July 5, 1925 - February 4, 2014

U.S. Veteran

Burial Date

Obituaries » MERLIN T. DOYLE

DOYLE, MERLIN THOMAS “TUFFY,” 88, of Chelsea, died February 4, at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph. He was born July 5, 1925, in Chelsea, the son of John and Bertha E. (Bowen) Doyle. He attended school in Chelsea and worked on farms in Chelsea and Barre, before moving to Guilford, Conn., where he lived and worked for a short time. He served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Korea. After serving his country, he came back to Chelsea, where he worked at various jobs and started his first dairy herd. On Oct. 15, 1949, he married Alice M. Taplin, of Chelsea. In 1953, Tuffy and Alice purchased a farm, which they worked together for over 40 years. In 1995 their son Jim took over managing the farm. While Tuffy was farming, he and his brother Wayne Doyle also ran Doyle’s Gas Service in Chelsea. He played town team baseball when he was younger and worked at the Tunbridge Fair for many years. He enjoyed deer and raccoon hunting, four-wheeling, snowmobiling, bowling on the Masonic team, playing pinochle with family, dancing and fiddle music, fireworks, watching the Vermont Mountaineers and the Red Sox play baseball, supporting and watching the Chelsea school ball games, and visiting with his many friends. He was a member of the George Washington Lodge 51 F&AM of Chelsea, where he was a past master; he was a member of the Lady Washington Order of the Eastern Star Chapter 86 of Chelsea, Coburn-Eastman Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8451 of Chelsea and VFW Post 792 of Montpelier, Vt. He served as VFW Vermont state commander from 1997 to 1998. He was a member of the Knights Templar of Barre, Sons of Union Veterans HEK Hall Camp 28 of Chelsea for 65 years, Orange County Farm Bureau, and Chelsea Fish & Game Club, where he helped with the ski tow and fishing derby. He was a lister for the town of Chelsea from 1966-1983, and also served as justice of the peace, fence viewer and on the Board of Civil Authority. He also served as a Masonic representative to the VA Hospital in White River Junction. He was a charter member of the advisory board of the VT Veterans Memorial Cemetery, located in Randolph Center; and on the board of directors of Upper Valley Services. For many years, Tuffy coordinated the annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day programs. He and his wife placed American flags on the graves of veterans and were responsible for the flags up and down Main Street in Chelsea. Patriotism was important to Tuffy, and he was instrumental in helping his fellow Masons place the new flag pole on the town green in Chelsea. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Alice Doyle, of Chelsea; two sons, Jim and Andy Doyle, both of Chelsea; two daughters, Teresa Doyle, of East Montpelier, and Sandy Doyle, of East Barre; four grandchildren and four great-grandsons; a sister, Julia DeGoosh, of Riverton; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by a grandson, Adam Doyle, in 2008; four brothers, Leo, Walter, John Jr. and Wayne Doyle; and three sisters, June Prescott, Gertrude Lyford and Doris Crum.

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