Gerald Joseph Doyle M.D.

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend and physician. Husband to Sheila (Kelley) Doyle of Hingham, having just celebrated 50 years of marriage last summer. Father to Kelley Doyle Whalen of Hingham, MA and Geoffrey Brian Doyle of Rye, NY. Devoted grandfather to Peyton, Lila and Gus Belsher and Caroline, Patrick, Graham and Garrett Doyle. Supportive father-in-law to Walter Whalen and Kristen (Hogan) Doyle and welcoming step grandparent to Payton and Hannah Whalen. Son of Tom and Leah Doyle (both deceased), brother of Tom Doyle (deceased), Ken Doyle of Hingham, and Anne Maciel of Haverhill, MA. Fun and inspirational uncle to many nieces and nephews, many through his marriage to Sheila. And although he was terribly allergic to dogs, he was a great source of love and affection to “granddog”, Oscar the sheepadoodle.

Gerry Doyle grew up in Watertown, MA, a motivated and charismatic student-athlete who was president of his class at Watertown High School, Class of 1960, and a track & field state champion in hurdles and pole vault. His achievements in the classroom and on the track fielded opportunities, and he became the first member of his family to go to college. Gerry declined an appointment to Annapolis from then Senator John F. Kennedy to attend Harvard College. Gerry enjoyed four fun years at Harvard. He commuted by bicycle from his parents’ home in Watertown his sophomore year to save money and paid for his tuition at times through work as a life guard and vacuum cleaner salesman. He graduated a member of the Class of 1964 and cultivated friendships there that lasted a lifetime. At Harvard Gerry committed himself to becoming a doctor, although it seemed to him an impossible dream at the time. Medicine did turn out to be his true calling. After graduating from Albany Medical College in 1969, Gerry did his internship and residency in internal medicine at Boston City Hospital, starting his training on July 1, 1969 with literal and figurative fireworks assigned to the emergency room overnight on the 4th of July holiday. Gerry also completed a fellowship in cardiology at Roxbury VA Hospital. He worked around the clock in the early years of his career in medicine, moonlighting extra shifts to support his family and powering through his days with a level of enthusiasm and exhaustion that resulted in his falling asleep standing up at social gatherings. Early dedication resulted in his growing a giant—truly inconceivably large—medicine practice as an internist. This past spring, Gerry celebrated his 45th anniversary at Massachusetts General Hospital.

It is hard to imagine how Gerry managed to find time for anyone other than his patients, but he went above and beyond for everyone he loved and anyone who asked him for help. Gerry was an incredible husband, father and friend. One hobby was photography, and he spent forty years chronicling moments, milestones and celebrations behind the lens of his camera and video camera. He created hundreds of wedding videos set to music for family and friends. In this hobby he found another way to put everyone one else before himself. He was athletic and swam miles at the YMCA weekly, loved golf, and ran more than ten marathons earlier in life. Thanks to a generous friend who was like a brother to him, Gerry checked off certain bucket list items including attending a few Super Bowls—he loved the Patriots—and playing a round at Augusta. Gerry was a member of Hingham Yacht Club since 1982 and loved to spend time there at social gatherings and watching spectacular sunsets. In recent years he had discovered Open Yale Courses, a project of Yale University which offers undergraduate classes online. Gerry liked to joke with his wife that he was in his junior year at his alma mater’s arch rival.

Gerry’s greatest joy late in his life had been thoroughly delighting in his grandchildren, somehow showing up for countless track meets and football, lacrosse, and soccer games. He loved spending quality time with them and took great pride in their achievements and adventures. He took thousands of photos not only of his grandchildren at play but of their teammates as well and would work through the night creating video montages of the photos set to his favorite sports anthems, the Chariots of Fire and Rocky theme songs.

He was one of a kind—incredibly perceptive, empathetic, and non-judgmental. He was a humanitarian and a healer. Gerry was at his best when times were at their worst, always lightening the burdens of others. He had an insatiable intellectual curiosity and genius as a diagnostician, discovering what ailed a person when no one else could. No one had any doubt that Gerry would practice medicine until the day he died. His sudden drowning death during a rare tropical vacation surrounded by beauty is only the gateway to his next phase, a retirement he never would have taken. One of the greatest difficulties he faced through his life as a doctor was easing the passage of many close friends who went before him, because the vast majority of Gerry’s friends were his patients. It gives his family great comfort to know he is with those friends now. He’ll continue to cheer on his seven grandchildren, lift them up when needed, and find joy in what bright chapters lie ahead for them.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Saint Cecilia Church, 18 Belvidere Street, Boston, Tuesday July 9 at 10:00 am. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend.