Laura Margaret Doyle-Brewster, 56, of Glenside, PA, died suddenly from H1N1 complications Wednesday shortly  after returning from her dream adventure in China.

Born in Auburn, NY to the musical Doyle family, she was an adventurous woman with many interests and talents.  During her college years in Auburn, NY, and Fairbanks, AK,  she found time to hitchhike through Europe, do factory work for Columbian Rope, drive a biffy truck for Alaska Airlines, and work in remote sites on the Alaska Pipeline on drilling and pipe-bending crews.  She loved to cross-country ski under the Northern Lights and became involved in gymnastics and dogsledding. 

Laura returned to upstate New York to marry and start a family, but soon she was off to  Athens, GA, working in a marine biology lab while nurturing her growing brood.  Upon her husband's graduation, the family moved to Midland, MI, and added another son.  Laura loved her years in MI, becoming an avid biker, cross-country skier, swimmer, runner and swim instructor.

In 1992, the family moved to Glenside, PA and she became more immersed in the aquatic world as pool manager, swim instructor, stroke and turn judge, scuba diver, and proud parent of four competitive swimmers. She was convinced that she could do anything she set her mind to, and became a self-taught plumber, painter, electrician, carpenter, barber, gardener, amateur private investigator (of her children’s illicit activities), teller of inappropriate jokes, and undertaker for exotic pets.  Laura's family was always her first priority, and she loved to return to her hometown every year for the Doyle Family reunion on Lake Owasco.

Like the grandchildren she loved so much, she was spunky and a little naughty and never thought twice about being herself. She loved music and having fun and prided herself on being hip to the latest music and fashion. She insisted that her children have integrity, generosity, good manners, a strong sense of independence, and the opportunity to express their creativity and always follow their dreams. Perhaps the most admirable achievement in Laura’s life was overcoming her personal struggles and fears. Despite her small stature, she was never afraid to take on anyone or anything, A humble teacher, she led many support groups and was always willing to share her stories and experiences or just listen in hopes of helping others.

Laura is survived by her husband Jeffrey; her children Damien, Patrick, Marni Duffy, and Kevin; her grandchildren Ilana, Sage, Yeshia, Fern, and Jaden; her mother Jean Doyle, and siblings  Mark (Liz) Doyle, Brendan (Mitsuko) Doyle, Michael (Heather) Doyle; and seven sisters: Lisa Doyle, Beth (Jack) Curran, Gretchen (John) Doyle, Susi (Bruce) Doyle Larson, Jeanne (Gary) Buckels, Tara (Bill) Simmonds, Amy (Bibi) Doyle; and several nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by her father, Robert Doyle, and brothers Robert Jr. and William. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Welcome Center, 2111 Samson St., Philadelphia, PA 19103 in care of Pastor Violet Little.

A memorial service will be held at Holy Family Church in Auburn, NY at 4:00 on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009.  Visitation will be held at William R. May Funeral Home, 354 Easton Rd., Glenside, PA on Friday, Dec. 11, 2009 from 7 to 9 PM.  A funeral mass will be held at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 109 Price St., Philadelphia, PA, on Saturday Dec. 12, 2009 at 1 PM.  Reception to follow at a location to be announced.


  1. I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. I stumbled upon your page. I went to grammar school with your Uncle Brendan in Auburn NY. I am also very sorry to hear about your Uncle Willie. We all used to ride the bus together to Syracuse for High School. Can you tell me where and when Willie passed? And what is Brendan doing now is he still in Auburn. Thanks Marni and best of luck to you and your family.

  2. Wow! I am truly sorry to hear about your mom. She was a wonderful lady and a joy to be around. I send my love, prayers and condolences to you and your family at this time.

    My best to all of you,

    Tom Patterson
    (formerly of 449 Abington Ave Glenside now in Fort Myers FL)

  3. Wow- your mom had a pretty amazing life! I was blessed to be in a small group with her for Women's bible Study one year, but I had no idea she was such an adventurous woman! My heart breaks for you, and I will be praying for you and your family.

  4. Dear Marnie, Margie and I are so sorry we were not able to meke the funeral. We know your father and your brothers and familes were providing you with much needed support and love. I am eternally thankful that my brother met you and came into your life, if there is anyone on this earth who can sooth and comfort ones soul at the most difficult of times it is my brother. We lok forward to seeing you in person soon so we can share with you our feelings about your dear mother. Brian and Margie

  5. Hey Marn...digging your blog. Cool stuff! I had no idea you were doin' this stuff. Fantastic and a true inspiration for changes for the better. Got a question...love the quality of the photos, and am going to finally start my foodie/wine passion blog. starting with a french cassoulet...can you tell me what camera the photographer used? (hopefully very cheap!) the kids are soooo gorgeous! How's Trey and your bros doin? We're all good...gotta come down...definately to take the certified wine specialist exam this spring sometime. anyway...keep it up... it looks killer! Love ya Michael