James Holahan Doyle, Sr. was born in Rochester, Minnesota to Dr. John Benedict Doyle, Sr. and Greta Fenelon Doyle (nee Holahan) on January 15, 1928. He entered eternal life on October 20, 2019. Jim is the third of four children - Gretta, John and Katherine. In 1950, Jim married Anne Becker in Santa Cruz, California and they had six children.
Jim’s family lived in Versailles, France during his earliest years before the family moved to Los Angeles, CA where he grew up. He was a bright, fun-loving child and often a light-hearted prankster. Jim enjoyed photography, Ham radio, horseback riding, sailing, ice skating, skiing, riding motorcycles, visiting Yosemite, and European travel especially to Marian pilgrimage sites. He was proud of his Irish and small bit of French heritage. Jim had great love and devotion to his family and friends throughout his life.
Jim briefly attended the seminary as a young man. He earned a B.S. in Physics from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California. During his college years, Jim met Anne at Holy Names College in Oakland. They soon married and moved to Southern California. The young family lived in Inglewood, Walnut Creek, and Burbank before moving to Garden Grove in 1956 and Orange in 1966. Jim and Anne were very involved teaching in the parish religious education programs at Saint Columban Parish and Saint Norbert Parish. Catholic education was very important to Jim and Anne and they sent their children to Saint Columban, Saint Norbert, Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac, Mater Dei, and Marywood schools and Catholic colleges and universities.
Jim worked as a physicist, engineer, inventor, corporate founder and executive. Sites include Weber Aircraft Corporation where he received the Employee of Year award for the first digital computer system. He also worked at Beckman Instruments and was the founding President of General Data Corporation where he designed and built the analog to digital converter which is used in nearly all electronic systems equipment today. He worked at Master Specialties, Thermco Corporation, and retired from Unit Instruments.
Jim’s greatest professional legacy is the Artificial Sense Organ which made it possible for the deaf to hear. In 1961, his neurosurgeon brother, John, implanted it successfully with Jim’s careful instructions, and together they watched as the first person with their cochlear implant began to hear for the first time.
He collaborated on many Catholic media projects over the years with his professional photography friends and donated countless hours to Catholic television broadcasting. Jim documented conferences, liturgies, and healing services, and produced a film on the Shroud of Turin.
Jim had an exceptional love for Our Lady and often visited pilgrimage sites including Medjugorje. It was common for Jim and Anne to open their home to friends, international seminarians and refugees. They also assisted immigrants in the documentation process. During the Bosnian War, Jim and Anne made visits and helped with relief efforts. Jim would strap into a Jeep with a goat in his lap and a bag of medical supplies to deliver to orphanages across enemy lines, risking his life to make sure they had food during the time of crisis. Jim and Anne were generous with their time and resources. Service to others was always a priority to them. They joined the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in 1993 to assist in aiding the charitable, cultural and social works and institutions of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
Anne’s final years on earth were a shining testament to Jim’s love for her as he insisted on remaining her primary caregiver. He loved Anne, unfailingly, until the end. After she was gone, he continued to love and pray for her, longing for the day he would be reunited with her in heaven—a day that has no doubt finally come to pass
Jim’s wife Anne, son Joseph and grandson Timmy preceded him in death. Jim is survived by his children - Jim, Jr. (Patty), Aileen, Michael (Joan), Mary Catherine (Adelia), and Martha Grady (Tim); grandchildren - Jim III, Theresa, Christine, Matt, Greg, Megan, Steven, Danny, Brian, Sara, Nicole, Joe, Kelly and Ellyse; great-grandchildren - Andie, Nolan, Kyle, Olivia, Darrick, Jaelyn, Mariah, Mia, Levi, Olive and Abel; his brother John and sister Katherine; his brother-in-law Joe and sister-in-law Mary Lee.
Should friends desire, memorial donations may be sent to the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (http://franciscanfriars.com/donate/), or the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org).
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