Brother Charles Doyle, R.I.P.

Brother Charles Doyle, R.I.P.


It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Brother Charles Doyle died peacefully on 9th October 2018.

Bro. Charles joined the circle in July 1984 and was our President from 1989-1990.

Our prayers and sympathy go to his family.

May he rest in peace.

Bro. Charles’ funeral took place at 12 noon at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton, Woolton Road, L16 8NQ, on Tuesday 23rd October, 2018.
A reception was held afterwards at The Hallmark Hotel South Liverpool (The Alicia).

The church was full of family and friends, honouring the memory of Brother Charles. Jean has thanked the Brothers on their wonderful attendance at Mass, for all their prayers and many, many cards

Tim Doyle, the youngest son, gave the following tribute to his father:

‘Firstly, on behalf of my mum, my brothers, my sister and myself, we would like to thank you for attending Dad’s requiem mass today – he would be truly humbled by how many of his family and friends have gathered here today to say farewell.

Over the next few minutes I will be sharing some facts about Dad’s (very interesting and varied) life but I also hope to put across a sense of the type of man that Dad was too.

He was born Charles James Doyle (known as Charles, Charlie or Chas – he didn’t mind which) on 20 August 1932, the eldest child of Matt and Bridget. He had two younger brothers – Kevin, sadly no longer with us, and Jim. It was a close knit, loving family and Dad enjoyed his responsibilities as the eldest son and eldest brother.

However, from an early age, he always had a hankering to travel and see the world. After getting his school certificate, he left SFX at sixteen – his first job was as a steward with a shipping line and he worked on ships for the next five years, seeing a great deal of Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia and the United States and Canada – so he was able to get the travel bug out of his system quite early.

Mum, Jean, and Dad had known each other since their mid teens as Dad was a close school friend of one of Mum’s brothers, Brian, and it was whilst Dad was on leave from his shipping job that they began to ‘step out’ together (as I believe was the phrase then). They became engaged before Dad did his national service in Cyprus and the Middle East and were married in January 1956 after he completed his service – they were to enjoy nearly 63 years of happily married life.

They brought their first house in Wavertree and, putting his nautical experience to good use, Dad started work in marine insurance. After the births of my two brothers, Dad’s company transferred him down to London in 1959. They moved to Wembley where Sarah was born. Whilst in London, a full house was a theme of Dad and Mum’s lives with various nephews and nieces staying or living with us at different times – they have always been very sociable and were still out two or three times a week until Dad became ill, at the theatre, concerts, meals out as well as entertaining at home. Their parties were legendary too, particularly in the 1970’s and 80’s, and I’m sure that a number of you will have attended one or more of them – in many households, the parents go away and worry about what the children will get up to – in our household, we children went away and worried what our parents would be up to!!

Anyway, back to London. At this point in the early 60’s Dad was doing a correspondence course to pass his insurance exams – there was no day release back then. He found it frustrating not to have face to face teaching and told Mum that that was something he intended to change – as with so many of Dad’s ambitions, he was to achieve that aim.

He took the decision to leave his job and do a one year teacher training course. He showed his versatility by taking a job with a car hire company during evenings and weekends and as a postman during the Christmas holidays. A French exchange student called Francoise lived with us for one summer and her family and our family were to become lifelong friends, leading to Dad’s great love of France and French holidays. An early memory of one these holidays came when Dad was sitting outside our tent eating his baguette and drinking his wine when he suddenly jumped up with a shout, whipped off his shorts and rushed around frantically for thirty seconds or so. It transpired that a wasp had crawled up the leg of Dad’s shorts and stung him. The wasp was duly dispatched, the shorts were replaced and Dad showed that when prompt and decisive action was needed, he was the man for the job! The stereotype of mad Englishmen was also reinforced for all of the bemused French campers near us!

After Dad completed his teacher training, he decided that he needed to get a degree in order to progress his career. He was accepted by Glasgow and Liverpool universities to begin in the autumn of 1964. Bearing in mind that Dad’s parents, his brothers, Mum’s mum and a number of her siblings lived in and around Liverpool, there could be only one choice…..Glasgow! No, they were of course delighted to return to Liverpool and be close to their families again. They moved while Mum was pregnant with me and moved into Babbacombe Road where they have lived ever since. They loved their time there and have felt very fortunate to have so many lovely neighbours, past and present. Early on, it was a busy few years for them with four young children, Dad studying full time and holding down part time jobs, and two students from Liverpool University lodging with us for three years. Most of Dad’s holidays were spent working at the Ford Factory in Speke but one of his most interesting jobs was as chauffeur to the North Korean management team during the 1966 World Cup – he would have liked to have had a few more anecdotes from that experience but they didn’t give too much away!

When Dad graduated he took a job at Millbank College lecturing in business studies, commerce and accountancy – many of his students were on day release from insurance companies and he thus achieved his earlier stated ambition. Despite how busy Dad had been, he always found time to spend with his children and he instilled strong values in all of us. One day, one of my brothers came home from school and was visibly upset. Dad asked him what had happened and my brother told him that an older boy had taken some of his football cards from him and not given him back the swaps that he had promised. Dad found out where the other boy lived and went to his house with my brother in tow. A polite conversation ensued with the boy’s father which resulted in Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst being returned to my brother. It says a few things about Dad – he had a great sense of what was right and what was wrong and was prepared to act upon that sense; he had the tact and diplomacy to handle sensitive situations very well without causing offence; and he would do anything for his family. My siblings and I think that he was trying to subtly teach us another life lesson too – if we didn’t want to be taken by Dad around to a schoolmate’s house then we should sort out our own problems…or not tell Dad about them!

At this stage Francoise was living with us again whilst studying at Liverpool University and she would sometimes invite some of her fellow French Students around to cook Dad and Mum exotic French cuisine. One of these budding young chefs (and not a very good one) was a certain Gerard Houllier (many of you will recognise the name). Over 30 years later, when Gerard became manager of Liverpool, we asked Dad whether he would get back in touch with him. Dad’s response was blunt and to the point – ‘No chance, I’d probably have to eat some more of his terrible banana cake’! Of course, the real reason was that Dad would have hated Gerard to think that he was after something such as free tickets – I’d have had no such qualms but Dad had a very strong moral backbone.

As us children grew older, and particularly after his retirement, Dad had more time to pursue his interests. He’d always loved gardening and got himself two allotments, one of which he kept until his illness – we loved the fresh fruit and veg which he grew but after 57 days or so in a row of green beans for dinner there’d be the occasional complaint! He also took up running – he ran the first London marathon in 1981 and completed many more marathons until well into his 70’s. When he stopped running a few years ago, he joined a gym and would also regularly go walking with ‘the lads’ – for Dad, who refused to acknowledge the ageing process, all of his male running and walking friends were, regardless of age, always ‘lads’. He had a very strong desire to do voluntary work as well and worked with the mental health charity, Mind (now known as Imagine) for over forty years in different capacities – he was also a magistrate for a number of years until reaching the mandatory retirement age.

Dad loved his three daughters in law and son in law and he doted upon his nine grandchildren. As well as spending time with them and with Mum, he enjoyed having time with them on his own too. They’ve all grown into very physically fit young people, not least because from an early age they were taken on their grandad’s notoriously long walks – these walks allowed him to indulge in three great pleasures – time with his grandchildren, exercise and afterwards a furtive visit to McDonalds – something he knew he wouldn’t get away with if Mum was with him!

Dad’s faith was very important to him throughout his whole life. He was actively involved in Bishop Eton parish (and thank you, Fr Tim, for a lovely service) and was a member of the Catenians where he enjoyed both the religious and the social aspects. His faith was never more important than during his illness – Dad never once complained, in spite of not being able to do so many of the physical activities that he had enjoyed so much. His personality and sense of humour never wavered and he appreciated that his was a life well lived and well loved.

You will all have known Dad in different capacities –  as a relative, as a colleague from Millbank or Imagine, through the church or the Catenians, as a neighbour, through his running club, his allotment his gym, or via some other capacity. He was steadfastly loyal to his friends, he was kind and compassionate, he had a strong faith, he had a wonderful sense of humour and, most importantly to him, he was devoted to his family. He was somebody that we (point to front pews) were proud to call our husband, dad, father in law and granddad and we hope that you were proud to call him a friend.

I want to finish with a brief story that my siblings and I think sums up Dad well and then a quote about him from somebody close to him for almost 80 years. The story is from the day that Dad was told by his consultant that his illness was terminal. He took the news on the chin and, typically of Dad, was trying to cheer us up rather than the other way round. That evening Liverpool had a Champions League game against Spartak Moscow – they needed a draw to qualify for the next round. LFC was close to Dad’s heart – he was a season ticket holder for many years and, after he stopped attending the matches, he would never miss one of their televised matches. We all hoped Liverpool would deliver a small glimmer of sunshine to a very dark day and they did – they won 7-0. Their second goal was a fantastic sweeping move from one end of the pitch to the other and ended with a tap in to an empty net. I turned round to Dad and said ‘that was some goal Dad’ to which he responded ‘too much faffing around – I prefer it when they just put the ball in the back of the net’ and that was Dad. He knew his direction in life, he hated procrastination and he knew how to get from A to B as efficiently and effectively as possible – if his epitaph was that ‘he never faffed around’ then he’d be happy with that.

I leave the final word to one of Dad’s oldest friends, my Uncle Brian, through whom (as mentioned earlier), Dad and Mum met. When Brian was engaged to my Auntie Margaret they were discussing their wedding arrangements and Marg asked Brian who would be his best man. Marg still vividly remembers what Brian said and how emphatically he delivered the words – ‘Charlie Doyle will be my best man because Charlie Doyle is the best man I know’.  Most of us would agree with you, Brian’.