Mary Lee Doyle (née Button) died peacefully at home in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada on December 28, 2021, surrounded by her loving family.
Born July 21, 1941, in Wellington, New Zealand, Lee began her career as a presenter at 2ZB and Radio New Zealand, two of the country’s leading radio stations. When she wasn’t interviewing lion tamers or narrating fishing disputes, Lee traveled the world, skiing the Alps, riding camels in the desert, and watching the May Day parade in Red Square.
Eventually Lee settled in London, England at the peak of the Swinging Sixties, where she met and married her husband Billy, a practicing dentist. After a few years in Ireland where Billy completed his medical studies in Dublin, Lee and Billy moved to Sarnia, Canada, where they raised their family. Together, Billy, now a family doctor, and Lee, as his office manager, built a medical practice that served the people of Sarnia for over forty-five years.
In 1982, Lee turned her love of movies into a successful business called Sarnia Home Entertainment Library, starting one of the first video rental stores in the city in partnership with her sister Taylore.
Throughout her life, Lee was a loving mother and wife who cherished her many friends at home and abroad, hosting parties and cooking delicious meals, including her fabled Pavlova dessert, the signature dish of her homeland. As a voracious reader, she took joy at holding forth on countless idiosyncratic subjects to the delight of her dinner companions.
In her later years, Lee tackled rheumatoid arthritis with cool determination, putting on a happy face and never letting it get her down. Though illness would claim her life, nothing could stifle her extraordinary personality.
Lee is survived by her dedicated husband of fifty-two years, Dr. William L. Doyle; her beloved children Timothy Doyle, Sarah Doyle, Nicola Doyle and Jonathan Doyle; Tim's partner Colin Carroll and Jonathan's wife Sarah Duda; her granddaughter Ramona Doyle; her brother John Button in New Zealand; and niece Kate Button and nephew Alistair Button. She is predeceased by her parents Ronald and Marie Button, and her sister Taylore Bernshaw (née Susan Button).
The Doyle family would like to especially thank Stephanie Boyle who took care of Lee in her later years. Her commitment and professionalism gave Lee the dignity and comfort she deserved. Her kindness will never be forgotten.
A private Mass of Christian Burial limited to immediate family will be held on Friday, with a celebration of life to follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Lee's name to the Arthritis Society of Canada (www.arthritis.ca) or the Palliative Care unit at Bluewater Health through (www.bluewaterhealth.ca) would be most appreciated. The arrangements have been entrusted to the D. J. Robb Funeral Home & Cremation Centre, 102 N. Victoria St, Sarnia, ON, N7T 5W9. Memories, photographs or messages of condolence may be shared through www.djrobb.on.ca