Site Meter The Doyle Family Marguerite Mary Doyle
Doyle, Michael Patrick
McDonald, Catherine Theresa
Lynch, Thomas
Farrell, Ellen
Doyle, James Eugene
Lynch, Sarah Ellen
Doyle, Marguerite Mary


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Meehan, Michael Francis

Doyle, Marguerite Mary

  • Born: 22 Jul 1913, Guelph, , ON, CAN
  • Christened: 3 Aug 1913, Guelph, , ON, CAN
    Her baptismal sponsors were Joseph Lynch and Isabella Lynch
  • Marriage: Meehan, Michael Francis on 20 Jun 1942 in St Luke Catholic Church, Detroit, MI
  • Died: 15 Mar 1961, Woodbridge, Virginia, USA
  • Buried: 17 Mar 1961, Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, USA

bullet  General Notes:

Marguerite married Michael Francis Meehan, son of John (Jack) Joseph Meehan and Bridget O'Connor, on 20 Jun 1942 in St Luke Catholic Church, Detroit, MI. (Michael Francis Meehan was born on 22 Jun 1911 in Iowa township, Crawford County, Iowa, USA, christened on 26 Jun 1911 in Manilla, Crawford County, Iowa, USA, died on 17 Jun 1960 in Ft. Belvoir, Fairfax County, Virginia, USA and was buried on 22 Jun 1960 in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, USA.)

Mom (Marguerite Mary Doyle Meehan) loved Marty and me completely, although she had problems that were beyond her control . . .

Mom (Marguerite Mary Doyle Meehan) not only made the best apple pie, but she graduated from Holy Redeemer High School in 1930 with honors when she was only 16.

In the picture on the left (Mom) Marguerite Mary Doyle is shown with boxing gloves.
In the middle picture - Mom (Marguerite Mary Doyle Meehan) in front; Aunt Irene and Uncle Joe Doyle - 1919
In the picture on the right - Grandma Sarah Ellen Lynch Doyle and Mom (Marguerite Mary Doyle Meehan) circa 1920

Mom (Marguerite Mary Doyle Meehan) might be considered a “Miracle Baby”. She was the last child born to Grandpa and Grandma Doyle on July 22nd, 1913. Two babies had died after Aunt Gert (Gertrude Eileen Doyle Lanouette) was born in 1906. There had been one stillborn on January 8th, 1908 and Francis Raymond Alphonsus died just after his birth on July 11, 1909. Her baptismal sponsors on Aug 3rd were Joseph Lynch and Isabella Lynch. She attended Downey's School, where Aunt Irene Doyle Clair was the teacher until her family moved to Detroit in 1922. Mom graduated from Holy Redeemer High School in 1930 with honors when she was only 16. Cousin Judy Matson Hagan and Maureen Crimmins Seitz state that Mom was very smart and was able to get a job during the depression without a problem. They both quoted Uncle Jack Matson stating “That Mom could have gotten a secretarial job anywhere she wanted”. Mom always had excellent penmanship, which she always contributed to Aunt Irene Doyle Clair. As a young boy, I admired her penmanship and always wished that I could write as nice as her (I blamed my poor penmanship on being left handed). My penmanship is not the focal point, but the fact that Mom was able to get a job just out of high school during the Great Depreciation is the point. The nation was going through a very rough time and over 25% of the work force was unemployed

Mom was always close to her nephew Ted Doyle, who was her age, but in Detroit, I believe that Aunt Gert and Mom became very close. Both were very quiet people. Even in later life, I can remember Mom commenting on Grandma Clare and several other people as being too talkative. The comment concerning Grandma Clare always bothered me since Grandma Clare was never that talkative or vocal. When we lived in Germany, Mom fired our first maid because again, she said that she talked more than she worked. When we lived at Ft. Belvoir in Virginia, she could sit at the dinning room table for hours playing solitaire and eating potato chips, to which she had added addition salt. She enjoyed the solitude of being alone. Aunt Gert was a lot like Mom and she also enjoyed her quiet time.

Mom and Aunt Gert enjoyed taking vacations together. Mom and Aunt Gert are in Salt Lake City sometime in the early 1930’s on some type of tour. Cousin Maureen Seitz remembered that Mom and Aunt Gert took at least two trips to Catalina Island, California. They would board “The 20th Century Limited”, the train, to Los Angles, California and then hopped on a boat to Catalina Island for a week or more of vacation. I believe she was a normal young lady who enjoyed dating and going to parties. Mom was a very attractive young lady and I assume she had several dates in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s.

