To the editor:

There is to be a celebration of life party for Jean Doyle on Dec. 22 as she reaches her 90th birthday.

What an exemplary life she has led from her graduation in 1947 from Newburyport High School. She married at a young age, raising seven children, but the desire for an education inspired her – after 19 years as a stay-at-home mom – to graduate summa cum laude from Merrimack College in 1969 with a degree in history.

In 1992, she received a master's degree in history from the University of New Hampshire. Returning to NHS, Jean taught history and international relations for 30 years until her retirement in 1999. In that period, she was a lightning rod for thousands of your children who, at her urging, went on to their own lives of achievement.

Her life after teaching has truly been gifted: two hardcover books published, "Life in Newburyport 1900-1950" and "Life in Newburyport 1950-1958."

Jean has given innumerable papers, presentations and multimedia screenings related to early settlers in Newburyport: French-Canadians, Irish immigrants as well as Newburyport in World War II and a profile of a dynamic six-term Mayor Bossy Gillis.

She isn't a slouch when it comes to travel, having visited intensively throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South America, where she climbed Machu Picchu in Peru on her 75th birthday.

Until just a few years ago, she did her own gardening and could be seen walking from her home on Rolfes Lane to attend Mass at Immaculate Conception Church.

We are in debt to Jean for being a beacon of light to everyone who knows her and for her allegiance and devotion to Newburyport. "She has done many small things with great love," as stated by Mother Teresa.

Robert D. Campbell


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