Oct. 2, 1936 – Aug. 21, 2016
James J. Doyle, a retired Kenmore auto dealer, died Aug. 21 in Treasure Island, Fla., after a battle with cancer. He was 79.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Bishop Timon High School and the automotive marketing program at the General Motors Institute.
Mr. Doyle’s passion for cars began as he was growing up next door to a service station on South Park Avenue in South Buffalo, where he washed cars.
In the late 1950s, he was street sweeper operator for the City of Buffalo, then began his career in automobile sales in 1963 with Al Ives Used Cars in Buffalo, where he became manager.
In 1970, he moved to the Town of Tonawanda as vice president and general manager of Al Ives Pontiac.
He later purchased the former Courtesy Ford dealership on Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda and renamed it Jim Doyle’s Courtesy Ford.
When he moved the showroom to Delaware Avenue in Kenmore, it became Jim Doyle Ford.
Mr. Doyle earned several distinguished achievement awards with Ford, including the 1985 Time Dealer of the Year Award.
He retired to Florida in 1987.
He also was an owner and partner in Kane Doyle Jeep from 1983 to 1992 and vice president of Eden Ford from 1990 to 1997.
Active in the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association, he served as president in 1983-84 and was chairman of its auto show.
He was a founding member of the Delaware Dealers Association, a board member of the Ken-Ton Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Town of Tonawanda Police Association.
He supported many charities in Buffalo and Florida.
A longtime Bills and Sabres fan, he was the great-uncle of Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane.
He enjoyed boating and was an avid collector of Lionel trains and antique cars.
He always wore a gold shamrock in his lapel for good luck.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, the former Patricia A. Connors; a son, James J. II; two daughters, Kathleen S. Gibson and Patricia A. Yanity; and six grandchildren.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 1 in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 200 St. Gregory Court at Maple Road, Amherst.