Mom grew up in Detroit during the time of “Bath Tub Gin”, and “Rum Running” since prohibition was still in force in the USA. Detroit was also one of the places where whiskey and beer was smuggled across the border from Canada. At one point the revenue from the sale of whiskey and beer in Detroit was second only to the sale of automobiles during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Mom talked about Uncle Leo Doyle making “Bath Tub Gin” and going to “Speak-Easies” during a few of the times we watched “The Untouchables” on TV. The “Untouchables” was a TV show about Organized Crime and specifically their ties to “Speak Easies”, and Rum Running (Smuggling of whiskey and beer) into the USA. I had the impression, she enjoyed going to night clubs (Speak-Easies). The prohibition was in forced from 1920 to 1933. Mom was only 16 when she graduated from high school in 1930, but I’m convinced that she went to “Speak Easies” and other bars before she was 21. I did when I was visiting relatives in Detroit and I believe she did also. There was no doubt that Mom loved the 1920’s and 1930’s in Detroit.

I’ve analyzed Mom and Dad’s death and have came to the conclusion that the following from a book by Frederick Turner, titled 1929 captures the essences of my feelings. Bix was a famous jazz cornetist during the 1920’s and like my parents he died at a very young age. Bix was born in Davenport, Iowa and there is a Jazz Festival held in his honor each summer.

From the book “1929” by Fredrick Turner
What exactly did he die of?

He thinks of an instant answer booze. But he doesn’t say that because right along with the word he thinks of the terrible stuff Bix drank, the lethally toxic crap that would be prohibited everywhere these days, deadly stuff that could blind you if you happened to get into a bad batch, and so maybe you'd have to explain that part of it, too, have to go into the specifics of a business he knew a bit too much about to discuss with a stranger. And then maybe you would have to say something about the way they'd lived then, in those years between the end of the war and the crash, and nobody he knew had ever called them the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties, but still, tags aside, there had been no doubt among any of them—alky cookers, doormen, rum runners, drummers, dancers, the cop on the beat—that they were living in crazy times, unprecedented times in which nobody knew what was going to happen next and few seemed to care. He thinks finally of those doctors who lived across the hall in Sunnyside—his final audience and maybe his most perfectly attentive—discussing the cause of death while they stood over the fact of it—the body itself—and agreeing the certificate ought to read "Lobar Pneumonia," the wife particularly adamant about that in a way familiar to him of old: they all wanted to take care of Bix, even at the very end. So, when you added all these things up, what answer could you give somebody who hadn't lived along on that shoot-the-chute ride? He's still mutely wondering what to answer when he glances over to find the husband towing away his plump, pretty wife with short, insistent jerks of his hand, saying something earnestly in her ear. She retreats reluctantly, turning to look over her shoulder at the stooped old man in his John Deere cap who's looking after her as if he's finally thought of something to say, the answer to her question. And when she turns one last time and he catches her eye, he calk out to her, his voice like an aged raven, "Everything!" he calls after her. "He died of everything!"

I am convinced that Mom and Dad died of EVERYTHING. Dad and Mom both had health problems. Dad had heart problems his whole life. Mom kept everything to herself and never went to the doctor. In the end, booze might have contributed to their death but I’m convinced that they both had many factors working against them (health, depression, loneliness).

Mom (Marguerite Mary Doyle) and Dad (Michael Francis Meehan) were united in marriage at St. Luke Catholic Church on June 20th, 1942. Clare Meehan and Joe Doyle were their attendees,

There was no doubt that Marty and I (JJ) were the apple of our parents eyes and that they loved us very much. Mom was a wonderful cook. I believe she fixed breakfast (eggs, bacon etc) for the family every morning and prepared dinner every night. I had lunch at school, which was located about 15 miles away in Boeblingen, Germany. I believe during the day, Mom, Marty and Emma would go shopping in Vaihingen or Stuttgart. Mom made a fantastic ground beef casserole. Her apple pie was exquisite. We were the typical American Family.

During the time we were in Germany, Mom and Dad experienced cases of extreme sadness and loneliness. On June 6th, 1951 Mom lost her Dad, Grandpa James Doyle. On November 6th, 1951; Dad’s Mom, Grandma Bridget O’Connor Meehan, died. On May 4th, 1953, Mom’s sister, Marie Elizabeth Doyle died after a long battle with cancer. The death of these wonderful people was made worst by the fact that in all cases, we were not notified until several days after their death and burial. All death notifications were handled by the Red Cross at the time and for some reason the notifications did not reach us in a timely manner. Both Mom and Dad were devastated by the lost of these fine people and frustrated by the fact that they could not attend their funeral. Mom never forgave the Red Cross. I know that both my parents were heavy drinkers, but this might have led to more drinking to cover their loneliness and heart ache. I remember, Dad did not get out of bed for 2 days after hearing about Grandma Bridget O’Connor Meehan. Mom, who was always very quiet become much more of a loner and kept most of her feeling inside of herself, with the death of her dad, sister and the loss of Emma as a friend.

It wasn’t until we moved to Ft Belvoir that I began to see a strain on their marriage and their health. Did failing health affect their marriage? How much did alcohol have to do with their marriage problems and/or health problems? I promise to cover more of this when we talk about Ft. Belvoir. Remember, I’m convinced that “They died of EVERYTHING not just Alcohol”.

Mom never did get a driver’s license. Our means of transportation was the city bus. Mom would spend her days watching Marty, cleaning house and shopping. Her main hobby and enjoyment was playing solitary and snacking on a bowl of potato chips with extra salt. It appeared to me that a bowl of potato chips would last her a whole afternoon. During the summers and when I wasn’t playing going to school and doing other important things, we would take the city bus in to Alexandria and got off at the corner of King and Washington, Figure 240, where we shopped at the local Pennies or 5 and 10 Cent store, . Virginia was still a segregated state and all the stories and restaurants had separate restrooms for woman, and men plus another set for the “Color” people. At the time this didn’t mean anything to me. In 1961 when I left the state for Iowa, they were in the process of desegregating the high schools.

Mom made the best apple pie and a fantastic ground beef and veggie casserole. During fifth grade I requested and was given permission to attend the annex elementary school, which was just 1 ½ blocks from my home. I was able to ride my bike home for lunch each day. I can still taste the great baloney sandwiches. Mom really enjoyed our Sunday dinners at the NCO club. I have to admit the food was normally very good. I believe I once had some bad pork but no one would believe me since it was pork roast and everyone else appeared to enjoy all of theirs.

Mom had one friend that I remember, who lived on the other side of our block. They would get together once or twice a week. From 1954 to 1958, Mom would turn on the radio to a local county station and listen to a gentleman by the name of “Connie Beegay” (What a name). One of his regulars was Jimmy Dean. Jimmy Dean became a professional entertainer after a stint in the U.S. Air Force in the late 1940s. He became the host of the popular Washington D.C. TV program Town and Country Time and, with his Texas Wildcats, became favorites in the region. Both Patsy Cline and Roy Clark got their starts with Dean, who eventually fired Clark, his lead guitarist, for his chronic tardiness. Dean replaced Clark with Billy Grammer. Patsy Cline and Dean were good friends during the run of the Town Country Time TV show in the mid-50s. Andy Griffith also got his start about this time and a fantastic comedy recording about visiting a football game as a hillbilly in a small southern town, which played several times a day on the station. Connie was a true southern and preached the gospel that said the south would rise again and win the civil war. This was the same gospel that I heard from my Texan friends in Germany (more about that in my volume). She watched just a little TV but loved “Red Skelton”, and the Jimmy Dean TV Show, “Town and Country Time”. When I was in 6th Grade and went to St. Dominic’s in Washington DC, our bus driver was an amateur guitar play and singer. In May of 1956, we all stayed up to watch him play and actually reach the finals. That summer, he suggested we have a picnic to celebrate and to say “Good Bye” to each other. Almost all the kids, who rode the bus each day between Ft. Belvoir and St. Dominic’s in Washington DC, and their parents, attended the picnic. It was one of the few times I can remember our family going to a special event together.

