Mary Doyle, Homeless Advocate, Dies at 56
Doyle served as president of the board of directors at the Housing Corporation of Arlington and Rosie's Place in Boston. She died Saturday at the age of 56.
Mary Elizabeth Doyle died peacefully in her Arlington home on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. She was 56.
Mary was born Aug. 25, 1956 to Arnold Doyle and Frances Russell Doyle in Boston and grew up in Watertown and Weston. Mary earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health and worked for several years as a microbiologist and then environmental scientist in both Massachusetts and Texas.
In 1986, after earning a master's degree from Harvard University School of Public Health she worked for the consulting firm, Metcalf and Eddy, advancing to the position of project manager doing risk assessments and hazardous clean-ups.
Her volunteer experiences at Rosie’s Place in Boston, where she eventually served as president of the board of directors, led Mary to begin a new career more in line with her deep sense of community as larger then her own social sphere. She worked as the director of public policy and then as executive director at Homes for Families, an advocacy and community organizing agency committed to ending family homelessness. Later, she took a position at Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership where she was the director of policy development and public relations until shortly before her death.
Mary was a bicycle commuter, hiker, reader of mysteries, dog mom, gardener, member of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Arlington, and member of the board of trustees for the following organizations: Citizens Housing and Planning Associations, Travelers Aid Family Services, Rosie’s Place, and Housing Corporation of Arlington, and served as president of the board for the final two organizations.
Much of Mary is well captured by the following words from her 23-year-old niece Emily Doyle’s facebook page. "She was a loving wife, doting daughter, forgiving sister, supportive friend and an incredible, adventure-filled, kind, and patient aunt. She lived a life of absolute unconditional love; for her family, her friends, the homeless of Boston (whom she dedicated her professional life to), the environment, her animals, her neighbors and absolutely anyone who she interacted with. She was intelligent, strong, humble, beautiful, honest and full of laughter."
Mary is survived by her wife Lynne Jacoby, her mother Frances Doyle, her brothers and their wives Chris and Rhode Doyle, Peter and Allison Doyle, Andy and Julie Doyle and her sister Jeannine Doyle, as well as by her very much-loved nieces and nephews: from the Doyle family -- Kevin, Emily, Meaghan, Katherine, Courtney, William, Matthew, Elizabeth and Andrea, and from the Jacoby family -- Josh Smith, Zachery Bowen, Kayla, Conner, Alexia and Gabriella Jacoby and Cyrus and Ethan Brooks.
In lieu of flowers please make a contribution to any organization that honors for you, your connection to Mary, or: Housing Corporation of Arlington, 20 Academy St., Suite G-11, Arlington, MA 02476.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial visitation at the Keefe Funeral Home, 5 Chestnut St., Arlington, on Friday, March 1 from 4-8 p.m. and her memorial service at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington, 630 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, on Saturday, March 2 at 10 a.m. For directions or to send a condolence, visit www.keefefuneralhome.com.