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The Providence Journal -- Subscribe now

Obituaries
Profiles and obituaries of the victims of the West Warwick fire
LOUISE "LOU" (JACKSON) DOYLE - Somerset

01:00 AM EST on Monday, October 27, 2003

LOUISE "LOU" (JACKSON) DOYLE, 91, of 500 Wilbur Ave., a songwriter, musician and retired teacher, died Saturday at Clifton Rehabilitative Nursing Center.

She was the wife of the late Robert A. Doyle. Born in Fall River, a daughter of the late Ernest and Jessie (Casey) Jackson, she had previously lived in Tiverton, Providence, Virginia, and Fall River for many years, and in Somerset for 11 years.

Her work chronicled the highs and lows of a musician who subordinated a career to a husband and five children.

Using the gender-neutral "Lou," she sent rough "lead sheets" of her music to great band leaders, including Tommy Dorsey and Enoch Light. Their letters encouraged her to come to New York, and she ventured out once or twice before her agoraphobia and a nervous breakdown prevented her from traveling.

From the mid-1950s, she sent taped piano renditions and typed lyrics. About about 700 performances of her more than 170 songs survive on cassette tape. They were discovered in 1992, when she moved to Clifton, and were compiled into three 90-minute cassettes.

Mrs. Doyle published her first CD in 1998. She made an appearance on a popular Newport music show, where host Saucy Sylvia performed several of Mrs. Doyle's tunes.

The Fall River Herald News published a column noting that if she had not moved to Clifton, and if the founder of the center, Clifton Greenwood, had not been a supporter of the arts for his residents, her music might have gone unheard.

Greenwood allowed her to bring her Spinet into a dayroom, and she often played for the other residents. After the release of her CD, 50 of her songs were posted on her Web site, www.loudoyle.com.

A graduate of Bridgewater State Teachers College, she taught elementary school in Somerset many years ago.

She leaves three sons, Robert O. Doyle of Cambridge, Mass., Michael Doyle of Warwick and Christopher Doyle in Missouri; two daughters, Linda Giordano of Florence, Ala., and Susanna Doyle of Melrose, Mass.; a sister, Paula L. Doherty of Tiverton; 10 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late Rosalie Greenwood.

The funeral will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. from Auclair Funeral Home, 690 South Main St., Fall River, with a graveside service at 11 in Pocasset Hill Cemetery, Tiverton.

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