Dad’s Uncle Bud (John Joseph Meehan Jr.) died on April 19th, 1954. Dad went back to Denison for the funeral. In fact I believe he might have gone back in December 1953 to visit Bud in the hospital before he died. Dad accepted Bud’s death without too much problem. One very interesting story that Dad relayed when he came back to Ft. Belvoir after visiting Uncle Bud in the hospital was concerning an old friend of his who was in the hospital Apparently this friend had amnesia, and was in a comma. When Dad walked down the hall, he sat up and called Dad’s nick name “Shanks” (Dad was always very thin when he was in high school). Anyway that gentlemen’s name was Westcott. After Mom and Dad had died and I moved to Denison for my last year of high school, our Class President was John Westcott, who was this gentlemen’s son. John told me that his dad came out of the comma after seeing Dad but was never able to work the farm again.

Mom’s mother (Grandma Sarah Ellen Lynch Doyle) died on August 7th, 1954. Mom had a hard time accepting her mother’s death. We all went to the funeral. I can still remember Marty being out going. She even said she would ride with Miss (Cousin) Irene Hickey, but when push came to shove, there was no way she was going to get into Miss Hickey’s car. At a funeral in a strange town, she wanted her parents. I believe we visited Detroit in 1953, 54, 55 and 56. I believe we also visited Denison, IA in September of 1953, and summer of 1955. In 1955, Mom stayed with her family in Detroit and Dad, Marty and I drove out to Denison, IA.

In 1956, when I was 13, I spent a month on their farm in Canada. This would have been about just over 16 months after Uncle John Clair (Irene’s husband) had died. This was probably the first time I was ever away from my immediate family, but I never remember feeling lonely or scared. I had never spent more than a few days on a farm prior to my visit to Canada. In 1946, 50 and 54 we visited my Dad’s family (The Meehan and O’Connors) in Iowa but we never spent more than a few days on the farm. Aunt Irene Clair and her family who lived on their two farms (the Clair Family Farms) opened their homes and hearts to me. I experience working on a farm, the summer crop harvest, and the love a family shares when they can be together almost every hour of every day. I promise to cover the trip in greater detail as I talk about the Clairs and later about myself. I believe that one of the spruce trees that Uncle John Clair planted in the 1920’s had been cut down for some reason and I helped Cousin Jack Clair pull the roots of the tree out of the ground using a 1953 Case Tractor. I can remember the small things e.g., Margarine at that time in Canada could not be purchased with the yellow color we see today. It would come with a separate packet of yellow die that you could add to the white margarine to give it clear. Anyway, I can remember setting around their kitchen table adding the yellow die to the margarine though the process of squeezing and punching the yellow die into the white margarine. I will never forget the first and last time I had dumplings. One day, Aunt Irene made everyone’s favorite dinner – “Chicken and Dumplings”. I found out that I may be the only person in the world who does not like Dumplings. I really felt bad knowing how much work went into the process of making the dinner, but I could not eat the dumplings to save my life. To this day I have never had dumplings again. I only tell this story because Aunt Irene went out of her way to make me feel welcome and the chicken and dumplings dinner was one of her special treats to the family. The problem was not with the dumplings but with my appreciation of the dumplings. It took a lot of work to make that chicken and dumplings dinner and I might not have appreciated the dumplings but I really appreciated the love and family that was shared with those dumplings. Mom appeared more relaxed and at home in Canada, almost like she was “Home”, when the family came to pick me up. This memory of mom is so strong that after 51 years, I still remember how different mom acted and how happy she was in 1956. There is no doubt that she had a happy childhood and loving parents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters. There is no doubt in my mind that mom had loving memories of her childhood and Canada. In 1957, dad was given orders for Germany for the second time. Prior to any deployment, we all had to have our medical shots updated and dad also had an updated physical. It was during this physical that they noticed he had a heart problem. This resulted in the cancellation of his orders for deployment to Germany. Over the next three years he would be in and out of the hospital several times. In some cases the hospital stays would last for three to four months.

The Meehan Family in Vaihingen, Germany in 1952.
Dad (Michael Francis Meehan was station at the Seventh Army Headquarters - "Camp Patch Barracks"
In the picture in are Dad (Michael F. Meehan), Mom (Marguarite Mary Doyle), JJ, and Marty

In the summer of 1957, we took one of our few “non relative” related vacations. We drove over to the Shenandoah Valley, which is in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains and spent several days in motels, swimming, visiting the local caverns and just relaxing. This vacations stands out as being one of the best vacations we took as a family. The scenery and caverns were gorgeous, plus we as a family had some excellent quality time together.

