Former Mayor James E. Doyle died Friday night. He was 78.
PAWTUCKET – Honorable James E. Doyle, 78, former Mayor of the City of Pawtucket (1998-2011), passed away peacefully at home with family by his side on Friday, August 26th, 2016. He was the beloved husband of Joan C. (Richer) Doyle for 52 years. A lifelong resident of Pawtucket, he was a son of the late Vincent J., Sr. and Loretta C. (Tessier) Doyle.
James devoted his life to his family and the City of Pawtucket. He was a 1960 graduate of Providence College, and began his service to the city as a teacher at Pawtucket West High School, now Charles E. Shea High School from 1960 until 1962.
James also proudly served in the Rhode Island Army National Guard. He was employed as a sales representative for the Massachusetts Envelope Company, Inc. as well as several pharmaceutical companies. In 1970, he was elected to the Pawtucket City Council, where he served for twenty-seven years. During his time on the council, Mr. Doyle served as President from 1982 until 1987. He worked tirelessly serving on various committees ranging from the beautification of the city to finance. In 1997 he was elected to the office of Mayor of Pawtucket.
During his thirteen year tenure as mayor, he spearheaded the «reawakening» of the city, restoring pride for Pawtucket residents. Through his efforts, he created the Pawtucket Arts & Entertainment District, drawing in artists and small businesses to the city’s vacant and underused mills and buildings. In 2011, he received the Heritage Award from the Pawtucket Foundation, of which he helped organize and was a great supporter from the very beginning.
Mayor Doyle was instrumental in the creation of the annual Pawtucket Arts Festival, which over the past seventeen years has grown into the largest arts festival in New England. While mayor, Mr. Doyle also oversaw the revitalization of the city’s economy, and the construction of a state-of-the-art dog pound and a new water treatment facility, that the U.S. EPA deemed «a model for the nation».
Mayor Doyle was the city’s longest serving mayor since its incorporation in 1886. After his retirement from politics, Mr. Doyle was named Vice President of Business Development for the Bristol County Savings Bank. Through his position with Bristol County Savings Bank, Mr. Doyle continued to work closely with the business community of Pawtucket, helping to grow and develop new businesses and opportunities.
When his 13-year tenure as mayor came to an end in 2010, he said, “It was never, ever about me. It’s about you. It’s about us. The greatest city in Rhode Island. The greatest city in the U.S.”
Through his forty years of selfless public service, Mayor Doyle leaves a lasting legacy on the quality of life and economic vitality of his beloved City of Pawtucket and will be fondly remembered by all.
Besides his beloved wife, Mr. Doyle leaves three children, Joanne M. Doyle of Providence, Cristen J. Doyle Cobery and Jamie E. Doyle II and his wife, Jaclyn all of Pawtucket; seven grandchildren, Ellen, Caroline, Olivia, Tucker, Chloe, Jamie III, and Paige; a brother, Vincent J. Doyle, Jr. of Cumberland; two nephews Christopher and Brian; a niece, Kimberly and one great-niece, Evelyn. He will be dearly missed by his beloved dogs, Lucie and Jake.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, September 2nd, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Cecilia Church, 755 Central Ave., Pawtucket. The burial will follow at Notre Dame Cemetery. VISITATION will be Thursday, September 1st, 2016 from 3 to 7 p.m. at WILLIAM W. TRIPP Funeral Home, 1008 Newport Ave., Pawtucket. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to the Jeanne Jugan Residence, C/O Little Sisters of the Poor, 964 Main St., Pawtucket, RI 02860 would be appreciated. For online condolences visit: TRIPPFUNERALHOME.com