was elected vice president. Working as class officers, they fell in love and were married in October 1943.

He served in World War II in Army Military Intelligence, as an aerial photo interpreter, first on Bougainville Island in the Pacific and then in General Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters in Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, and Manila, the Philippines. Among the photos he interpreted and annotated were pictures of Hiroshima, Japan, which was destroyed by U.S. bombing.

After the war, he joined the Army Reserves and was recalled to duty in Germany in 1951 as an intelligence officer.

Besides Ethel, he is survived by their daughter, Elizabeth Marie, and sons, Peter Joseph and Thomas More. He was predeceased by two adult sons, Dr. John Kevin Doyle and Brian James, and two other sons, Seamus and Christopher, who died in infancy. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A Funeral Mass will be offered Monday, Nov. 25, at 11 a.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Orlando, Fla.