Cover photo for John Doyle's Obituary
John Doyle Profile Photo
1928 John 2023

John Doyle

March 10, 1928 — January 25, 2023

John Joseph Doyle of Erie, died peacefully on January 25 after a long, well lived life.  He was a lifelong resident of Erie, PA, born on March 10, 1928, and he was the son of John J. Doyle and Marie Sprau Doyle, the nephew of Benjamin Sprau and Henry Walter (“Hank”) Sprau, and the only brother of Patrick William Doyle, who preceded John in death in 2017. John’s sister in law, Pat’s wife - Kathleen Doyle, passed away in February 2021 with John’s beloved wife, Colleen McMahon Doyle, passing one week after Kathleen.


He is survived by their 5 children. Two daughters - Elizabeth (“Beth”) Doyle Legler and her husband, Patrick Legler, of Erie, PA, and Colleen Doyle Andrews and her husband, Bill Andrews of Allison Park, PA.  Three sons - John J. Doyle, III and his wife, Betsy Letchner Doyle of Fort Lauderdale, FL; Robert W. Doyle, Sr. and his wife, Lynne Kinsella Doyle of Erie, PA; and Michael J. Doyle, Sr. and his wife, Cheryl Gachowski Doyle of Potomac, MD.  John and Colleen, Sr had 14 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. 


John graduated from Cathedral Preparatory High School in 1945. He served in the artillery in the First Calvary Division in the United States Army in Japan with the Rank of Staff Sgt.  He graduated from Penn State University in 1951 with a degree in civil engineering.  John and Colleen were high school sweethearts and married on April 28, 1951.   They headed to Virginia as John began his engineering career at Newport News Shipbuilding.  They returned to Erie in 1952 for John to be a Project Engineer.  John received his Professional Engineer certification in 1956.


John and Colleen shared everything during their 68 years of marriage, especially their love of creating a welcoming, beautiful home.  They moved 6 times with John managing the building of 3 of those homes. Colleen had impeccable, decorating style.  John and Colleen loved to host parties frequently at their home, especially for their supper club friends.         


John started his own business in 1963 with his childhood friend, Norbert Hardner, to form Hardner Doyle Contractors & Engineers.  After Norb retired, John formed Perry Construction Group.  Throughout his career, John served as Chairman of Northwest Bank, and as a board member at Gannondale, Millcreek Township Planning Commission, Penn State Behrend and the Kahkwa Club.  Throughout his 65 years of construction activity, John helped shape Erie, and the surrounding areas by being directly involved or responsible for over 4,000 construction projects such as the Erie Bayfront Bicentennial Tower, Gannon University Library, Tom Ridge Environmental Center, Mercyhurst University Academic Engagement Center, and UPMC Hamot Women’s Hospital.


John enjoyed hunting, boating, golf, tennis and the game of bridge.  Along with Colleen, John really enjoyed spending time at their Cook Forest camp with family, neighbors, and friends. John loved to travel, being outdoors and having adventure.    In 1975, he travelled to Alaska’s Arctic Circle to successfully hunt a grizzly bear.  In 1986, he captained “Big Bear”, a 48 foot Sea Ray from Erie to Boca Grande, Florida. John hiked Mt. Washington in New Hampshire and was also a crew member of the Flagship Niagara.  John was a lifelong member of the Erie Yacht Club and Kahkwa Club.  John was blessed with a wonderful wife, family, business partners, and lifelong friendships.  He was one of a kind and will be truly missed.


We thank Cathy McConnell of Home Instead for her faithful and loving care given to John and Colleen.  Also, thank you to the entire staff of Saint Mary’s Asbury Ridge for the high-quality care provided to John in his final years and UPMC Family Hospice for their care in his final days.


Friends may call on the family on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. until the time of prayer service at 11:00 a.m. at the Burton Quinn Scott Cremation and Funeral Services, West Ridge 3801 W. 26th Street, Erie.


A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Jude the Apostle Church 2801 W 6th Street Erie, PA 16505 on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.


Memorials may be made in John’s name to Erie City Mission, P.O. Box 407, Erie, PA  16512; or Mother Theresa Academy, 160 West 11th Street, Erie, PA  16501.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Calling Hours

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Burton Quinn Scott Cremation and Funeral Services West Ridge

3801 West 26th Street, Erie, PA 16506

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Service Information

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Jude the Apostle Church

2801 West 6th Street, Erie, PA 16505

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Saturday, June 24, 2023

Trinity Cemetery

, Erie, PA 16505

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