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Jean Louise Doyle

June 23, 1943 August 20, 2020
Jean Louise  Doyle
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Obituary for Jean Louise Doyle

Jean Louise Doyle, a longtime academician and feminist, died in Providence, Rhode Island, on August 20 after a long illness.

Ms. Doyle was born on June 29, 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio to Winfield Goldsmith Doyle and Mildred Gogolick Doyle. Raised in Cleveland, she went to Shaker Heights High School and graduated from Oberlin College, class of 1965. After obtaining a Ph.D. in political science from Boston University in 1972, she took a faculty position at UMass Dartmouth, specializing in China and international affairs. She remained there until her retirement in 2002, having served for many years as department chair and, later, Assistant Dean and Acting Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Ms. Doyle, a proud feminist, was politically involved through much of her life. In her college years, she actively supported the Civil Rights Movement and the Anti-Apartheid cause. During the 1970s she was a leader of the Boston branch of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS), an organization opposed to the Vietnam War, and was a member of a CCAS delegation to China in 1972 that met with Premier Chou En-lai. After moving to Providence in 1978, she lobbied regularly for the Rhode Island Women’s Political Caucus.

Shortly after retiring in 2002, Ms. Doyle volunteered with the Lifelong Learning Community, an adult learning organization in Providence. She served on the organization’s Curriculum Committee and coordinated courses on such subjects as China, Russia, Al Quaeda, and the 1960s.

In her free time Ms Doyle was a devoted gardener, a zealous reader, and an adventurous traveller. Her friends knew her for her independence, unpretentiousness, and generosity. She was a skeptic to the last about unprovable claims. And she had a fine sense of humor, including about herself.

Ms. Doyle is survived by her husband of 47 years, James Sanford; her children Melanie Sanford and Andrew Sanford; and three grandchildren.

Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to Oberlin College (Oberlin College, P.O.Box 72110, Cleveland, OH 44192-0002). Services private owing to current conditions.

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