In July of 1960, we (Mom, Marty and I) moved into our rented home in Woodbridge, Virginia. This process started shortly after Dad had died. We considered the need for access to the military commissary (grocery store) and PX (Post Exchange) Store. In addition, everyone decided that we wanted to have access to the NCO Club on Sunday for lunch. After about three weeks of looking we found a clean three bedroom home, no basement in Woodbridge, Virginia, about 9 miles south of Fort Belvoir. As it turned out, it was also about 15 miles north of Quantico Marine Base, which gave us access to two commissaries, two PX stores and two NCO Clubs. Our new home was located at 21 Joyce Rd, Woodbridge, Virginia.

Mom became friends with our next door neighbor, Mrs. Roger, which was very positive. Mrs. Rogers was the first person that I remember mom having as a friend in a long while. Almost everyday, they would get together for coffee. Mom still had a drinking problem. I don’t remember Mom buying a lot of liquor, but there is no doubt that her drinking problem got worse after Dad died. It’s possible that he limited her access to liquor, but I never remember liquor being off limits, after all my dad also had a drinking problem. At the same time, I never remember drinking interfering with our family activities. At one point, I did ask her if she could stop and the answer was “No”.

Each Sunday, we would go to either the NCO Club at Quantico or Ft. Belvoir for dinner (lunch). Quantico NCO Club became the club of choice, since it was newer. This was truly family time and we all loved it. This was the time where we could all sit down for dinner and just relax, there were no dishes to wash or pans to clean. This tradition may be why; I enjoy eating out so much. We really had a good time together.

For some reason, Mom did not want to go back to Detroit or Canada to be with her relatives. Maybe she felt we would adjust better in Virginia. Maybe she liked Virginia or maybe she didn’t want to be with all of her older brothers and sisters. Yet, I can still remember how happy and relaxed mom felt in Canada in 1956. As I analyze the situation some 45 years after the event took place, I’m shocked that mom did not want to go home to Canada or Detroit. I’m sure that there might have been friction between brothers and sisters, but in every family there is friction between brothers and sisters. Mom’s brothers and sisters (My aunts and uncles) have always been there for Marty and I. Sad to say, I wish I had been there for them, but hopefully, I will give the same love and support to our grandchildren. Sorry to say, but I doubt if I gave that same love and support to my nieces and nephews. I hope they (Annie Stary, Colleen Stary, Justin Stary and Jamie Stary) all know that I am proud of each of them. I’m glad that our daughter Jenny is in contact with Colleen via E Mail.

In the fall, I enrolled at Gar-Field High and Marty enrolled in Woodbridge’s elementary school.

I believe it was for Christmas, that mom agreed to let us have a dog. I should say, that she agreed to let Marty have a dog. Anyway, a cute puppy became part of our family sometime around the start of the New Year in 1961. Marty always loved animals and has taken care of several dogs, cats, and rabbits over the years since 1961. In the early 1970’s when she owned two rabbits, they needed to break in their new teeth and decided to chew on the power cords of several of her lamps. Neither of these events stopped Marty from loving animals or children. In addition to raising four beautiful and fantastic children, she has always been involved with teaching young children of all ages and even baby sat other children. Marty is a fantastic mother and animal lover.

On Friday, January 20th, 1961, President Kennedy became our 35th President. I don’t believe anyone, who watched the ceremony will forget his address “. . . Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your county . . .”! It snowed that Friday and it snowed every Friday for the next month. In fact we didn’t have school on Friday for a whole month!

Mom did not show any signs of not being well other that a tooth problem. On the morning of March 15th, 1961, Marty went to school and I stayed home since I was concerned about Mom. I could not get her to wake up. I can remember trying to give her a little water since her lips appeared to be chapped, but she choked on the water. I tried calling the paramedics but they thought it was a prank call. I finally called our priest, who called the paramedics and got them into action. It must have been another 15 to 20 minutes before they arrived, but Mom was pronounced died with in 20 minutes. One of the paramedics also stole Mom’s engagement and wedding rings, which were not worth much but would have been something for us to leave our children. Needless to say, I was not impressed with the paramedics.

The Meehan Grave Sites at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia
Michael Francis Meehan and Marguerite Mary Doyle Meehan are buried in section 28 - graves 726 and 727.
For a printable map click on Map of Grave Locations

Marguerite Mary Doyle Meehan, beloved wife and mother died on March 15th, 1961 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on March 17th, 1961.

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